2008-02-07 / Sam Bari

Super Bowl septic tank caper

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

The age of super everything, from the Super Bowl to Super Tuesday, and super models to super stars, occasionally comes with super problems, mostly because of the super stupid and the extraordinarily dumb.

For instance, last year, city dweller and avid partyologist, Norbert Dweezle, accepted an invitation to a Super Bowl party in the dreaded 'burbs, an area he knew little about. You know the 'burbs, those neighborhoods an hour's drive from the city where houses are built large enough to accommodate parties of 200, but provide parking for four.

These are the incubator communities where babies are manufactured on assembly lines. They are then programmed to grow up enjoying programs like "Desperate Housewives" and "Terminal Dancing," or whatever the current trend in mindless TV programming is offering in the next two decades.

Dweezle entered the cookie cutter community and found the house where the alleged party was taking place. If there wasn't a number on the mailbox, he'd still be driving through the circular streets wondering which party was his to attend.

Unfortunately, he arrived fashionably late, a practice not followed in the 'burbs. Partygoers in the 'burbs arrive early, lest they find themselves parking in the next state and paying for a helicopter ride back to the neighborhood where the party is actually taking place.

Like other people hosting parties in the neighborhood, guests parked on the lawns, and anywhere they could leave their vehicles without getting ticketed or towed. Dweezle could clearly see that the situation was hopeless. Cars were crammed in to the last inch of driveway and at the edge of the lawn on all sides . . . except for one area.

About halfway up the lawn, an area about two car widths wide and an SUV or truck length long was cordoned off by stakes with red flags evenly spaced and connected together with string. Hmmm . . . just the spot, Dweezle thought. It's probably reserved parking for some VIP. Well, whoever that spot is for will have to park before he can come in and complain. So firstcome, first-served, he mused.

Dweezle, being the aggressive city dweller and parking place pilferer that he was, immediately drove through a neighbor's yard, over their flowerbeds and parked his mammoth SUV in the ropedoff area.

I didn't hurt anything, Dweezle reasoned. Flowers don't grow in the winter anyway. They'll get over it, he thought.

Nonetheless, while Dweezle was inside partying to the max, his SUV was sinking. By the time he came out to retrieve his car, all that could be seen was the upper portion of the windows and the roof. Dweezle had parked over the septic tank.

The tank was big and adequate for the mini-mansion that it served. It was, however, the cheap model of the biggest tank, and was not designed to support over 6,500- pounds of SUV loaded with a full tank of gas, tools and other heavy objects in the back.

As the mammoth vehicle sank, it displaced the odoriferous effluence in the tank which oozed downhill contaminating the tires of all the cars in its path, the entire front yard, the street, and neighboring properties.

The following morning, insurance companies were notified. Petitions were written and signed. Lawsuits were filed against the DEM (Department for Extra Management) for not writing legislation to cover incidents of this nature. They in turn blamed the EPA (Evasive Personnel Agency), who shifted the responsibility to the CRMC (Commission for Reinforcing Management Corruption).

All parties put attorneys with support staff on retainer. Eventually the case was on the docket of local, state, and federal courts. It became such a revenue generating entity that it was declared a new business sector. Over the course of a year, the case grew to mammoth proportion and became the basis for a political platform for business reform. The Super Bowl septic tank caper was used as an example of economic development in the Super Tuesday primaries.

To this day, nobody has been declared responsible for the Super Bowl Sunday septic tank disaster. The case will be forever suspended in legal limbo, with the victims, as usual, footing the bill.

The world was stunned by the consequences of designing a home with inadequate parking, or was it for throwing a party and inviting city dwellers? Maybe it was stunned that our legal system would even accommodate such a frivolous case initiated by the super stupid on Super Sunday.

Whatever the case may be, the Super Bowl septic tank caper is definitely part of a system that none of us will ever understand.

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