Down the Drain

On December 23, 2015 I posted a story about the turtles I ended up adopting. These are the same turtles.

When I left KVHS (a school of 1900) to BRHS (a school of 300) the turtles went with me. I arrived with 4 and, a few years later, ended up with 2 more. And they were growing in size.

I had a large aquarium for them which was positioned on a wide, castored desk in the physics lab. I was also running two filters full-time but it was a losing battle. I needed to change the water and clean the tank and filters on a weekly basis. This was not a job I looked forward to.

On this particular morning I decided to clean the tank before school began. Normally it would take me the better part of a half hour to do so, but I was determined to cut that time in half.

I placed the turtles in a cardboard box and then wheeled the desk to the nearest lab bench. I managed to lift the aquarium up onto the bench. I then titled one end of the tank upward and proceeded to pour the filthy, green water into the sink. I filled the sink up with the disgusting mess, waited for the level to drop then added more. I was rather pleased with myself – I figured I would have the job done in less than 15 minutes.

After the majority was poured out of the tank I was getting ready to do a rinse. An announcement for the custodian then came on the speaker:


The home ec. lab was located beneath the physics lab. I thought to myself, I wonder what’s going on down there? It’s too early for a student to have thrown up.

Less than 2 minutes later, Ashley Milburn was at my door. “WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING, STOP NOW.”

Uh-Oh, I thought to myself.

Apparently, as I was pouring the bulk of the turtle water into the sink, the clean-out plug in the plumbing trap let go. There were no floor tiles beneath the lab bench. Slimy, green, putrid water had seeped through the floor and was falling down into the room below. Fortunately, the teacher had move her desk a few days earlier or the sludge would have landed on it.

I don’t recall how much air freshener Ashley ended up using or how many ceiling tiles needed to be replaced. I do recall avoiding the home ec. Lab for several weeks.

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