tanked (haibun series)

It’s been a really wet year, and relying on tank water as we do it’s frustrating to see the tanks overflowing – all that water we can’t store just running down into the gullies! So having talked about it for months, and with the La Nina starting to fade away, we’ve finally bought another tank.

It was delivered on Monday. It has a capacity of 23kl, is 4m in diameter, and weighs about 400kg. Looks big, doesn’t it? But my husband assured me they always look bigger on the truck than on the ground…

Do things look bigger

on the back of the truck, or

after they fall off?

Seeing it arrive, I was a bit dubious about our ability to get it into place on the south side of the house under the overflow of the main (90kl) tank. But, we generally seem to manage these things – levers, pulleys, rollers and slides… we’ve used them all to move things around. So how hard could it be??

Well, I don’t have any photos of the next bit, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

First, the truck driver manoeuvres around a bit until he’s in a good position to be able to tip the tank off into the flat area in front of the house, and get out again afterwards. The flat area is sort of a saddle, with the land falling away to north and south. That will be important shortly.

Perched on the saddle –

a stable topography?

A lie of the land.

The way to unload the tank, the driver explains, is to just… push it off. So, truck driver, one son, husband, me (left to right), all line up at the far side of the truck as seen in the photo above. Things went fine at first – we pushed, the tank slid… but then we couldn’t reach to push it any further. And of course we were all pushing really low down, because (did I mention this?) the bloody thing is 4m tall when on its side. So it’s not going to tip the way we want it to until it starts to topple as it’s going over the edge.

The tank slides easily, and when we’ve pushed it as far as we can from ground level, truck driver and son leap like kangaroos onto the back of the truck before husband and I have even figured out how to climb up. And they both immediately start pushing again, still close together near one side. I don’t have any photos of the next bit. It was a bit… busy.

So, the tank slides and turns (because they’re pushing close together at one side!), and rolls off the truck and does not tip and land on its base. No, it comes down on its edge and bounces towards my car and the house, then starts to roll away downhill to the north and towards the dam. At this point you have to imagine a soundtrack as well – something befitting a comic chase scene with added yelling and swearing – as we all ran after the tank. (Did I mention it was 4m high with a mass of 400kg?)

The high roller leaves,

making good an escape, but

pursuit closes in.

We did catch up to the bloody thing before it got too far down the hill and landed in the dam, and by some miracle managed to stop it without anyone getting rolled over and flattened.

So then we rolled it back up the hill until we ran it into the tree on the north side of the house – the one in the far left of the first picture. And that’s where it is now, still on its edge and tied to the tree so it doesn’t escape again. It’s been there most of a week now.

But it’s amazing how quickly you can stop noticing something. Honestly, I hardly even see it when I walk out the front door now. And the inlet is just the right height for yelling into. Sort of like the goose girl and the stove pipe – I can tell my troubles to the tank. And at 23kl, it should be able to hold plenty of them. Starting with “how the fuck are we going to move this fucking tank?”.

Form defines function.

(But the orientation’s

also important).

…and I’m not convinced it looked bigger on the truck.


Filed under poem, prose

26 responses to “tanked (haibun series)

  1. What a tale! Tanked indeed!

  2. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 You’ve nicked this script from Laurel and Hardy. Tell the truth now. If this is only your back up tank the other one must be gi-bloody-normous!

    • The main tank is 90kl, but as volume goes like r-squared it’s diameter is only about twice as big as this. But yes, it’s really big.
      I think the truck driver was relieved that we laughed instead of getting angry. He seemed a bit shocked, and said it had never happened to him before. Although he had unloaded a bigger tank than this onto a dog once. The dog survived – it was under the concave bit in the base, and was found eventually and released.

  3. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #5: anotherKate’s latest #haibun #sequence!

  4. Kate, I’m afraid it looked significantly smaller on the truck. But you’ll get it moved around to where it belongs!

  5. Oh my, what an adventure. I’m thinking if you can plop it down on a row of long round fenceposts you can slowly roll it to where it needs to be. I’m amazed you could get it back up the hill! Good luck with the project, Kate.

    • I’m sure we’ll manage. My main worry is that we’ll lose control of it going down the hill to the south and it will disappear into a gully. I don’t really want to go chasing it down the hill on the other side of the house as well. 😀

  6. I enjoyed your tankless task aghast and with a laugh. How easy it is to relate to a runaway story with humour when in fact the whole thing has been a shit experience for someone else. I guess that is something that keeps us sane. Good luck with the second attempt.

  7. Kate, this was so funny! I loved the developing story and could see myself there offering advice too. The photos helped my visualization greatly. You nailed it!🌹

  8. Pingback: Tanked II (haibun series) | anotherKate

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