I can usually count on Connie (or, ‘Khann-ie’ as she pronounces with her WisKhansin accent) to make me laugh when my comedy account is overdrawn and I’m on deadline for a column.
“Pam Stone!” she always exclaims, as soon as I darken the feed store doors for the tenth time that week because, along with my routine hay and grain order, I manage to forget and return for either fly spray, vet wrap, a lead rope or my keys.
“Khaaaan-ie!” I return, trumping her enthusiasm, as if we both have just announced each other’s presence on stage.
“So, are you get a swimming pool?” she asked, as we stood outside in front of the array of livestock products displayed and spilling into the parking lot.
“What are talking about?” I replied.
“Stock yard water tanks!” she said, as if begrudging the obvious. “It’s the latest big thing, everybody’s installing them as swimming pools.”
“What?” I said, still too thick to take it in, “That’s ridiculous. Do people get them for their dogs, or something?”
Connie snorted with exasperation and then spoke very slowly and deliberately, throwing me buoys of vowels to cling to in order to follow her explanation.
“I’m talking the big, round water tanks, the three hundred gallon galvanized kind,” she said. “They’re like, two feet deep and eight feet across.”
“Eight feet?” I scoffed. “I wouldn’t even be able to straighten my legs in something that’s just eight feet across."
Undeterred, Connie persisted. "I’m telling ya, people are turning them into jacuzzis, they’re building decks around them, they’re digging holes and dropping them in the ground and landscaping waterfalls to go into them.”
“I don’t believe it,” I countered, “you’re just trying to sell me a giant water trough. And besides, galvanized metal is hot as hell to the touch when the sun is beating on it—why would anyone try to cool themselves off in a broiling hot, galvanized crock pot?”
“I give up,” Connie declared, throwing up her hands. “Google it. Google it yourself. Stock yard water tanks. You’ll see.”
“I will,” I sniped back, and promptly got into my truck to drive away, only to return in forty five seconds, having forgotten to buy hoof hardener for Forrest.
But when I returned home, I admit that I couldn’t wait to google these water tanks. And while I hate to admit it, she was right! There they were, minutes after (windstream) I typed in ‘images, stockyard water tanks:’ silver galvanized tubs just as I had been told, with stacked rock walls surrounding their perimeter, or with teak decking enclosing them, and yes, dropped neatly into the ground and made to appear as a garden water feature with flagstones and bedding plants installed all the way around. They were rustic, yet tasteful and quite appealing.
Khannie! Guess what? I’m getting a swimming pool!
Reach PAM STONE at firstname.lastname@example.org.