“I hope you have a horrible vacation.”

That was the last thing I heard when I left work last Wednesday.

I take my vacation in late October every year so I can enjoy Missouri’s beautiful autumns. Or at least, with the intent to do so. So far every year I planned to go hiking, floating, or caving. So far every year I don’t.

I used my first day of vacation taking my daughter back to the doctor and then took about three hours snaking our sewer drain. I was stuck in the classic conundrum between spending my vacation time unplugging the sewer, or spending my vacation money hiring a plumber.

It turns out I had to do both.

But as they say, things can always be worse. For instance, you could wake up at 5 in the morning with a scary problem and, after canceling your float trip, spend your next two beautiful November days in the hospital getting stabbed in the belly and starved and depilated. For the uninformed, depilated means, “removing hair,” as in, “getting your chest hair ripped out.”

But it wasn’t all bad; I got to learn a lot about my roommate’s bladder. At 12 in the morning. And at 1. And at 3.

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