Sunday, November 18

parties, pints, pipes and plungers

For a while there I stopped mentioning beer on this blog, while some of the readership was drying out. On the way to an xtieth birthday party last weekend, the cellmate suggested, without prompting, that I pick up some weissbier to make the celebrations bearable for myself. She can be a sweetie. Weihenstephaner was on special, at only 6 times the price they charge in Bavaria.

There were only about 20 people there, quite human mostly, so the party turned out to be only mildly unbearable, and I didn't need to open the weissbier, or even get it out of the car. And so tonight I've just poured myself one, as a reward for my hard work on the blocked sewer. But even after several hand washes I've had to forgo the usual salted nuts and nibbles on sanitary/olfactory grounds.

It all began a few weeks ago, with the plumber who put in the new toilet. He has a bit of an anger management problem. He flooded the floor a couple of times, and though it wasn't his fault he went spare each time. You'd think a plumber would be used to spillages, but no: each time, he was wailing and shouting and throwing things. He seemed on the verge of tears.

Then at one point he announced, almost proudly, that he had just dropped a bit of the old sink drainpipe through the hole in the floor, and down into the sewer. He said "I'll need to get it out - can't leave something like that down there". A few minutes later, I went back to ask if I could help. He said no, he had got the pipe out already. I knew it wouldn't be possible to fish it back out through the wee hole, so I said "I suppose you had to reach around through the big (toilet) hole, eh?" At that point he wasn't too sure which hole he'd used. That's when I realised he'd decided just to leave the pipe down there.

The next day, the stench started in the garden, and today I finally got around to opening up the vents at the downhill end of the garden. They were already bulging and popping their rivets under the pressure from below. I'll spare you the details.

I'm pleased to say that the heavy duty plunger that I made out of an old coffee tin and a pole, is exactly the same bore as the vertical shafts above the sewer, and works beautifully, like a giant bicycle pump.

I've cleared the downhill blockage, but there seems to be another blockage back up towards the house.

As a last resort I'm preparing a bathful of soda, for skooshing down into the pipes. If I still have to call the plumber tomorrow, at least I'll know I've given it my best shot. I could enjoy calling the same guy back to deal with his mess, but sometimes it's smarter just to write something off and move on.

I may have told you before of the couple I know who would love to renovate their home, but have chosen not to, purely to avoid having to deal with New South Caledonian tradesfoIk. And I know a guy who bought a second-hand cement mixer to keep in his garden, just in case his house ever needs concreting. So he could do it himself instead of relying on an NSC professional.

Last night I wisely dodged the xtieth (minus 10) birthday party of the grand chief deifheid. I'm in the doghouse of course, but it would have been four hours of finger food with earplugs! Dearie me. The things some people will do just to avoid sitting quietly at home doing nothing!


  1. Sounds like an awful lot of excitement you don't need.

    I wouldn't bother with that plumber again. I find it sad that folks have no pride in doing a job properly.

    Hope you get things sorted. What a mess.

  2. I say!

    What a wonderful story. Full of human interest, etc.

    I understand that in Jockland they imported several thousand Polish people to do all the work that the Jocks are too bone idle to do. Perhaps you could suggest this solution to your chief.

    MM III

  3. Albert? What larks! You were certainly in your element there! I would have called the fire brigade. Just shows how well the toilet training worked and is still working! Hotboy

  4. Nanners. A life empty of all excitement seems very appealing.

    What a racial slur Mingers! Surely even the most bone idle Jock will at least dig holes and brew beer?

    Hotters. The fire brigade where you live must be multiskilled. Hereabouts they wouldn't bother turning out, unless you can tell me how to start a fire in the drain.