“So here’s the inspection hatch,” I demonstrate. “And the chamber is under the garden there.”

The man inspects the inspection hatch. I allow my gaze to wander across the garden. It is a nice garden. The nearly-new lawn, the carrstone walling, the stench of human faeces. We chat a little about the mechanics of drainage.

“Unfortunately, it is backing up into the house,” I report. “Which has made the washing machine unpleasant.”

He makes some notes on a piece of paper. I shiver a little. Like thousands of people, I have had the lurgee, and it is proving impossible to shift.

“We are talking a reasonable sum, I’m afraid,” he says kindly. “We can get a mini digger through there, and then we’ll need a small dump truck to take everything away.”

“How appropriate,” I reply.

There is more talk about single and dual chamber systems. It is amazing what you learn as you go through life. We agree that he will send me a written quote. Having been watching BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ and learning lots from their negotiation techniques, I tell him that I am desperate and please would they get it done as soon as possible.

“So did you have a good Christmas?” he asks on his way out.

14 thoughts on “I lead the man to the back of the Cottage.

  1. alan.sloman says:

    A few sniffles over Christmas? Poor JonnyB.
    I have been depressed, really depressed. But now you are back from deserting your readers I am happy again.

  2. ajb1605 says:

    I’m waiting eagerly to see how Ivan works “full of shit” into his comment!!!

  3. tillylil says:


  4. spazmo says:

    On the bright side, your new washer-toilet hybrid should come in very handy this flu season.

  5. Sorry to disappoint, AJB, but I’ll restrict myself to noting that this blog has been full of it for years and Jonny’s never felt the need to fix that smell. I suspect an element of karma in play, here…

  6. Brennig says:

    I guess it’s a shit job but someone’s got to do it…

  7. Richard says:

    Glad that this bug has no respect for celebrity. Happy New Year

  8. guyana gyal says:

    What [and how much] did you eat for Christmas?

  9. manon says:

    my job involves reading hundreds of blogs every day and i have to say i can’t even hear the bloody word ‘blog’ anymore. but this one truly made my day. please don’t stop writing. (at least not until i have another job)

  10. Pat says:

    How horrid! The back up and the lurgy are connected for sure. Look out for the children and surely that should be reason enough for them to fix it pronto. Get Public Health involved.

  11. sablonneuse says:

    Perhaps I could send you our favourite drain clearer. Hie name is Monsieur Folletete (Madhead) and he really enjoys his job. I remember the day he took delight in describing how a young child had blocked the family drains with a huge turd. . . . . .

  12. JonnyB says:

    Folletete? Really?

    That’s brilliant!

  13. JonnyB says:

    Manon – your job involves reading hundreds of blogs every day?!?

    I can’t work out whether that is a great job or a horrific one.

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