I miss the opportunity to become rich, due to an unfortunate incident with some turds.

“Ram it in harder!” urges the LTLP.

I thrust with all my might, but the drain rod remains ineffectual. My heart sinks a little at this, as it seems obvious that I am going to have to use Plan B, and to be honest Plan B appeals about as much as being rushed into hospital with lethal tropical penis-rot to discover that prior to each operation the surgeons like to help the patient relax by performing a karaoke duet of Deep Blue Something’s ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’

Ten minutes later, I am lying on the ground beside the drain, groping around with my hand to try to break up a Hoover-dam of solidified turd.

I have rigged up a clever system to protect myself from the turds – a bin bag wrapped around my arm up to the elbow, and sealed around there with strong tape. I am quite pleased with my ingenuity.

A little later I will discover that bin bags contain loads of funny microperforations. It is quite clever really – they are tiny, tiny holes that you can’t see with the naked eye and that do not let refuse leak out, but that allow the passage of e.g. turd juice and aromas inwards, up the arm, under the fingernails etc.

I console myself by thinking that it is at least not so bad when they are your own turds, or those of the LTLP, or all the people who have visited you for the past few weeks.

Scrabbling away with my arm in the sewage, I am distracted by a voice.

“Hello, would you like to enter the lottery for the Air Ambulance?” says the voice.

I look up to see the Air Ambulance Man, with a clipboard and a pen. “Five minutes of your time,” he reassures.

I hesitate. I do like to support the Air Ambulance, which I normally do by the means of saying things like ‘I do like to support the Air Ambulance’ in casual conversation. He waves his clipboard at me. I would like to explain that I would be delighted to, but filling in a form is currently impractical due to me scrabbling away at solidified turds, within a bin bag that is gradually filling up with distasteful matter.

“I’d be delighted to,” I say. “But I am currently scrabbling away at solidified turds, within a bin bag that is… well, try Short Tony next door,” I say.

To his credit, the Air Ambulance Man accepts this cheerfully, giving no indication that should I ever need their services they will eject me at a random point over the North Sea, the last thing I ever hear being a cheerful refrain of ‘Yooou sayyyy… we have nothing in commm-onn…’

“I’ll head next door then,” he replies.

The Air Ambulance Man heads next door. I continue with my scrabbling around, my arm both cold and worryingly warm. Suddenly there is a breakthrough and the barrier of turds shifts and then implodes, causing a week’s blockage to hurtle through into the septic tank. I slowly withdraw my arm and stand, dripping yet triumphant.

Two weeks later, Short Tony knocks on my door. He has won over a thousand pounds on the Air Ambulance lottery.

15 Comments

  1. Where’s there’s muck there’s brass.

  2. At the start, when the LTLP was urging you to ram it in harder, I thought you were talking about sex! Honestly, what are you like?!?

  3. Good Lord man – could you not locate a bendy stick to prod at the blockage for an ineffectual but significantly more enjoyable ten minutes beforehand?
    Or do that thing with the squirty hose where it all splashes back down your trousers and shoes?
    When you have had as much experience as I have with septic tanks, you’ll get the hang of it.

  4. Good Lord, Tim. I am writing about sewage here WHICH IS WHERE YOUR MIND IS AT.

    I tried a poky stick, Pete. God knows I tried a poky stick.

  5. No no no. Proper de-turding is done by at least an hour (preferably unobserved) using a variety of sizes and shapes of pointy sticks in creative ways (think of it as plumbing performance art). This should be accompanied by lots of narrative about how difficult it all is, how technical one is being in the choice and application of pointy sticks and what flippin’ hard work has been done for the past hour.

    Follow this by another hour of recuperation which is usually called ‘thinking over the problem’ and involves rather a lot of alcohol.

    Then announce that there’s nothing for it but to call a plumber, at which point you can sit around watching another bloke with a bin-bag-clad arm rooting around in your turd collection [that’s not what I meant, Tim!] and offering helpful suggestions.

  6. Do not fall into the the trap (or any other part of the drainage system for that matter) of thinking that Short Tony has won the lottery simply by buying “your” ticket Jonny, which I’m sure would not have triumphed had you bought it yourself. It takes luck to win a lottery, and on the basis of this, and many a previous post, you do not strike me as any overly lucky man……

  7. I have a set of drain rods complete with a range of attachments for the digging, burrowing, scooping out of turds. Never used them though. Ah well, at least you weren’t up to your neck in shit, just your armpit.

  8. So you were up to your elbows in shit, not winning substantial cash prizes, and with the added bonus of perhaps one day being dropped out of a helicopter into the sea like some Argentinian trade unionist’s pastier, overweight doppelgänger. Truly, the Lord is merciful, but He is also just…

  9. The vets use those enormously long gloves when they have an arm up a cows bum. Lestway i think they do.

  10. Did you remember to apply some vaseline to each nostril to prevent inhaling those ‘sweet’ fumes ?

  11. Sorry – I have spent several days now considering Megan’s ‘rooting around in your turd collection’ phrase.

  12. You messed up, didn’t you?

  13. Even with a leakless bin bag – and I doubt they exist – one can still feel things, which is most unpleasant.
    You’ve quite put me off my tea now.

  14. Me too – and I got sausages out of the freezer for tonight!

  15. It’s nice to have found your blog again. I used to read it a long time ago, when I had a rather self indulgent and humourless blog of my own. I think your blog had a different name back then. I googled the two things about your blog I did remember ‘johnny’ and ‘ltlp’

    I think I’ve missed your rather unique take on things, it’s like rediscovering and old friend. A friend who doesn’t actually know you but a friend nonetheless.

    That said, not a very savoury story for me to come back and find.

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