Eclectic Collection

What a Waste

I don’t know what is wrong with the plumbing in this place. When I flush the loo half of what should go away, stays.

In my immediate family unit, and in the UK extension, there is a marked propensity for troublesome waterworks. I’m referring to external, not personal, systems. Plumbing, not bladders.

I must keep identities a mystery. The family will not be overflowing with gratitude if I divulge names alongside lavatory crimes. Crimes you, after reading, will be privy to.

The extent of the assorted blockages boggles the mind. I have boiled this down to two things –

  • More than half, or thereabouts, of the bog roll is pressed into service at each sitting. A big chunk of the household budget must be allocated to 2 ply purchases.
  • Water dominates their astrological chart. To the best of my knowledge, all the flagrant, repeat offenders are water signs. If not, my guess is, water is prominent as a Moon or Rising.

Writer’s block is not the issue…

One family member is so accustomed to water rising to the rim of the toilet bowl when they flush, and take hours to seep down, they say Fuck it, come downstairs, grab two recycled bags to put over one hand and arm as a double glove, and plunge the arm into the bowl and beyond to dislodge the obstruction.

A member of my overseas family has blocked their toilet so spectacularly and thoroughly the whole sewerage system rebelled. The seepage was swilling around the backyard, having burst forth from its underground quarters.

The water sign stayed upstairs in case a helicopter rescue was necessary, while an earth sign prodded the waste to redirect its flow.

I’m surprised nobody got wind of what was going on and called the poolice.

Squeaky Clean

This same water sign takes their talent wherever they go, including an overland train with an onboard facility. A neat hand basin sporting a sensor for controlling the water supply was the victim.

Whether it was too much froth and foam, or excessive hand wringing, we’ll never know. The water spout couldn’t stop spouting, and the water did not go down the plughole as it should, only up, over the edge.

What to do, what to do?

Quietly, with ladylike demure, close the door behind you, sit down as if nothing is amiss, admire your squeaky clean hands, and hope with all your might that the problem will go away.

The train clickety-clacked on the track, and from beneath the shut door a dribble of fresh (praise be) water leaked and spread and was all too soon a prolific puddle in the aisle.

The clean-hands-culprit looked as shocked and surprised as everyone else.

As I recall (I was not there), a not-guilty sibling (I do believe it was the one with scales) pulled the conductor into the afflicted carriage and brought him to the puzzling swish-sway crime scene.

I imagine the guilty party busied itself with the contents of a bag.

Water, water everywhere…

So much water gushes around me I’d be forgiven for claiming Noah ancestry and taking to trauma-building an ark.

I call this spot Little Venice when it’s been raining hard. It was built on a wetland and, come what may, the water wants its way. It gurgles past the front of the apartment, a babbling brook. It collects in ankle deep, marshy pools out back.

There was one ‘block’ that created unwanted excitement, but I was not the instigator.

The night I arrived, tired but relieved, to take occupation (way back in November 2017) I filled the kitchen sink with water, and hello, where did the running, unplugged water go?

Up into the adjacent sink.

Then I heard water plop into the pristine, newly replaced cupboard beneath the basins. I opened the cupboard doors. Water was dripping from the drainpipe and also bleeding through the back of the cupboard, staining it.

I phoned the man who had overseen all the work (and there was a lot of it) at 9 pm, woke him up and said Come here now please, this cannot wait.

He was suspiciously cheerful and relaxed and, upon seeing my crestfallen, exhausted face, surged forward, enveloping me in an un-fatherly, sympathy squeeze. I peeled away, sensing a sympathy soentjie might be next.

He told me he’d had a nip of strong spirits to help him sleep.

There he lay on my kitchen floor – drainage, investigation, and sealing underway – chatting amiably, asking for boiled water to pour down the plughole.

I demanded to know, with intimidating arch of brow, whether he was certain this water was going to fall somewhere else other than in my new cupboard, and seep elsewhere other than through my new cupboard?

Yes, it will be fine, do not fear.

The verdict? Still blocked. The solution?

The plumber he had employed to replace this portion of the plumbing must sort it out in the morning.

The plumber could not sort it out, no matter how many times he left and came back, no matter how many chemicals (blanch) and curses he sent down the pipe.

I called the cabinetmaker who had installed the kitchen units. I considered him the most professional and wanted his opinion. What exactly was going on?

The cabinetmaker was annoyed because his fine craftsmanship had been sullied. I asked him if he knew a reputable plumber who would do something other than faff around the plugholes, and solve the riddle. He did.

Willie came, and Willie conquered.

What was the problem, Willie?

Cement ‘stones’, quite a few, lodged far down the pipe. This is how I felt…


for a moment.

Then I came back into my waters and got all chilled and unruffled, allowing gratitude and relief to wash over me.

A problem resolved was the olive branch in the dove’s beak.

Dry land will yet be mine.

This week’s Happiness…

is a cheat because it occurred a few weeks ago. I forgot to tell you about it.

My youngest son said Mom, want to watch this video with me about an ancient board game?

I did want to, and we had such fun. Irving Finkel must be The British Museum’s most valuable, rare treasure. He resembles your friendly neighborhood wizard, has a mischievous, twinkling sense of humor, and his name, Irving Finkel, is superb and suits him.

Watch as he warms to his theme/game…

Twinkle, twinkle, it’s Irving Finkel

Toodle-oo, and an endless flow of love to you.

xxx ❀ TeaShell Michele

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