One morning after I have left the house for work, the Other One (with nothing better to do obviously )peers from an upstairs window and notices that there is someone lurking in the front garden. Two someones, in fact. One is our neighbour, and the other is an unknown man dressed in a farmer’s weeds, to put it quaintly.
The Other One clatters down the stairs and out of the front door to inquire what they are doing. They seem to be peering at the ground, and the farmer-sort-of-person has some drain rods in his hand. They look up.
“Trouble with ‘cesspit,” they say.
“What sort of trouble?” The Other One asks.
The farmer points into a gaping manhole. The Other One peers in, and wishes he hadn’t. He’s faced with a distasteful soup of unmentionables floating in…well…an unmentionable soup….
There follows much discussion, interceded by various proddings at the pipes below with the aforementioned set of drain rods.
The farmer stands back and shakes his head woefully.
“We need a new septic system,” says the neighbour dolefully.
The Other One steps forward.
“Here,” he says, “let me have a go.”
This is clearly not what they expect him to say. After all, his hair is white, and he’s clearly over sixty. Apart from which, he looks like the type who wouldn’t gets his hands dirty. But there are things in The Other One’s history that people, on the whole, do not know. Such as a nine month gestation period as a fully-fledged drain-layer on Jersey, an island awash with septic tanks and cesspits.
The farmer again shakes his head.
“It won’t shift,” he repeats, gazing down at a particularly unpleasant-looking wodge of goo which seems to be blocking the system.
Somewhat reluctantly the farmer leaves the drain rods with the New Boy and sets off back to the multiple demands of the farm. The neighbour, also, scuttles back to the warmth of her house, leaving The Other One…well…to rod. Expertly. And to clear the drain entirely with an extra little help from the garden hose. Levels checked a couple of hours later, and by the time I arrive home, he declares the drainage system clean and “good as new”. Think I might set him up in a new business. Only, he’s adamant that not only is he retired, but also he’d much rather listen to his new wife, his Gibson Les Paul 70’s Tribute, than me.
Still, when ever I flush the loo, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet spring to mind. Suddenly Pooh Sticks have taken on a whole new meaning…