Friday, July 29, 2011

Toilet Humour

I’ve been terribly slack with the blog lately and for that I am truly sorry. Having made such a strong start I’ve ignored it over the past few days while interesting stories have mounted up around me. The problem with blogging is that if you’re doing activities that will make the blog interesting chances are you don’t actually have time to write the blog. I have to admit the drinking hasn’t helped either.

It has been a busy time here in Dorset. The sun has been shining on us for most of the week and it’s been fantastic being outside on the horses. Over the last few days the grooms here have kept us entertained and given us plenty to laugh about. A few days ago the toilet blocked in the grooms quarters and despite Sam making a few token efforts to unblock it the impasse remained. With Sam’s plumbing abilities stretched to their limit and Burto and I playing the ‘guest’ card and giving the whole situation a wide berth, it was time to call in the professionals.

It is well known that plumbing is one of the most lucrative and profitable trades, and from the performance of this local plumber I can understand why. After Sam and Lucy unloaded £90 on this bloke the toilet blocked again within hours. Now I’m no expert but this says one of two things to me – either (a) the plumber went home with clean hands and left the toilet in the same state he found it; or (b) the grooms need to change their diet.

Understandably, Lucy was a little gun-shy about calling the plumber back. Even though we had quite successfully kept our heads down during this whole episode, Burto and I started to develop a conscience at around the same time that Lucy – who was cooking dinner at the time – slapped down the lettuce she was chopping and said that she would go and fix it herself. It was time for Team Australia to step up and Burto – who went to boarding school and therefore knows a thing or two about blocked toilets – already had a few ideas involving a wire coat hanger. With a little help from our friends at Google we’d completed our apprenticeship and were ready to make the big bucks.

With coat hanger in hand Burto strode into the grooms quarters and up to the bowl like a trained professional. Mind you, I’ve very rarely seen a plumber in bare feet and this may have led to him failing the workplace safety aspect of his plumbing exam. All this aside, you’ve never seen a guy operate a coat hanger with such precision and finesse, and from the safe distance I was maintaining I was impressed to see him work through the dark storm clouds that were brewing to find a light at the end of the tunnel.  

Sam and I had relished the opportunity to see Burto’s second skill, and it was a real eureka moment when he achieved what £90 worth of professional plumber couldn’t. All credit to him, the guy threw himself at the task and conquered English plumbing, leaving the grooms feeling slightly embarrassed and giving us hours of dirty jokes to tell. Pleased with our efforts we headed back inside while Burto – unsure of what to do with a heavily tarnished coat hanger simply dropped it in the wash bay and followed our lead.

Everyone was happy and for a while Burto took on real superhero status. Unfortunately, the following day Sam and Lucy’s head groom was tidying the yard when she found a random coat hanger lying in a corner of the wash bay. She doesn’t live on site and so had been unaware of the plumbing adventures of the previous evening. Quite disturbingly for everyone involved – and particularly her – she dutifully picked up this coat hanger, folded it up in her hands and threw it in the bin before carrying on with her day.

Burto is no longer the favourite.

1 comment:

  1. When at University in Norfolk about 20 of us made a road trip to the Lake District, stopping part of the way at a fellow student's home. We all had tea and one by one we all used the student's water closet. This unit was a Sir Crapper 1920's classic: tank on the wall above, pull chain dangling. One after another, all the students had the chain going like a Church wedding bell until I went in. This thing immediately sussed out me as the Yank in the group and refused to flush. No amount of varied pulling would interest Sir Crapper in flushing. I finally had to admit defeat and ask the host to operate the toilet, which he of course managed in one simple pull.

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