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Thursday 15th September 2005

A man from Dyno Rod came over to look at my drains after last week's mini flood. It's OK, I had asked for him to come round, he didn't just turn up unexpectedly.
He seemed a very affable chap and dealt with sorting out my problem efficiently and honestly - it turned out that my drains were in pretty good shape and he surmised that the problem was with the main sewer, which hadn't been able to cope with the deluge, causing my drains to back up - but it got me thinking about what a weird and unpleasant job it must be cleaning out people's blocked drains. It's not like you're going to get called out that often and not find yourself up to your elbows in the faeces of strangers (I have always relied on the faeces of strangers). I suppose you would overcome your disgust fairly quickly (no I don't. I think you would be disgusted more and more, the more you had to do it).
The man seemed very cheerful, given his job - almost like he enjoys being up to his elbows in the faeces of strangers - in fact thinking about it, he actually looked disappointed that my drains were clean and unblocked by human effluent.
But having to tell people what you do when you meet them at parties must be embarrassing - it's akin to having to say "Yes I hold up a big sign directing people to their local piano shop" except that if that's the case people can't say to you, "Yes, I could tell by the smell."
I am not taking the piss (that's his job - that joke almost works), it's just another of those occasions when I've been complaining about my own job and then put myself in someone else's shoes (not that I'd want to do that as they almost certainly have some poo in them - this joke is better) and remember that things are pretty good. Not that sorting out people's drains isn't a job to be proud of. It's proper man's work and you get to use a big machine, which minimizes the amount of faecal matter on your shoes and elbows. But after the initial honeymoon period of enjoying using the big machine and getting sexually aroused by the sight of other people's congealed waste, I think the excitement would fade. I am a lucky man, whether my wireless network is working or not.
Even though there wasn't too much to do, I let him clean up a bit of grease with his machine (I didn't want him to have a wasted trip) and he told me that he thought I could claim for my ruined floorboards on my insurance. He told me that I needed to ring Thames Water to complain about their sewer and that if enough people did this then they might eventually send along a man in a big tanker with a massive version of the Dyno Rod man's drain cleaning aparatus, to clean all the grease and filth out of the sewer. Imagine the sexual problems of a man who works on that kind of scale!

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