My husband’s been at it all weekend and now needs help!

4th July 2017

What to do with twelve bin sacks, two wheelie bins, and seven black plastic dust bins ALL full of sewage?

It was Sunday the F1 racing had finished when the call came through, “My husband’s been at it all weekend and now needs help”. I thought this could be interesting so agreed to go there and then.

Arriving at a middle house in a terrace of houses with relatively small enclosed rear gardens in a really nice area, the lady opened the door before I even knocked informing me that he was round the back.

I opened the 6 foot rear gate to be met by an unbelievable sight, a guy in his 40s, wearing what can best be described as a black plastic apron, over jeans and a yellow tee shirt, yellow marigold gloves and flip flops – holding a yellow kitchen bucket and looking into a manhole half full of sewage, and he was absolutely covered in the stuff, he’d obviously had an itch on his cheek because he had a finger mark of it there too. But the unusual thing was that he was surrounded by two wheelie bins, seven black plastic dustbins, and at least a dozen plastic bin sacks… all full of sewage…. and a set of brand new plastic drain rods.

Trying not to laugh I asked him what had happened? He just shook his head and looked very sheepish. His wife, standing on the doorstep proceeded to explain that they’d had drain problems during the week and Saturday morning was when he decided to start, and he’d been at it ever since. He’d bought some drain rods but couldn’t find the outlet of the manhole so had decided to bail out the contents into black bin sacks, on filling these he’d then continued into the wheelie bin, then the other wheelie bin, but still couldn’t find the bottom of the manhole.

He then explained how he’d bought 3 plastic dust bins from B&Q and filled them, he’d then returned to B&Q for 4 more which he’d then also filled…

At this point I thought I’d better ask the obvious question, “Did you not realise that the entire terrace drains into this manhole, and the more you bail out the more comes in from the other properties?” The look on his face was priceless as he realised, and the look on that of his wife’s was one of disdain and anger”.

I had a quick look in the manhole and commented, “I’m almost certain there will be an interceptor or U bend at the outlet, let me just get something from the van”.

I returned carrying a six foot drain rod with a 6” plunger, inserted it into the bottom of the manhole and gave it one single hard push……… The guy was squatting on his haunches watching closely…. and with a loud glug the level of the manhole immediately dropped and the contents disappeared… He just rolled back looking up at the sky for what seemed like many minutes…

He eventually looked at me with his dirty face and tear filled eyes and said “I just don’t bloody believe it”, I couldn’t resist coming back with “It’s 25 years of experience that’s all”

He then asked “How am I going to get rid of all this lot? will the Council or Yorkshire Water take it away do you think, or would you take it? – I’ll pay you!” For a millisecond I thought, that would be 4 loads at £** – easy money – but then my ‘natural generosity’ kicked in and I replied, “I’m sure Yorkshire Water will take it, shall we send it to them?”

“How he asked?”…..

He soon realised as I emptied all the bins, wheelie bins and plastic bins sacks into the manhole and both of us took great pleasure in watching it all disappear into the main sewer!

Wondering what sort of person would get themselves into this mess I thought I’d better ask him what he did for a living…. He didn’t get chance to reply before his wife sneered, and snarled, “You wouldn’t believe it but he’s a bloody school teacher!”…..

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