Before I moved into my new house, I had this worry that the place was built on top of a sewer manhole. My anxiety was caused by some innacuracies on an ancient map of the grounds and by the presence of a trapdoor in the hallway, leading to a spooky crawlspace under the house. Well, the mystery was resolved on Sunday …
It began earlier in the weekend, with me noticing the toilet filling up dangerously close to the rim every time I flushed it. So, I checked the two manholes out back. The one farthest from the house was clean as a whistle. But as for the one that peeks out from under the kitchen extension, oh my!
A phrase from the Vincent Price voiceover on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” came to mind: “The funk of forty thousand years.” Or more correctly, half a metre squared of old human excrement (mine was still up the submerged pipe, somewhere inside the house). Suddenly the bad smells in the bathroom all made sense.
My uncle came to the rescue with these big rubber poles that you can screw onto one another. We put about twenty feet up the pipe and shoved and shoved, with the power hose going, all the while running the taps to try and soften everything up into chocolate milkshake. My aunt had to walk to the other side of the garden at one point, the stench was so bad.
After about half and hour, the stuff started to come through, and lo and behold, a thick plastic bag arrived out of the pipe. What kind of moron would ever shove such a thing down the loo? I’d say there was at least half a year’s worth of crap built up before I took over.
The worst part was when the level went down far enough for you to see the pipe, then all my lighter coloured fresher poo came flying out, along with wads of toilet paper that threatened to block everything again. I had to reach in and scoop a load of this out before it went underground again. Oh, what a day!
Anyhow, it’s all over now, and I was never so glad to get a shower. At least now I know for sure where the sewage goes, and I didn’t even need to get into the crawlspace.
You didn’t want to know any of that, did you? But you have to admit, it is pretty funny.