I spent a fair chunk of yesterday working on one of my most favourite jobs.
For the last few weeks the anticipation has been building as the hints that something was amiss were becoming more frequent and more urgent. Things reached a point yesterday when the alarm bells rang and I realised that while they say it may be better to travel than to arrive, that I had, in fact, arrived .
Time to clean out the sewers again.
This is a job I have to do maybe once a year. Up until about a decade or so ago, there wasn’t a problem but then something changed. One theory is that we got the bathroom redone a while back including one of those “water saver” toilet cisterns. Maybe it just doesn’t have the oomph to clean the pipes thoroughly after a good crap? The other theory is that maybe my cooking has improved to the point where it makes enemas redundant. Neither us us have suffered from constipation in a very long time.
I confess there are some downsides to the job. There is the necessity to run a hose through the house without spilling water all over the place. The is the hacking, weeding and tree felling that has to be done before I can even get into the back yard and then there is of course that distinct odour that permeates everywhere and everything.
Anyhows I felled a couple of ash trees that were growing there and ripped tons of ivy off the back door so I could open it, and I set to work.
I won’t go into the details of the process as it is the stuff of nausea and dry vomiting but there is one thing that I really look forward to. That is the moment when all my poking and prodding of the gelatinous mass bears fruit and it all goes merrily sailing down the pipes with the most wonderful sound.
It’s the sound that intrigues me. It’s very difficult to describe. It’s a sort of slurpongongong noise with the most amazing echo that reverberates around the system. I can only describe it as the most hollow sound I know as it sounds like a plunger entering a vast cavernous pit of hell. If I didn’t know better I would swear the house is built over a cave system rivalling the Carlsbad Caverns. In reality it’s probably the hole that the neighbours draw their pumped water supply from but that doesn’t diminish the magic of the sound.
One of these years I must record it. Maybe I can programme a music synthesiser to use it as the base sound. I could produce wonderful symphonies and concertos all based on the sound of the sewage system. Offenbach’s “Orpheous in the Underworld” could take on a whole new life? Mendelssohn’s “Fingal’s Cave” could resonate in its full glory?
Damn! Why didn’t I think of that yesterday?
Now I can’t wait for the toilet to start backing up again.