There’s more

Oooh funny how the memory works. I think I must have buried this deep on account of the trauma but all this toilet talk has brought to the surface. You’ll recall how last time I related the tale of the Old Faithful poo geyser, and the fact that I ran for my life, being just a poor, defenceless child? Well, I’ve just remembered another incident, an adulthood one this, but seemingly submerged for nigh on twenty years. The thing about Old Faithful was that, horrific an explosion as it was, I think deep down I always knew we could get some startling show of jetting feculence because, well, it looked me in the eye most mornings. It was just that the final excreta eruption was so Krakatoan in its intensity as to leave one in no doubt as to the importance of putting a good distance between you and the liquid clagma

The calm before the storm

So fast forward to the year 2000-ish…and the first two-week holiday trip with Andy ergo the first time we’d need to organise a pump out. Correction, that I’d need to organise a pump out. Now I’m my father’s daughter in many respects but not when it comes to playing fast and loose with fuel reserves or cack tank capacity…Unsurprisingly I was hyper-aware of the dump through’s status, and mindful too of the first mate’s ever generous contributions. But despite my assiduity I’m afraid we were verging on ‘high tide’ by the time we hoved to at the Water Travel base at Autherley. Thankfully, the pump out machine was working – I always imagine the worst – and a nice chap set his poo pipe gurgling away. Twenty minutes later, we were in that happy boaters’ place – full of water and diesel, empty of domestic and black waste. Off we toddled towards Great Haywood, and a couple of hours later I left Andy at the helm to pay a visit.

A visit to a hire boat loo, mounted as they always were on a pedestal block atop the tank, was never a pleasant experience, legs all a dangle and cheeks compressed – a far cry from today’s reading room environment. So I was very focused on just getting in and out, thinking how relieved I was that our pump out mission had been successful..and I was relaxed, off-guard, thinking about doing the cliched spin on Tixall Wide, wondering if Andy would like a Spam sandwich for lunch, no lavatorial black dog on my shoulder. I pressed the foot pedal and oh my god, oh my good god, a poo mouse!! No, not a crap-covered rodent (now that would have been something!) but a poop of micro mammalian proportions: shaped and sized like a mouse, nosing, nay, bobbing through the flap, shrilling ‘hallooo, it’s me, I’m still here, I didn’t get vacuumed up, none of us did, your tank is jammed full of us, what are you going to do now’?

To say it caught me unawares is an understatement. I fell back in horror, prompting a fight with the shower curtain which was damp and clingy in a way that only boat shower curtains can be. But still the perky plop loomed upwards, taunting me…well half of it did as the flap had pinged back severing its tail. I didn’t wait for it to call up reinforcements though and with heart rate returning to normal I went to consult with the first mate. Andy, being a paragon of fairness and justice, immediately branded the yard useless shysters who had sucked air and suckered us out of 15 quid; I, on the other hand, always wanting to see good in people, was ready to attribute it to mechanical failure.But regardless of blame, we were still in the shit as the tank was overtopping and we were a way away from assistance. Thinking back now, I have a vague memory that we finally got emptied by Anglo Welsh at Great Haywood. But that’s quite a way to keep your legs crossed and your buttocks clenched so I may be wrong…

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