Idle Eye 93 : The Bloo Loo

Some of you may be familiar with the ignominy of dealing with the occasional nocturnal plumbing malfunction, by which I most certainly am not referring to the incessant failings of the male anatomy in its twilight years. No, last night offered me the luxury of delving deep into the cistern of my own personal lavatory to block off the overflow, thereby preventing the subsequent tsunami of waste too disturbing to contemplate in the small hours (or at any other time for that matter). Despite having the incorrect tools to hand, I managed to wedge a family-sized Toilet Duck bottle in there somehow and fiddled about with an entry-level spanner until I got bored and went to bed. No need for a tradesman’s call-out, I’m all over this one. Thank you very much.

However, this morning presented me with a couple of extra problems not traditionally associated with the more experienced plumber. For starters, my arms were indelibly stained with the remnants of a Bloo Max Loo tablet, purchased on the promise that it would give me a cascade of fresh blue water for up to two months, but failing to alert the client of its potential Smartwater association should the have-a-go hero get involved at the business end. Vigorous scrubbing at the sink only made matters worse, as semi-dissolved globs of the stuff flew up into my face and onto my person, leaving me resembling a low-rent wannabe Smurf. Oh, and I managed to smash the lav lid into three violent-looking shards due to incorrect posture in the ire of despair.

At this point, your less plucky DIYer would probably have thrown in the towel. Understandably so. But I was undeterred: A quick spruce up in the shower and a brisk march over to Plumbase was all I needed to get my spunk back. The opaque black bag I took with me contained a rather unattractive red valve spare which could well have been straight out of the Ann Summers catalogue, but I was confident it held all the clues needed to secure a healthy tank by midday. Wrong:

Me:  Good morning! I wonder if you could help me? Do you have a washer for this cistern plunger?

Plumbase:  What’s a cistern plunger, then?

Me:  Er…It’s this. It just goes into the…er…down part. You know, inside the top. And it’s leaking. I’m sure it’s perfectly simple.

Plumbase:  Is it one of ours?

Me:  I’m sorry?

Plumbase:  One of ours. Y’know, Royal Doulton, Twyford, Ideal and the like.

Me:  You mean, British?

Plumbase: Don’t stock the competition.

Me: I see. I don’t think it has a label.

Plumbase: Can’t help you then, mate. By the way, you’ve got blue all ov…

Me:  Yes, I know.

Smarting from the latent xenophobia of the high street, I returned home to do battle in the blue room. For I would say to the house, as I said to those who served in Plumbase, that I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. And Bloo Max…

4 thoughts on “Idle Eye 93 : The Bloo Loo

  1. Absolutely hillarious !and I sympathise holeheartedly with your frustrated adventures in plumbing. Only this weekend I found myself spending far too much time conceiving and preparing a variety of highly inventive, if slightly ineffective, blue peter style contraptions in the aid of unblocking my kitchen sink. After giving the popular methods,( drain unblocker, boiling water and a plunger) a go, I find myself wandering around B&Q looking for ‘a long thin bendy thing’. The bendy thing that caught my eye was, I think, a foam cable protector, kind of like a long grey willy warmer but for wires. Unfortunately when I tried to stuff it into my plumbing I discovered it was too big (ahem). Fortunately however, I managed to get it back out. No worries I thought I’ll just whittle it down.. My sculpting isn’t quite what I’d imagined it to be and after about ten minutes of furtive whittling I had a rather grotesque two metre long knobbly, tentacle like probe, but then I realised making a piece of art isn’t high on the agenda for something I’m about to shove down the drain with the express concern of dislodging whatever horrors are lurking there. Well it slithered down like an eel in hot jam while clearly not encountering any unmentionable obstructions aided in it’s Hadean descent by the rather slimy and viscous ‘Drain Unblocker’ (which had obviously not done what it said on the tin). So I let go of E.T’s protracted finger and allow it to slither back out of the pipe, aided in buoyancy by the resistance of the drain unblocker. Watching this thing slowly ooze back out of my pipe all wet and glistening reminded me of a scene in ‘Aliens’ and in that nightmarish moment I realised why plumbers charge so much.

  2. A sinister Miaowist collective was found to have occupied an innocuous Herne Hill terraced house for many years in the 1990s, entire rooms papered meticulously with images of cute li’l kitty cats.

  3. ‘Spunk back’; perfect opportunity to refer back to the smaller blue tablet from last time. Also, ‘ballcock’ is good at moments like this for comedy purposes.
    And to think people normally pay me CASH MONEY for writing advice like this…

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