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Play...The Pipes of Poo
Monday morning was full of yogic goodness. Monday afternoon was full of poo. This is the hand life has dealt me. The spiritual and the earthy must find ways to coexist. Especially when they live on a boat together.
As you will know, we have a tank where all our waste goes. There is a dial by the loo that tells you when the tank is reaching critical mass. When this happens we have to pay an ex-trawler man quite a lot of money to drive our boat round to the pump out station and empty it. We could do it ourselves, but we would have to learn to drive the boat, which we haven’t done yet.
Even if we could drive it under normal circumstances, the marina we live in is very tightly packed and there is a good chance we might accidentally crash into another boat. Someone on the marina is still paying off the damage to three boats from when their boat decided not to play nicely. We fear that. Even if you’re an ex-trawler man you still need good, calm weather to drive a barge successfully. We are now officially into the bad, choppy weather part of the year, which means that once the tank is full we are stuck having to run to the marina buildings every time we need the loo.
All of this was proving very stressful to us until Jason had the idea to buy an extremely long poo pipe from the people who make pump out machinery. After weeks of calls and measuring and negotiations we took delivery of forty metres of pipe and assorted valves on Tuesday morning. It could not have come at a more fortuitous time as our warning dial was in the red zone. Jason kept singing Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins, which seemed appropriate at all kinds of levels.
We spent about an hour unwinding and assembling the pipe and then about an hour suctioning poo through the pipe, emptying it, cleaning it and stowing it away. Next time it will be quicker because we know what we’re doing and won’t have to assemble everything. In case you were wondering, it gets flushed out with hose and river water when we’re done and it is kept on the roof of the boat.
It was a grim operation that really gave me a new appreciation for Joseph Bazalgette and all his ways. Plumbing is something that should never be taken for granted. It should be cherished. Should I ever own a bricks and mortar house again, I will be sure to make a small shrine for whichever saint/god is in charge of sanitary ware and general plumbing.
There were many things I found troubling things about the poo pipe, not least of which that it is a pipe to transport poo. I question why they made it out of brown plastic, to make it more faeces friendly? Also and most troubling of all was that there was a small, perspex window that you could watch your poo swilling around and zipping back and forth and really, why would you want to do that?
Despite all this trauma, the poo pipeline has revolutionised our life. No more waiting for good weather to pump out. No paying anyone to drive the boat and no worrying about having to wee in the marina in a crisis. What a boon.