Plumbing And Other Shit by Paul Tristram

I had to unblock the fucking toilet!
There was simply no two-ways about it, the toilet was blocked
and it had to be unblocked.
How hard can this possibly be, eh? People do this every single
day. It has been done by people ever since the toilet was
invented and blocked for the first time, the only trouble is
I’m not people, I’m me, so this was not going to be straight
forward, simple or easy, this was going to be a test.
I suffer from what’s known in the trade as ‘obsessive, compulsive
disorder’, which means, that besides being an extremely annoying
and frustrating twat at times- in my own sweet way of course-
I don’t like to touch dirty things and have to wash my hands
after touching nearly everything. Ah, relaxation’s for the dirty
So, handicapped from the start, I sat where I was and contemplated
getting started on this very disgusting, nightmarish task that lay
before me interrupting everything else that I could have done
instead, fucking with my fears, life and general well-being.
I must have eaten baby’s ears on toast and washed it down with
warm four week old kitten blood in a previous life, I’m telling you.
You wouldn’t believe the crap that I have to go through just trying
to survive this life of mine, but enough and back to thoughts of
sorting out that fucking toilet.
My wife was sat across from me on the settee, holding our two and
a half month old baby daughter. The baby was feeding off my
wife’s right breast, which was a good thing, they both had trouble
getting along with the left breast for some reason. They both ended
up a bit frustrated and a bit short of patience when feeding switched
to the left breast, but as I just said they were feeding off the right
breast, so my baby was quiet and my wife smiled over with comfort
and contentment smeared all over her, bless her.
“If you wait until the baby’s finished, I’ll go upstairs and try and do
it with one of those bamboos you use for the plants?” offered my
wife helpfully.
We  haven’t got a plunger, we haven’t even got a toilet brush.
“You can’t use a bit of old stick, it’s up around the bend just like me.
You’ll end up making a fucking dam up there, leave well alone
woman, this is a man’s job, let me sort this out, I’m forming a battle
plan right here as we speak. A job like this is not to be rushed or the
outcome could well be disastrous, I’ll sort it out in just a minute!”
I replied sagely.
“It’s just that I’ve seen my father do it with a stick before, he just
pushes it up and down and keeps flushing the chain until it clears!”
she said with a smile.
“That may well be the case, my dear, but this is the scientific age
and I’m not going anywhere near our throne with a dirty piece of
old stick. I’m off to the Spar shop to get me an eight pack of beer and
a couple of bottles of bleach, industrial strength if they’ve got it,
strong bleach also!”

The walk to the Spar shop was pleasant and easy. It was raining
heavily, which is always a good thing, it keeps the other people out
of the way.
I stopped a few houses along to look at the cacti in some blokes
window. My house had cacti in the bathroom and kitchen windows,
also in the little porch by the door, this bloke was the only other one
in the street with a fine view of cactus on offer.
I’d been in there a couple of times before, pissed up and drinking
his homebrew, he’d given me a cutting of ‘Prickly Pear’. I can not
remember his name, which is ok because I don’t intend on using it
As I stood there looking at the cactus, my eyes were suddenly drawn
down to the garden, there in the middle of the little garden was a
bath, a normal house bath with the taps still on it, it was a green
colour and it was sunk into the earth, obviously being used as a
narrow garden pond.
“How strange” I thought and on I walked.

When I got back from the Spar shop I walked into the living room to
see my wife.
“Right, I’ve got some bleach, I’m off upstairs to put it down the toilet,
if we leave it there for a few hours it should sort the problem out,
until then the toilet’s only going to take fluids I’m afraid, so anything
else is going to have to wait or we’ll use the pub on the corner!”
I explained, trying to sound like I knew what the fucking hell I was
talking about?
My wife assured me that she didn’t need to use the toilet and accepting
her wish of good luck I left the living room and climbed the stairs,
frowning and on a mission.
The bathroom lay upon the right but I took the left into the bedroom
first, dropping my Spar bag on the landing, glancing quickly over my
shoulder (Why? who knows, you can never be too careful!) and ducking
(Why? who knows, the door frame was the same height as the others in
the house?) and leaping onto the bed, I landed for a split second on my
back and then rolled expertly off the other side of the bed with a war cry.
I landed on my knees and elbows, which really was quite painful but
luckily I was distracted by my nose being an inch from my wife’s socks
of yesterday, as beautiful and wonderful as she is, her feet still smell like
the Devil’s arse just like everybody else’s.
I righted myself and grabbed the stereo from the dresser, armed with this
I entered the bathroom, grabbing the Spar bag as I passed by, I put the
stereo on the floor and pressed play, Discharge ‘The More I See, The
Less I Believe!’ came pounding out of the speakers, Yes!
I took the contents out of the Spar bag, 8 cans of Special Brew and 2
bottles of thick bleach. I opened one of each, tipping the bleach into the
toilet as I necked a can of Special Brew, down in one.
I let both empty vessels drop to the linoleum floor and belched like a
Dragon, I lit up one of the ten roll-ups I had made earlier while I had
been strategically planning this operation (OCD you see!) and cracked
open another Brew and started pacing to the music, a good punk rock
compilation will help you with any difficult task, I find. (Apart from
that time I was working up in the attic and The Damned’s ‘Smash It Up!’
came on and half of my body came through the bedroom ceiling).
I finished that can in one also and cracked open the third (this DIY shit
was fucking hard work, very taxing). The third can took five minutes and
the fourth and fifth cans took twenty minutes respectively.
Then it was time for the second bottle of bleach, the first one didn’t look
like it had done much and I was getting tired of pissing in the sink. I had
refused to piss in the toilet out of principle and because of my OCD but
the splash back was getting a little too annoying for my OCD and my
fucking principles.
I didn’t like the idea of pissing in the bath, I’d only ever done that once
before and that was an accident at a party, I was pissing into the toilet but
was so drunk that I fell sideways- cock in hand and in mid flow- into the
bath.  My misses said that it looked like the God’s had flipped me over for
fun and that I went arse over tit in the middle of a big yellow halo of piss.
I opened can number six and took a long gulp of it, then lit up my eighth
roll-up, staring down into the toilet with contempt. I flushed the chain for
the first time and the water came right up the bowl to the rim and stayed
there for a good ten minutes before it started to drop again.
I pulled my mobile out of my waistcoat pocket and phoned my mate
Barney and asked him if he still had that industrial fire extinguisher that
had fell off the back of a lorry? He replied in the affirmative and said he’d
be around in half hour while assuring me that my plan of putting the hose
into the blockage and bursting through to the other side (Pretty good,
pretty neat!) was a sound plan.
I was half way through can number seven when my wife entered the arena,
“Tracy just phoned and told me yours and Barney’s plan!” she said
shaking her head.
“But she’s not letting him drive over until he sleeps or can actually tie his
bootlaces up by himself. He’s been in the pub all day, you’re looking
tired too and your colours gone from your face. I think you need a lay down
also, honey?”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right, baby. I am feeling a bit dizzy, I think it’s the
fumes from the bleach or something?” I replied.
“Yes, I’m sure that’s what it is!” she smiled and walked to the stereo and
pressed the stop button, took the nearly empty can out of my hand, then
led me to the bedroom and I collapsed onto the bed, she pulled off my
skate trainers and said,
“You have an hour, baby. I’m going to get the vegetables ready for dinner,
I’ll come and wake you then.”
I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep quickly, it was a deep sleep and I
didn’t stir until I felt her caressing my face and whispering,
“Baby, it worked, you fixed the toilet. You are so fucking clever, I’m such
a lucky woman to have you. Is there nothing that you can’t do?”
I kissed her once, then sat up on the edge of the bed, pulled one of the two
remaining roll-ups out of my pocket and lit it up whilst saying proudly
“I knew it would work, it’s all just a matter of science you see, my love!”
She sprang off the bed smiling and said,
“I’m going down to check on the meat. Hurry, baby, we’re watching ‘Rumble
Fish’ with dinner.”
I walked to the bathroom, pulled out my cock and pissed into the unblocked
toilet, admiring how clean it looked, “must be all the bleach” I thought to
myself. Just as I was shaking the drips, my roll-up fell out of my mouth and
rolled behind the toilet, after buttoning up I went down onto my knees and
whilst retrieving the roll-up my fingers touched something wet.
I pulled it into view, it was a dripping piece of bamboo just like the ones I
use for my plants. I put it back where I had found it, re-lit my roll-up and
walked down the stairs giggling to myself.

sam's town 2

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!



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