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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Come gulp some sludge with me!


Top o' the Range, we called him --
that being his term for
the sludge gulper he drove... that's right,
the very one he drove
on to the playground on
that never-to-be-forgotten day
to open up the cesspit
for essential maintenance.
(The submerged pumps were playing up.)
An hour it took before:
the pit gulped dry;
the maintenance work done;
the cesspit covered up;
he and his merry crew
had doffed their caps and gone their way --
long before the first small child appeared.

Two day later -- thereabouts --
the janitor appeared:
Have you taken my blue bucket sir,
at all, at all?

I hadn't. Not at all!
The fairies must have had it then, he said.

Another two days and the pumps have stopped --
not playing now, they're on a total strike.
The sludge gulper returns,
the pit is soon sucked dry...
and there, among the workings of the pumps,
much mangled, the remains,
a janitor's once pride and joy,
the former shiny bucket.

It took a lot of squeezing,
but one by one they squeaked, the crew,
until we had the tale.
Top o' the Range,
leaning over the cesspit to instruct his men:
lost his false teeth,
commandeered the bucket and a rope,
had somehow fished them up
Can't be doing without them, he'd said, before
he'd let go one end of the rope,
and watched the precious bucket plunge
into the murk below.

I'm offering this post to Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

13 comments:

Brian Miller said...

eww...having opened up a septic box in our own yard back when i was young...i can easily imagine the smell....mmm....and leaving of the bucket....those things, def happen...losing ones teeth in it as well...i would just call that a loss...smiles.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I often wonder if all of these are inspried by personal stories. Wonderfully written.

kaykuala said...

Some jobs need a lot toleration. The smells, inconvenience and loss of false teeth? Real test of resolve in this one. Clever pick of ideas in your postings Dave! Nicely!

Hank

Mary said...

Yikes...fishing false teeth out and using them again makes me a little queasy! (Lunch time here...must put this out of my mind. LOL.)

aprille said...

Honey dipper?

hedgewitch said...

A most fragrant take on an odoriferous subject, and a neat excavation of human foibles, of need and necessity, and the accidental chaos they can often birth.

Cloudia said...

Glad you got to the 'bottom' of it if only for the image of grizzled workmen fishing for dentures.
Aloha

A Heron's View said...

Well done Dave !
You have touched a subject I'm only too familiar with for last week I had my sceptic tank pumped out and had to rod the pipes, a mucky smelly job.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Vivid. The gallery of memory continues and vibrates.

The Weaver of Grass said...

This is totally revolting Davem particularly as the farmer is busy slurrying today!!!

Manicddaily said...

Very charming! Ahem! I have denture stories (not mine) that I will not share.

But yes, charming! You have a way with dialogue that is especially fun. k.

The Elephant's Child said...

Hmm. Would the janitor have loved his shiny new bucket if he had known where it had been? Perhaps. I sadly fear that my overactive imagination is stuck on the sludge-gulpers new meal. Eeeuw.

Dave King said...

Brian
Well yes, not very salubrious! He was the talking point of the staff room for a very long time.

optimistic Existentialist
They are, yes. Most of them. I always try to make it clear when they are fictitious.
I do make changes sometimes, to protect the guilty.

Hank
Yes - a very great deal of toleration! Thanks Hank.

Mary
I think it made us all queasy for a while.

aprille
Well I suppose that could be one name for it!

hedgewitch
Thanks for this. A very much appreciated response.

Cloudia
Yes, but the janitor didn't get his precious bucket restored to him!

A Heron's View
Hi! Good to have your company and your thoughts. Thanks for both. Septic tanks are definitely not among my preferred play things!

Tommaso
Thanks. Glad you think so.

The Weaver of Grass
One man's meat... I suppose!

manicddaily
Thanks for this. The amazing thing was how laid back he was about what he did. Didn't at all see what the concern was about.

The Elephant's Child
YThe janitor was incandescent. He was not at moved by the other man's troubles.