10 September, 2006

Shit happens

A drainpipe has exploded outside my flat. Mercifully it's not right outside, rather a little way along the walkway that connects all the small buildings that make up this residence. But it still means I have to negotiate my way around, or more precisely through, the debris in order to reach the main road, and it's not a pleasant experience.

I can't think how it has happened. I'd spotted that the pipe was leaking a few days ago, but thought nothing more of it. Sure, every morning as I left for work a small puddle of old rainwater had gathered on the pavement, but it had always disappeared come my return in the evening, either drained away or evaporated in the sunlight.

What must have come to pass to render the leak into a combustible crucible of crap? Maybe the person whose flat the pipe belongs to has been suffering from the runs, thereby contributing to a larger than usual quantity of effluent flowing through the mains and creating a situation where something had to give. Maybe foul play is afoot, and someone has sabotaged the pipe in order to engender such a shower of shit. Maybe it's just shoddy workmanship and what has been threatening to happen for months and months has finally come to pass.

Whatever, it's a fucking disaster area with water everywhere and what looks, from a distance, to be lumps of suspiciously-flecked mud splattered all up the side of the wall. As I said, it's not my wall and not my pipe, so it's not my fault. But is it my responsibility? I can't see the damage from my flat, nor can I smell it. Part of me hopes it will just go away. All the same, as I write nothing whatsoever has been done to clean up the mess and I haven't spotted anybody bothering to investigate the source of the catastrophe.

The flat the pipe belongs to has its windows open, implying residents are present and going about their business. Haven't they spotted what has happened? Isn't the whiff of stale excrement drifting merrily into their living room at this precise moment?

Even if it is, I bet they can't be arsed to do anything. Still, who can blame them. It's the same everywhere you look. And what, at the end of the day, can you do? Shit happens.


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