Expect the unexpected.
I wish someone told me to do this when I moved into my house for my final year of university back in October. Nothing seems to be as conventional as I would like it to be. For starters, we have four individuals living in the house including myself; three of which are students, the other one being a 56-year-old man. He’s not the landlord, he’s just a tenant. At first I’ll be honest, I was unsure as to how this situation would work out. The first time we met, he showed me round the house and talked at me for just under two hours. We discussed things that you wouldn’t normally talk about with someone you just met. But, as time grew and I got to know him over the subsequent weeks and months I found I could manage the situation. In fact that’s unfair. This person is not a ‘situation’. They are – just like me – a human being. So let’s rephrase that. As time grew and I got to know him over the subsequent weeks and months, I grew to like this person. Unique, yes. Annoying, sometimes. But nonetheless, a man.
Then it happened.
At around 7.30pm one Saturday evening in February I came back home from a day out with friends. I was desperate for some dinner and to relieve my bladder. So, I put some pepperoni pizza in the oven and made my way to the toilet. Things started to go south when I noticed that the toilet seat and the toilet cover were down. That never happens. As it would turn out, things weren’t going anywhere. The toilet was profusely, absolutely, blocked full of crap and tissue. I tried to flush it, but that did nothing. Somewhat disgusted, I left the mess alone hoping that whoever did it, would undo it.
Within 30 minutes I hear knocking on my door. I open it and not to my surprise it’s the 56-year-old man. I was dreading this scenario. I knew he would notice the toilet and not be happy. Alas, to my surprise he’s calm.
“Did you block the toilet?”
“No. But I did flush it cause I saw it was blocked.”
“Yeah well it’s gone over the edge now and onto the floor.”
We mutually agree a mop would be needed. With hindsight, this agreement should not have been formed at all. The mop is to be used not for the dirty floor, but instead to unblock the toilet. Myself and the 56-year-old man make our way upstairs. The girl who lives upstairs is also present to witness what can only be described as an incredibly unique event. The man puts gloves on his hands, takes the mop and with three or four thrusts into the toilet bowl, the toilet is cleared. But our job is not done. Whoever blocked the toilet, did at least try to unblock it via the means of a toilet brush. Evidence of unblocking attempts are ‘visible’. So, we proceed to clean the toilet brush by rinsing it over the shower. Internally, I question why we didn’t flush the brush with the toilet until it was clean as the shower probably isn’t the best place to get rid of crap. Alas, that was the idea of 56-year-old man.
With hindsight, I wish I stopped him having ideas from that point onwards. After cleaning the brush, I proceed to take possession of the mop which had just been used to unblock the toilet. I ask the man,
“What should I do with it?
“Chuck it out the window.”
I burst into laughter and ask again, “Seriously, what should I do with it?”
The next thing I know, the window is opened wider so there is enough clearance. Enough clearance for a mop drenched in watery crap to be taken out of my hands and catapulted out of the window. The image will stay with me forever. It’s not something you’re going to forget easily. The sight of a crappy mop airborne is not one I could’ve known I would see when I woke up that morning. It resembled an Olympic javelin being flung through the air, just with less grace. Much. Less. Grace. Thankfully, the mop lands in the garden and does not hit anybody on impact. It narrowly misses the patio table and chairs that are out there.
In terms of my response to the situation, the bewilderment and confusion in my mind spirals into shrieks and howls of laughter. That laughter continues for a good five or six minutes. During which, the 56-year-old man proceeds to clean the shower, the sink and the toilet bowl. I take it upon myself to buy more cleaning liquids and re-clean the shower, the sink and the toilet bowl, just because I have been left not knowing who to trust in this house anymore.
I have since been told three times to watch out when I’m walking about, in case of ‘flying mops.’