Old Lady Poo

I apologies for this post’s title; it’s meant to be a play on that old yodel thing. Anyway, it’s apt, as you shall see.

I live with my family in a city apartment built at the end of the Victorian era. It’s large and very spacious – but it has only one bathroom.

In the mid 1980s I created a photographic darkroom in a central cupboard – a cupboard large enough to take a double bed. I had a sink installed and the walls painted matt black.  The height is over 3 metres, so I had it shelved and it takes my boxes. In fact it is more a box room these days as we moved to digital photography some years ago.

We had a real problem renovating our main bathroom (a long and horrible story) recently, so my wife jumped on the idea of converting this darkroom to an en suite type of thing – a walk-in shower with a small WC and basin. She’d seen a Saniflo advert on the telly or something.

So we asked the contractor about this. We might go ahead one day, as it is actually a good idea, however we were  so scunnered with the experience we’d just had, we need time to recover.

Nevertheless, we still manage to find the funny side. This is one example -the contractor’s story of the last macerator job he did… it goes like this:

An old lady got a company in to give her a Saniflo upstairs in her home. She wanted it for convenience; without it, she had to get out of bed in the night and make her way downstairs to the main bathroom.

The company installed the loo, took the money and vanished.  A year or so went by and she called in our contractor because of the smell.

He found that the Saniflo macerator was connected to a small pipe that ran out of the ceiling void, into the eaves and out through the roof to an open end slightly above the guttering.

Now, these devices mash everything up, like a food waste disposal unit, and sook like the vacuum toilets on an aeroplane, to fire the waste away at high speed along a small pipe. In this case, every time the old lady flushed, the apparatus jetted off the waste along this pipe – supposedly into the roof gutter, but the force of the jet was such that it had smashed the gutter, and was now sending the waste across her garden at high speed.

The old lady’s garden was like a rifle range.

Had it not been for her garden shed, the high speed balls of toilet paper and who-knows-what-else, would have caused havoc on the main road. Like a dirty sniper. Our contractor said she ought to have shouted “Four” before flushing. We think she should have sung, “Old Lady Poo”.


Apparently the external face of the hut was coated in about 150mm thick of lavvy paper, pee and poo. A biohazard indeed. They left the hut cleaning to the Scouts for Bob a Job week.

The contractor extended the pipe to the rhone down pipe, and returned her garden from a shooting range to a picture of retired suburbia once more.

Funnily enough, she was never burgled, and no cats of dogs ventured into that garden to spoil her rhododendrons.


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