It was a peaceful and sunny autumnal day in an attractive Northaptonshire village. The rural bliss was however somewhat ruined for me by the inconvenience and general unpleasentness caused by a blocked drain.
The man from Dyno-rod was summoned.
The man hole cover in the front garden was raised. Dyno-rod Man prodded and poked as men from Dyno-rod are wont to do. In the meantime I made him a cup of tea which is entirely irrelevant to the narrative but I want to paint a fuller picture of the incident. Eventually he asked me to go inside and flush the toilet so he could see if the drain was now free flowing again. When I came back outside to him he was staring down into the drain. "Do you" he enquired "have pet gerbils?" Had I been speculating on what he was about to say to me, that question would not have been in the top 5 guesses - nor, let's face it - the top 555,555 guesses. Anyway I said that I did not have any pet gerbils. "Oh, he said, "So that down there is a young rat then. I haven't seen rats down a drain for a very long time."
Looking back on this incident it could have been a scene setter for a movie - you know the one where one small, seemingly insignificant incident is the harbinger of trouble to come. In this case, of very many such troubles with pointy noses and long tails. The Rats Were Coming!!!!!
PLEASE NOTE. I want to make it quite clear that I am not the kind of person who, should I ever happen to keep pet gerbils, would flush one down the toilet when it died. No, any pet gerbil of mine would receive a decent burial, and have a daffodil planted on the burial site in memorial. Thank you.
Guilty - How do I plead? I plead "Guilty" your honour. Though I did spend six weeks in Ireland in the summer of 1974, visiting amongst many other places the youth...
3 hours ago