A New Sewer

‘I’m so excited!’ April squealed next to me, clutching my arm and making me wince. I carefully extracted her fingers from my shoulder-flesh and smiled at the plumber.

‘Sorry,’ I grimaced. ‘You were saying?’

‘Just that it looks like your sewer pipe has partially collapsed,’ he said with a frown. ‘Sorry, why is she so excited?’

‘She loves it whenever we get to install something new in the house,’ I said with a sigh.

‘Even a full sewer replacement? Melbourne customers always are the strangest,’ he murmured under his breath.

‘I’m so excited!’ April repeated, more enthusiastically.

‘How much is this going to cost me?’ I asked the plumber with a sigh, ignoring the new lancing pain in my arm.

‘Not too much,’ he said hesitantly looking at April. ‘Do you have insurance?’

‘You can get sewer insurance?’ I asked, incredulously.

‘I don’t know, actually,’ he frowned. ‘Maybe?’

‘Have you ever met anybody with sewer insurance before?’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘But you ask every time?’

‘Just seems polite, doesn’t it?’

‘I guess,’ I shrugged. ‘Maybe. I’ll check my policy.’

‘I’ll be honest,’ he said. ‘Most of what we deal with are just people who desperately need a plumber near the Melbourne CBD who can fix blocked drains. This collapsing sewer stuff is…’


‘It’s certainly unwelcome,’ he nodded.

‘What colours do they come in?’ April bounced up and down.

‘I’m sorry?’

‘Our new sewer!’ she giggled. ‘When do we get to see colour swatches?’

‘It’s going underground,’ I explained to her. ‘We’ll never see it.’

‘But we’ll know!’ she protested. ‘We’ll know what colour it is!’

‘I think they just come in like… concrete grey?’ the plumber offered.

‘Boring,’ April’s shoulders dropped. ‘I bet everyone has concrete grey sewers around here.’

‘Actually,’ the plumber scratched behind his ears, glancing across the street. ‘Around here, a lot of them are more of a lead-grey.’

‘Ha-ha,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘Wait, are you serious?’

‘You didn’t hear it from me,’ he said with a wink.


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