Friday, December 24, 2010

Singing Sewermen and Festive Greetings

A short festive blog to wish you all Merry Christmas. As Yrsa indicated below, the UK has almost ground to a halt because of unexpected snow and cold weather, for which it is structurally unable to cope. I'm with family in the north of England, and the usual three hour drive here took six, so I'm recuperating - the noise of bored children in a car being a particularly exquisite form of torture. Forget waterboarding - Psych Ops should involve strapping a suspect into a seat, parking him in a traffic jam miles from his destination, while a baby cries and the others ask if we're nearly there yet. Though my wife has pointed out, they should make the suspect sit with the kids in the back, because the torment is worse when the children are in stereo around you and the driver has turned up the sound of country music as loud as possible to drown out the din of his own kin.
As an early gift, I've given you a more welcome sound, that of singing sewermen exhorting us all to refrain from pouring meat fat down the drain and clogging up their sewers. They actually make a rather harmonic bunch, certainly more harmonic than anyone should sound when knee-deep in, er, stuff.

See you on the other side next week. May your turkeys not be overdone, your presents not be socks, your sprouts not be like bullets and your wine not cheap and thin.

Christmas cheers

Dan - Friday


  1. Dan, my son and his roommates had to return to the homes of their parents because of just such a disaster.

    They decided to fry (yes, fry a turkey in some new manner borrowed from people in the southern United States who do it outside because it isn't below freezing where they live). They did indeed pour all the fat down the kitchen sink. Apparently "clogged" doesn't begin to describe what happened to their plumbing.

    My son called, after the fact, to ask what should have been done. He never noticed that we saved a coffee canister for that purpose. Since they were likely not the only people who made that error, they discovered that getting a plumber on Thanksgiving Day was the stuff of dreams. It was four days before they could return to their apartment.

    I hope they learned two lessons: never pour the fat from a turkey down the sink and call and ask the questions before what is done can't be undone.

    As to your trip north with a baby in a car seat, oh, yes I remember it well. One of mine screamed the entire three hour trip from New Hampshire to home, seemingly without the need to breathe.

    New York state is very wide. It takes about ten hours to travel from the western border of Massachusetts to to end of the New York State Thruway. We were at a rest stop when a little girl who was about two came skipping across the parking lot, holding onto the hand of someone who was about to dash her hopes that their car nightmare was over. The sadness and the look of betrayal on her face when she realized she was going back into the car seat was heartbreaking.

    Since he was five, I have been promising my son socks and underwear for Christmas. This year, he's 25, he confessed that his year he could actually use some socks.

    Merry Christmas, Dan.

  2. Dan--

    Thanks for the cheery video! And wouldn't you know it, a companion piece appeared on the radio today--by Gerry Haddon, a reporter for a show modestly called The World.

    Go to this this link--

    --and click on the play icon, just above Gerry's byline.

    And to everyone on MIE, my thanks for granting me a couple of guest shots on your terrific blog. A very Merry, if slightly scatological, Christmas to all.


  3. You have made my life miserable. A friend from Greece is visiting me on my farm and yesterday noticed me sending chicken fat out into the great beyond through my sink. She said, "That goes in the bin."

    I said, "Not here, it doesn't."

    Today she read your post. Like I said, I'll NEVER hear the end of it.

    Merry Christmas, anyway:))


  4. Sorry Jeff! And thanks for the link Lenny. Beth, frying a turkey? Kids eh? Though there was the time I set fire to the kitchen when I was a student, so I shouldn't laugh too much.

    The car journeys are at an end for another year. The return was even worse. It took seven hours! The horror!