Clancy and the Overflow

Which they had for lack of better
Knowledge sent to where they met him
In a boozer years ago
He was plumbing when they knew him
So they sent their letter to him
Just in hope, addressed as follows
Clancy of the Overflow

And the answer came as directed
By fax so unexpected
And they thought the same was written
With a prick punch dipped in tar
T’was his lady friend who wrote it
And verbatim I will quote it
Clancy’s down a drainpipe somewhere
And we don’t know where he are

Ignoring such poor grammar
It really made them stammer
When they noticed Clancy’s coat of arms
Three electric eels were rampant
On a field on green and gold
Latin motto raised in letter bold
“Propellum Excreta Verticum”
They wondered what it meant.

So they sent their reply to him
Come quick or we will soon swim
They had had a ripper of a chokage
And the tide was rising fast
Thus Clancy’s hit the jackpot
He’d make a buck on this lot
For it was a city hotel
He could meet his debts at last

For a choke sets scenes to meet him
As aromas waft to greet him
Form the gurgle of the waters
He takes samples home in jars
And he sees a vision splendid
Of draining rods extended
And at night a cherished theory
Of freebies at the bar

But being mostly bushie
Clancy really was a roughie
He had never been to Sydney
So with truck and tools and chattel
And boy did that old truck rattle
Clancy headed off to Sydney
Dreaming of the over flow.

When he saw the height of towers
He thought about the powers
Of the pressure of the water
In a stack that rose so high,
Knowing less than little of hydraulics
And even less of trade tricks
He’d try to be real careful
Not really knowing why

He parked outside the hotel
To be greeted by a foul smell
And a steady stream of water
Cascading down the stairs
At last he thought he’d sussed it
It’s coming from the cess pit
And in the hotel foyer
The people stood on chairs.

He sloshed up to the desk clerk
Who mumbled through her gas mask
“I hope that you’re the plumber”
And he thought he saw her frown
“We see this wave of water
And a cloud of noxious vapour
Roll right through the foyer
When the lift is coming down”

So he backtracked on that foul smell
Coming from the lift well
But he could not see in properly
Till they opened up the door
So they set the lift at halfway
Then on hands and knees in hallway
He peered into the blackness
But light he needed more.

So Clancy grabbed a candle
Tied on extension handle
And with his lighter lit it
To see into the mass
Then a dirty big explosion
Not quite what he had chosen
It really changed his future
He’d forgotten sewer gas

With thousands due in damage
Clancy travelled smartly backward
And the lift car quickly backward
Till it finally erupted
Out through the roof and more.
Festoons of dripping paper
And clouds of water vapour
Sprayed out fractured doorways
On each and every floor

Stunned Clancy turned to thinking
And frankly strongly stinking
Beyond his normal odour
And none were coming near.
Having trouble getting stood up
Although he’d made another cock up
He’d fake it for a winner
Because the choke was clear.

And the client on a rampage
Clancy thought he’d better leg it
But first he’d claim the cost they owe
They told him rather rudely
That he’d handled it quite crudely
And they said that he should shove it
Right up his overflow.

The court where case was set in
Had a judge well versed in latin
Our poor Clancy didn’t have a chance
The judge look down at our chum
“If you think you’ve won the lotto
I’ll remind you of our motto”
And in summation said
You are Propellum Excreta Verticum.

Diction: Arthur Donnelley
Graphics: Alan Grasset

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