Anyone else worried about rats climbing up from the drains into your toilet bowl? Just me?
Is that an apocryphal, urban myth sort of thing, that rats can run up the pipes and lurk malevolently* in your bog waiting for you? I think I must've heard about it first when I was a kid and there was that giant-New York City-sewer-alligator kind of story going around. (And incidentally, if the sewer-alligator thing sounds crazy, here's the abstract of a New Yorker story which begs to differ. This article alone is worth the subscription. God I love that magazine. Anyway.)
So last summer when things were getting a bit, er, aromatic in the drains department, we had a visit from a lovely sewer bloke (from the Council? or Thames Water? I don't know who deals with this sort of thing now). He straddled the Edwardian manhole in our front garden and shared all kinds of interesting sewer-related information as he observed the water flowing from the taps inside. It turns out that old drains, they're a lot less drainy than we'd like. Ours were pronounced generally fine, except that there were rats - yes, a whole lotta rats - meandering in and out. "There goes another one," he said casually, and gave us a few tips on how to discourage them, which we acted on immediately.
But now every time I use the downstairs loo I can't help but think how here's the bowl, and then there are a few feet of drain and then there's the pipe with the rats in and now I have a listen before I pick the seat up.
*Is there any other way to lurk?