I’m the guy who’s responsible for cleaning out all the leaves and dirt from the local streets. You will probably recognise me in my truck, which looks kind of like a garbage truck, with my big sweepers cleaning out the curbs. It’s not a glamorous job but it pays the bills and I take pride in knowing that I’m making the suburbs of Melbourne a cleaner place to live.
Often my job is easy, but there have been a few times when I’ve seen drains that have gone horribly wrong. The grossest stormwater drain I’ve ever seen had all sorts of goo and debris bubbling out of it and into the streets. I felt sick looking at it. Luckily dealing with stuff like that is not my job, and whenever I see anything like that I pass it onto a local drain plumber. Easy.
I don’t know how plumbers deal with stuff like that, day in and day out. Some of the stuff in those drains is so repulsive, it’s enough for anyone to pack up and leave the entire state of Victoria. Seriously. It’s disgusting.
The reason I’m mentioning this now is that it’s very front of mind for me. On my local route the other day I saw the most disgusting drain in my last ten years as a street cleaner. Thankfully when I arrived the drain plumbers were already there fixing the problem and so I could just drive away, but I wasn’t able to escape the smell or mental image. I really am glad that I’m not the person responsible for dealing with the blocked drains around Fairfield, which is where this particular drain was. It’s a lovely part of town, but I still don’t want to go anywhere near the inside of their drains. Even the ones that look clean from the outside. I will be very content sweeping the streets of Melbourne for the rest of my life, from the safety of my truck.