Friday, 23 September 2011
Is My Bath Water Like Swimming In The Thames?
On returning from a trip to London the other day, the water turned black. Shock horror? No not really, well I suppose. Though being a bus driver, it should not have been a problem. There have been many times when an oil slick has appeared on the top of the water. It resembled an environmental disaster when the yellow plastic duck stopped floating and sunk to the bottom, with black streaks lining its body.
It is impossible not to bring oil and grease back into the house when you are a bus driver. Some depots are dirtier than others. There are diesel spills. Some buses leak more oil. Sometimes it is impossible to return home looking anything other than a Victorian child who has been forced up a chimney.
I always admire Stagecoach and other bus and coach drivers. They always look pristine. It is one of the mysteries of life. How come? Even the cleanest of bus depots cannot escape the odd greasy patch. They must wear protective clothing.
It makes you realise quite what an astounding feat David Walliams' Thames Swim was. Aside from the fact that that it is a notoriously difficult river to negotiate, it smells, the sewage is regularly dumped and there is a chance that you will be attacked by a swan or a hungry pike, it used to be said in the old days that the tap water in towns beside the river had been through ten people's stomachs by the time it had reached Windsor. David Walliams obviously has an iron stomach as he was only minorly inconvenienced by 'Thames Tummy'.
Years ago I was walking on the South Bank between Battersea and Vauxhall Bridges when there were screams that a man was in the water. The person I was with managed to haul him out. He was most indignant and upset to be saved.
'I wanted to die,'he shouted. It was like a scene from a Hollywood movie. Until that was I overheard what the ambulancemen were saying in low voices.
'His wish might be granted,' said one.
'Yeah,' said the other.
'It's 30/70 that we save his liver.'
'Yeah. No one who jumps into the Thames comes out with their liver intact.'
Bow even further to Walliams. Superman. Super stomach. Immortal liver.