This week's Private Eye carries the following story from Austria …
"I was sitting on the toilet in my apartment, attempting to pass a stool," Martin Bierbauer told reporters in Eisenstadt, "when the pipes began rumbling. The noise got so loud that I decided to cut short my visit, but before I could pull my trousers up, hailstones the size of golf balls started exploding out of the toilet bowl, like a popcorn machine gone berserk. I grabbed a piece of board and tried to put it over the toilet, but the pressure was so great that I couldn't hold it down.
"Within minutes there was an avalanche of ice that filled the toilet, then the bathroom, the entire flat, and eventually the entire building. I got the hell out real fast, still adjusting my clothing, and other residents were doing the same, with hailstones following us down the staircase.
"It's a disgrace. I was blown clean off the lavatory, and anally damaged. I am demanding substantial damages for my ordeal."
Local council spokesman Wolfgang Leinner later explained what had happened to the building in Tinhof Strasse. "Freak weather conditions led the temperature to plunge from 35 degrees centigrade to zero within a few hours, and as a result severe hailstorms battered parts of the country. In this case the hailstones flooded a local drain and blocked it. More hailstones fell, the pressure was too great, and because they had nowhere else to go, they forced their way up through the building's plumbing and out through the toilets. They soon melted, but unfortunately the mixture of water and raw sewage has now made the building uninhabitable."
The story, dated 21st July this year, was sent to Private Eye by someone called Mal Function. I wonder who Herr Bierbauer thinks he is going to sue for compensation? God, perhaps?
Actually I have a similar story.
Many years ago as a young university student I used to work each summer as a lifeguard at a local swimming pool. This was a massive open-air lido (gone now, sadly) built into the side of a hill above the surrounding houses in a north-eastern suburb of London.
So large was the pool, holding millions of gallons of water, that it took a fortnight to fill it at the start of each season. But in the autumn it only took twenty minutes to empty, and the management had to warn the water board beforehand so they could open special sluices to take the flood away.
One year the manager forgot to phone the water board before pulling the plug. Minutes later an irate neighbour was hammering at the office door.
"Did you just let your water go?" he yelled. "You did? Well thanks a lot! You just shot my old lady off the bog!"
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