‘Well, would you look at that,’ my uncle shook his head, staring down my drain. ‘I’ve actually never seen one as bad as that.’

‘Is it bad?’ my girlfriend Lizzie stepped out of the doorway, eyes wide and nervously chewing on a fingernail.

‘Yeah,’ my uncle frowned, looking to me. ‘Yeah, I just said… Jane, didn’t I just—’

‘What’s the actual issue?’ I cut him off.

‘Well,’ he started with a sigh, scratching the back of his neck. ‘You’ve got one heck of a drain blockage here.’

‘Is it cat hair?’ Lizzie asked, nodding understandingly. I sighed, dropping my head in my hands. ‘I bet it’s cat hair.’

‘How am I supposed to know if it’s cat hair?’

‘I don’t know,’ Lizzie shrugged. ‘Aren’t you some kind of local drain plumber expert around Melbourne or something?’

‘No?’ he waved his arms, pontificating a little bit. ‘I used to work in construction. Besides, I’m retired.’

‘Since when?’ I frowned, my uncle re-catching my attention.

‘Since your Aunt Shelly and I decided we wanted to see the sights, do the… do’s?’ he frowned, then shook his head, reaching into his tool-bag for something.

‘How long has that been the case?’

‘Just a couple months. Besides,’ he said with a chuckle, gesturing at the tool in his hand, ‘I keep getting sucked back in.’

‘Sorry, Uncle Chase,’ I said sheepishly. ‘I never would have called you if I’d known you weren’t actually working.’

‘Pffft,’ he batted my apology aside. ‘There’s a reason I kept the tools, kid. Now, let’s see if I’ve still got the touch.’

‘The touch?’ Lizzie asked.

‘Oh yeahhh,’ he grinned. ‘We’ve got to call one of the plumbers best at drain camera inspections local to Melbourne. Nothing escaped my mighty camera arm! They put that on a t-shirt, you know.’

‘It’s true,’ I nodded. ‘I’ve seen the shirt.’

‘Wow,’ Lizzie nodded, sufficiently impressed. ‘Well, in any case, I think you’ve still got—’

Ow,’ my uncle grimaced, collapsing to one knee. ‘My back! I threw out my back!’