The second event of the first-ever Drain Plumber Games involved a simulated sewer through virtual reality video games. We were transported to a virtual environment where the sewer had to be unblocked, while the crowd watched on from the arena’s giant screen. Given that I had easily won the first event, I had the honour of going first, now that reverse plumber’s alphabetical order had been abandoned. And it was a good thing too because even now that I was a fully licensed plumber, I still didn’t understand it.
“Let’s see if Steph Jennings has what it takes to clear a blocked sewer near Melbourne,” called the MC. “Will she use another cunning trick or go the more traditional route? Let’s find out!”
I slipped the headset over my eyes and entered the simulation. The tunnel was completely dark, so I pulled up a virtual phone and turned on the torch. Light burst along the sewer, showing me just how bad the blockage was. It was like a giant monster had thrown up all along the pipes. This was going to take more than basic plumbing tools, I knew immediately.
I assumed that most of the other plumbers in the competition would try the slow way, poking and prodding to loosen some of the waste, but that would likely result in an avalanche going over them. I had a better idea. Thankfully none of the other contestants could steal it, seeing as they waited in a sound-proof room on the other side of the showgrounds.
Pulling up my virtual mobile phone, I dialled for a drainage contractor. “I’m going to need to get a sewer replacement service, Melbourne style, because this is far too much work for a regular plumber. Can you get the job done?”
Within minutes, a team of virtual workers had arrived to pull the sewer tunnel out and replace it with a brand new one. I went above ground and watched them work, sipping at a virtual cup of coffee and feeling quite satisfied with myself. Once the crane had put in the new sewer, I took off the headset and bowed before the crowd.
They went into raptures. Another victory for Steph.