August 28, 2010


I've got a big day at church tomorrow, lots going on for which my presence is desired. Then I have a nearly four hour drive to Chicago to give a presentation to the entire Sunday School volunteer staff at my old boss's new church. It's my first paid gig, and I'm finishing the PowerPoint tonight.

I went down to the basement to do a small load of clothes that would be best for the Big City. I came upon a horror scene suitable for Stephen King: the sewer line has backed up, and there is a fifteen foot circle of waste that saturated the boxes, full laundry baskets, rugs, and miscellany stuff that ends up stacked in basements. SHIT. (Literally. And it's everywhere.)

My son, his sainted best friend and I just spent an hour bagging up and carting out a boatload of saturated crap to the end of the driveway. We can't wash up here because the drain would back up further. Thank heaven for Huggies Wipes, which I keep for household cleaning.

While I wait for the plumber, my mind wanders to the SIX houses in the vicinity that have had their front yards plowed up with backhoes to replace these same pipes in the past year. (Cost: about $6K each.) Something's not right about this.

My neighbor has given me her remote code so that I can enter through her garage to bathe over there if I need to. Ben is going to stay at his friend's house after the plumber gets here. (Oh! He has a new car! I bought him a 2001 Camry LE. Very pleased with the deal.) Abe is out of town for another week. I'll probably be up all night sanitizing the basement after the pipe is cleared.

4:30 a.m. update: Plumber's been paid and the pipe is clear. (Not sure if it's roots this time. Hmm.) Not so the basement, but two 30-lb. bags of kitty litter really helps. I spread it and scrub-swept most of it into two large piles. No powdered chlorine at this hour, so I'll make a solution and swab when the litter's gone. Now I can shower and scrub and scrub and scrub and go to bed. Good night.

Tip: About ten years ago I bought two pairs of plastic Birkenstock clogs. They ended up being the "yard shoes" for everyone: mowing, raking, you get the idea. When they get dirty you just hose them off; replace the footbeds every few years. These things saved us tonight! Ben and I each had a pair to go tromping around that disgusting basement. Rinsed and scrubbed under the hose, they're ready to go under the bench by the door. You need a pair of these.

Day Two update: I'm baaaaack. And so is the water, dammit. At least this time it's ONLY water (from the shower) and a two-foot circle. Gonna have a talk with that plumber. I've got better things to do.

Day Three update: The 35-year-old clay pipe is separating at the joints, allowing tree roots to prosper and block the flow. Next week they will replace it with PVC for the princely sum of $5K. *sigh*


Blobby said...

ick - on every level. I'll add this to my list of fears: breaking my teeth, bed bugs and now backed up crap.

Sorry about that. Hope all is back to normal soon.

word verfication: denten (close enough for me!)

rox said...

There is NOTHING worse than sewer backup! NOTHING! I was so grateful that we caught ours before it got too bad last year. Ugh.
Those clogs, without the insert, are similar to crocs. Mine are bright orange and I love them!
Good luck on your paid gig!

Doorman-Priest said...

You seem to have a good attitude towards adversity.

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

What a nightmare! Ever notice how the husbands just happen to be out of town whenever things like this happen?

I'm so sorry. So how did your gig go?

Cubby said...

Oh this is so nasty!! Don't envy you one bit. We went through this ourselves about six months ago, but luckily we just happened to go down to the basement and found the backed up shit when the circle was only 1 foot diameter. Roto-Rooter saved the day!

I hope you can get everything cleaned up and the smell out.

Ur-spo said...

Aegan Stables II; you are the mighty Hercules !

tornwordo said...

Grody! Even that's too much poop for me. And I learned a long time ago that NOTHING touches the floor in the basement. We've got everything at least 6 inches off the ground.