Oh, crap! It happened again. The lower level bathroom/laundry room has become a sewer repository. Water with particles of waste (not just ours! Ewwww!) material from the sewer line in front of our house has decided it likes our downstairs bathroom loo and shower so much that it has come for an unannounced and uninvited early Memorial Day weekend visit.
Once again we have been left without what has become a luxury in our house: the ability to safely run water, shower, and flush the toilets. Of course Veronica found the puddles of poop just as I was about to leave for work, but because Richard had appointments scheduled in downtown Chicago all day, I called work and got a sub, and cancelled physical therapy so I could stay home to wait for help.
Luckily, our neighbor and friend Andy owns a heating, cooling, and plumbing shop, but I didn’t want to bother him by calling him on his cell phone. I was going to call his shop. But when I informed Richard about our “pond de poo” he insisted I call Andy to let him know what was happening. Andy came right over and then called the shop to arrange to have Mike come over to rod out our sewer line… again. “It was clean as a whistle the last time I was here,” Andy said. “I put a camera down there and everything.” My gag reflex began to kick in.
Mike was able to rod out the neighbors’ leftovers. All of our toilets flushed, and all the showers drained. He told me that he had rodded out what he described as “soft material” from the line that had probably backed up from the City sewer. He explained that “soft material” was not tree roots, but instead…”
I thought to myself, “Stop it right there, Mike. I get where you’re going with this and I already have a solid, or should I say “soft”, visual in my head of what you’re talking about.”
Ironically, I spent two hours weeding the garden yesterday because Veronica’s boyfriend’s parents are coming over this weekend so we can meet each other for the first time. Today I had a much more potent problem. I didn’t want them to come over for dinner if the house smelled less like BBQ and more like an overflowing outhouse.
I guess it was a bad sign that my weekly cleaning lady ran out of the house right after arriving this morning when I explained in broken Spanish what had happened and that she couldn’t use any running water until the sewer was fixed. She quickly put her shoes back on as she headed for the front door. She wouldn’t even take the check I offered her, and I’m pretty sure I heard her praying in Spanish as she fled the house.
So, now that we are free to let our people go, without the threat of receiving visits from our neighbors’ handouts, I have wrapped myself up like a condom and am ready to decontaminate and sanitize the premises.
Notice my Patricia Locke earrings and super-cute waterproof Bogs boots!