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Losing My Shit

When I was nineteen I was the manager of a large multi-screened movie Cineplex. Before the doors were opened to the public and the staff had yet to trickle in, I would wander around the vast cavernous lobby and stroll up and down each theater and marvel that some middle aged man promoted me because I wore an insanely short skirt I was left in charge of this business. At nineteen. Somebody thought I was responsible enough to play God with the lives of the employees and trust me not to burn the place down.

Trippy. I like to think those days of micromanaging forty or more pimply faced teenagers gave me an insight and some skill into one day parenting my own little hormonal teens.

I used to marvel at the magnitude of responsibility I had somehow found weighing upon my shoulders. Then I had children and became a homeowner.

Now I'm wishing the only real responsibility I had was whether or not I remembered to order enough popcorn seed for the week.

Up until lately, I thought I had this responsibility thing down pat. The weight of twisting raising small children into productive members of society (read: Off the pole and out of the clink) never seemed a burden too heavy to bear.

Then my husband ran off to go and chase his dreams. Leaving the well-being and safety of not only his children but also his home to me, the chick who has trained her young and impressionable children to tell everyone their mom is an internet porn star.

Perhaps not the wisest choice on my husband's behalf. But I love the misguided vote of confidence he gave me.

Now I've got all the responsibility of being a grown up with out the safety net of another to catch me when I falter. Good times.

But I pride myself on being a self sufficient, independent woman. I don't need no stinking man. If I bury my car in a snow bank, I can shovel myself out. If my furnace stops working in the dead of the winter, I can call the furnace fixer people as well as the next guy.

So when I noticed that if one runs the water in my bathroom sink the toilet starts to burp and fart and overflow, I didn't panic.

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All right, I panicked a little.

But then I phoned my husband only to get his facking voice mail got a grip. I could fix this. How hard could it be to unplug a toilet, I rationed. I'm the only one who uses this toilet and I know what goes down it. And the particular size of ahem, what is going down.

Easy peasy. This is why God invented the plunger. Not just so my brother could suction it to my stomach as a small child and lift me up off the ground, leaving me squealing with laughter and sporting a giant purple plunger hickey. Right?

So I rolled up my sleeves, made friends once again with a plunger and eyed my toilet.

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Why have you forsaken me, my porcelain princess? Have I not worshipped on your altar and kept you clean for the past three years?

Picture me straddling my toilet and thrusting away at the plunger as though my very life depended on it, water splashing everywhere. This is what my son walked in on.

"Um, Mom? What are you doing?" he called from the safety of the bathroom door.

"Besides the obvious? Well, I thought I needed an upper body work out and the plunger looked lonely. Wanna grab some paper towels to mop up this water, please?" I responded as I continued to pump away at my blocked toilet.

(Side note: Ever notice what a disgusting sound the plunger makes? Kinda like a queef, but worse.)

"Not really," was his response. Not that I blame him. But seeing as I was indisposed at the moment, I shot him my mom look and he slunk off to do what he was asked.

Just then the clouds parted and a heavenly light from up above shined on my head, bathing me in a golden glow. With a sudden gurgle, the overflowing water receded from it's porcelain banks and flowed back into the ocean sewer line.

I couldn't believe it. I did it. I fixed my own plugged toilet. I could hear a chorus of angels singing heavenly praise from up above.

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Victory! I don't need a man to plunge!

Just then Frac walked back in with the roll of toilet paper. "Victory, my sweet son. Just look what a little bit of hard work and effort can do," I crowed as I wiped the sweat off my brow.

"Um, Mom..."

"That's right, sugar. Whose your momma now?" I chuckled as I started wiping up the mess.

"Well you are, I guess. But is the water supposed to be coming up into the bathtub like that? And why is it brown?"

Suddenly that chorus of angels turns into the cackle of a thousand little sewer demons, laughing as an inch of brown water filled my bathtub and just sat there. Great. My very own cesspool. I always wanted one. In my ensuite bathroom. Meters from where I sleep. Lucky me.

"Damn it." Understatement of the year. (Granted the year is young, but wow, are we off to a fine start.)

"Want me to call Dad?" Frac offered. Apparently that snarl sound I made must have convinced him to back slowly away from me and he went to go hide in his room.

"What for? I fixed the toilet didn't I?" I called after him. "Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I can't handle a little shit in the tub, kiddo," I muttered to myself, like a crazy woman.

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My luck seems to be in the crapper as of late.

But face it; there is shitty water in my tub and no signs of draining any time soon. And my husband isn't home to clean it up while I pretend to be busy in another room.

I hate being a responsible grown up.

Doesn't this give a whole new meaning to "losing my shit?"

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Reader Comments (64)

Oh. man. I have never had that happen, but I do have a bathtub drain that inexplicably remains slightly clogged despite repeated Drano treatments. I think I would totally lose it if the toilet contents showed up in the tub. So what happens next? Call the plumber, or snake it yourself, or....?

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Ask WHO flushed WHAT down the terlet.

Then fill the tub halfway, CLOSE the tub drain, and have some resposnable kid hold a wet soon to be stinky wash cloth over the TUB overflow hole (thats the thingy where the tub drain thingy comes out. It allows air to let the water drain from the tub withouit gurgling. Closing it off will trap all stuff as best as you can for you to do STEP 2.

Step 2, while fric/frac is holding rag over vent, and tub drain closed with some water standing in tub, you then use a bucket of water and dump it into commode. The idea is to force water down the line.

If after you do that the water flows, then empty the tub slowly. If you see water starting to come into terlet CLOSE THE TUB DRAIN NOW!!!!

if not, and the water from the tub drains, then try the bucket test one more time without the tub drain closed.

If the mess into tub repeats, call I-800-PLU-MBER

casue then you have a drain line plugged.

Have you lost a hamster or small rabbit lately?

maybe he tried a Shawsahnk Redemption escape, and dint make it!

Great flushing!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLarryLilly

I think the problem is that you're NOT losing your shit! It keeps coming back! ha!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Heh. I don't think it's lost if it's in your tub.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOh, The Joys

What a shitty situation.

Your brother picked you up with a plunger?????
You have a very inventive brother!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo

Better start using that hole out in the backyard until you can get your plumbing looked at.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAbove Average Joe

The visual of a little kid swinging from a plunger suctioned to their stomach made me laugh out loud (at work). Thanks.

While not a plumber, what Larry Lilly proposed makes sense... although with your history, it might just be safer (and more realistic) to just call the plumber now, lest you be stuck toilet-less in the wild.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSciDi Dad

Ooh! I had that problem once, but it was kitchen water in the bathtub. It's plumber time, baby:

1. There is a clog in one of your main outgo pipes.
2. Your septic (you said sewer, but if you live as far out as you make out, fat chance) tank is full or malfunctioning.

It could be something else, because I'm no plumber, I just know that when shit (pardon the pun) comes out of the bathtub drain that never went down there, it's beyond a simple repair......

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterverybadcat

We used to live in a condo with ancient plumbing. If you tried to flush anything larger than a pea, it would tremble impotently and not go anywhere. I became great friends with a plunger, and managed to get rid of most of our *ahem* waste.

Luckily, I suppose, the shit never hit the bathtub.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Bummer. Called the plumber yet? =)

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatty House

You run water in the sink, and the toilette backs up. You plunge the toilette, and the bathtub backs up. Plunge the bathtub and see where the shit shows up next. I'm curious.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMac and Cheese

And now I'm losing my shit. Laughing.

Sounds like it's time to bring out my trusty friend, Bleach. Eek!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandi

a beautiful photo essay. but i'm not sure you've managed to lose your shit, if we're being picky here...really you've only spread it around from one bathroom appliance to another.


January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBon

What if you try plunging the tub too?

I love your pants. Are those Lululemon?

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjasmine

2008 is a tub full of poo for sure. This was a perfect visual.

And you're quite adorable, you know.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

Having had similar uck in my laundry tubs check your line to the sewer or septic tank. You may be due for some septic sucking services. They may be able to get it by snaking the drain (easy enough to do, but easier to call the pros if you don't own one now) but it sounds like you're due for a pro. Sometimes tree roots will interfere with the drainage tile or pipes to the septic tank. Been there, done that.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSerendipity, baby!

Oh girlie, I love you, you know I do. But here is lesson No. 1 in terlet issues:


I learned that one from my dad, who was the world's worst amateur plumber.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicken

When i first read the post, the pics didnt load. Now looking at it, you are a cross between "Absolutely Fabulously" and Ed Norton, the sewer guy on the Honeymooners.

You have a better rack that Ed, looks better than the blonde on AF, better dressed, but lady, I bet in those pants, when you bend over, your butt will look just like most plumbers. Smiling with a tall crack.

Get your grubbies on wrestling with that rubber honey cup!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLarryLilly

When I was pregnant with Oliver I took a shit so big I plugged our toilet. It made this gurgling sound and all the water sucked out of it, so I did what I thought was the smart thing to do: I flushed. And within a few seconds my bathroom was flooded with water and my own fecal matter, and I was standing in the middle of it.

I lost my shit that day, even though I was standing in it. Literally.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermamatulip

at least you are thin and beautiful!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

We are also battling plumbing in this house. The other day I pissed in the toilet and it clogged ( and I didn't use much butt wipe either). Good luck, plumbers in our neck of the woods are freaking pricey!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSleepynita

In these situations I just turn up the radio.
Oh wait.
That's what I do when the car makes funny noises.
House problems...
We go to a hotel.

seriously...sounds like a shit-load of crappy bad luck.
Best of luck.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJillian

"Straddling" and "thrusting", eh?

You need a wet-dry shop-vac, pronto.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAssertagirl

I'm so impressed that you tried to fix it! I woulda just called my husband crying.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

That sucks, I mean, that's really shitty, I mean... oh god, it's Monday and I'm outta jokes. But hey, you are looking mighty fine so the porcelain gods will probably go easy on you. I'd just close the door of the ensuite and act like you have no idea how it happened with Mr. Redneck Mommy gets home. Even if it takes a week.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermotherbumper

dude, you look skinny.

i just came over after voting for you over at the canadian blog awards. oh, to be canadian. smooch.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjen

Oh, ick. It's stories like these that make me glad I live in an apartment. (The pics are priceless, though.)

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBri

So before I finished reading this, I was like, "oh man! I need to leave a comment about the time shit started coming up the drains of my shower while I was IN IT..." It was gross, but I guess you know. haha. My problem actually ended up being with our city sewer. This was happening to everyone on my street. I'm just hoping the shit that invaded my shower wasn't that of my pervert, old man, 400 lb neighbor.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermanda

Dear lord you weren't kinding, you did lose your shit.......I love that phrase though, I use it often. In fact, just sent my hubs last night how I lost my shit over the state of my kids' room, lol.

um, get the big thick yellow kitchen gloves out before you wade in........okay?

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHope4Grace

May I recommend a hotel? They have room service and mini bars and shit free terlets.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicky

The same thing happened to me once--only I wasn't alone, I was hosting a New Year's Eve party. And there was a lot more than an inch. Heads up--when a plumbing ad was 24/7 they're not talking about New Year's Eve!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life


sorry, I can weld and cut wood. But bathroom truff? eeewwwwwww!

I like the look of your tshirt. No not your boobies silly, but your tshirt. It looks like wings or something. Love that kind of stuff.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercrazymumma

Oy. Sadly, our plunger has seen a lot of action over the past 37 weeks, although no shit in the tub.


January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermothergoosemouse

Oh my god, that was funny. I hope it gets fixed soon - remember, that's what bleach is for, it's my best friend!

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

OMFG that is funny as hell and to actually say the sound is like queef only grosser I bout fell out of the chair laughing.

We had that problem but the shit did not hit the tub it came up the floor drains in the basement a lake of shit and personal hygeine products ie: tampons 4 inches deep in the basement. Grossest fucking thing I ever saw or smelt turned out the tree roots grew through our old clay sewer lines and we had to replace all the way to the street....5000 clams later no more shit lake in the basement.

I hope you get it fixed soon and remember bleach is your friend:)

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

My Mom got nailed by the Big Storm of 2004 here. Her finished basement had 3 feet of sewage in it. Complete write off. And oh the smell.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSleepynita

Oh geez. Thankfully, Misterpie is an expert plunger, so I just leave things for him and use the other bathroom if there seems to be a problem.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkittenpie

Queef? I always called them varts.

January 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAZ

looks like someone was playing in photo booth. i sure do love getting to see new pics of you. helps with all the crazy funny visuals i've already built in my head of the funny shit you do

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwilddreemer

Ewwww....ewwwww! I think you should get a medal for your accomplishment, a Brown Medal perhaps ;)

Hope your tub aint confused for too long, but great work on the toilet.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

This happened to me once, before I was a parent, before I was a homeowner. It happened in a rented apartment when I was 25. A very YOUNG 25. A very Young and Embarrassed 25. And I never told a soul.

until now.

Yeah for clogs BLOGS!

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertoyfoto

We are going to be one hot stinking embarrassed mess come July.
I once had a boyfriend clog a toilet (with an enormous terd) at midnight in the middle of a snowstorm while my other two roommates and their boyfriends were over.
We stole the plunger from the gas station down the street.
And I didn't make out with him much after that.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermoosh in indy.

i rue the day i will need to actually USE the plunger. it scares the shit out of me. bwah.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterali

As if the cost of hiring a plumber isn't bad enough, imagine all the bleach and antibacterial stuff you're going to use to turn your tub back into a "clean" place. Sorry - this is a crummy way to start the new year. Hopefully, it gets better soon. :)

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterchoosydad

I'm sorry - there are just some things that men should deal with. POOP is one of them. ha ha.

By the way, I was a manager at our local movie theater at 18. Of course, my theater had a fire in it - on a busy Saturday night. It was freakin' awesome. I loved burning the film with the Xenon bulbs too. That was always fun.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterP.O.M.

Dude - there is a reason plumbers make so much money.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterqt

In my first place when I moved out on my own, the toilet didn't work. Well, it did, but too well. The water ran constantly, so you had to actually turn the water on before you did your thing, otherwise, no flushy.
Then, once it flushed, you had to turn it off again.
A guy visiting the place was a little drunk. Very drunk. I had warned him of the toilet procedure, but he didn't get it. He barfed into the toilet with no water in it, then when he went to flush, it totally clogged. What he spewed up, I have no clue. But it was enough to clog a toilet.
So the plunger and I were to the rescue! It was the grossest thing I've ever dealt with. Poop is one thing, someone else's toilet-clogging barf is another.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Mustard

OH! In the second place we lived in, the sewer backed up on a regular basis, and seeing how we lived in the basement suite, the poo and other fecal matter came up into the laundry room and our shower. Yes, our shower.
It was really beyond our ability to fix, though, as the problem was some great big tree roots that were growing through our sewer main in the yard. The landlords had to get the city to come out everytime and use a massive rotor drill (or something) to clear the pipes. That lasted about 2 or 3 months, and then is was sewer time again.
What the hell was I doing living in these places?

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Mustard

The post was funny enough but the comments are killing me.

I still say a lot of this is directly related to the damn low-flush toilets. Which I know are more environmentally responsible. But there are some shits that need a ka-WHAM flush with litres and litres of fast-moving water to get out of the way.

We had to keep a snake behind the toilet in our old house. Because it clogged probably once a week. The only thing more vile than trying to snake a clogged toilet is cleaning the snake afterwards. Ew ew ew.

Good luck. I'd say a follow-up post is definitely called for. And if you have a photo of redneck plumber crack, so much the better.

January 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

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