Wednesday, January 16, 2008

One Girl, Two (Yogurt) Cups: My Adventures in Naked Plumbing


Before I finished etching my glasses and finished up Ice Queen on Sunday, I had quite an adventure.

Dr. Mad Scientist had to go into work on Sunday--so by 8:30 a.m., he was gone.

Chunky and I went about our normal Sunday morning routine.

He and I scootered/walked up to the corner neighborhood store and scored a Sunday paper.

By the time I got to the Target ad, mother nature called and I had to visit the bathroom to do my business. And when I say "business" I mean Number Two.

Now flash back a week ago when I'm at the grocery store price shopping toilet paper. Imagine how excited I was when Charmin was the best deal on the shelf.

Delectably soft Charmin!

Of course I bought it.

The problem with Charmin is that, at least in my opinion, it's almost TOO soft so you have to use more than the cheap rough stuff to get that good clean feeling. It has something to do with friction.

Sunday morning was one of those times I had to use a little more to get that good clean feeling.

Cut to a few hours later. It's noon. Chunky's been lunched and it's time for me to hop in the shower.

I strip down, and of course, hit the bathroom before I start the shower up because c'mon, who doesn't get the urge to pee as soon as they hear all that running water or are submerged in it?

A few friends of the aforementioned turds that were not ready to show their face after the reading of the Target ad, make an appearance.

I finish up on the toilet, flush, and go to brush my teeth.

As I'm reaching for my toothbrush, I realize that the sound of water spilling is NOT the sink where I'm brushing, nor is it the shower (that I hadn't started at this point).

No. It's the toilet.



Now I don't know what fills me with more dread: the sight of a nuclear missile screaming towards me, or seeing the water level on the toilet bowl rise to dangerous levels. Although I've never had the first happen to me, I can without a doubt say the toilet bowl would probably trump the missile each and every time.

So I start panicking.

In my naked, vulnerable state, I rip off the top of the toilet tank to see if there's something in there I can jimmy with to stop the water from running.

But the toilet is old. Real old. And I don't recognize how it works in the tank.

Somehow, as the water is spilling over and piss and shit water is cascading over my feet, I remember something either my mother, or someone taught me during my nearly 30 years here on earth: How to turn off the water to the toilet.

I take a deep breath, ignoring the fact that I'm still freaking naked and turds threaten to spill over onto the floor at any second, close the lid, and I reach down back behind the toilet and I turn the knob to shut off the water.

And the Niagara of poo and pee ceases.


But now I'm faced with a dilemma.

What the hell do I do now?

I open the lid to discover the kids I dropped off at the pool are at the very precipice of the toilet bowl. There's no way I could put the plunger in there without having them spill out onto the floor.

But I'm not even sure plunging will fix the problem.

I consider calling the landlord.

But he's not home and dude, that's my crap floating in the bowl, I don't want him to see that--how embarrassing!!

I consider calling Grandpa Mad Scientist who is a Postal Clerk by night (he works at one of the twelve 24 hour post offices in the country) and a plumber by day. But it's only 8:00 a.m. in Alaska. I doubt if he's up, and if he is, he's probably on the early Mormon-Church shift and at church.

I have to get those turds out of the bowl before I can plunge it.

So I pace around my kitchen in my birthday suit when it hits me.

Ever since I was hit with the urge to grow my own pot garden, I've been saving the plastic cups that Chunky's lunch yogurt comes in. They're not recyclable on the curb here (they're #8 plastic, not #1 or #2), so I've been saving them to start my seeds in come this spring. I figure if I get two uses out of them, that's better than tossing them straight up.

I grab some cups from the closet, the rubber gloves I wear to change the catboxes, and a trash bag.

At this point though I decide it probably isn't a bad idea to put some clothes on.

So with my hair pulled back in a wild mess, braless in a tank top, in a pair of yoga-capri lounge pants, and my winter boots (I didn't want to take the chance of any poop/pee water hitting my bare toes), armed with my cups, rubber gloves and trash bag, I head into the bathroom again.

I slowly liberate the turds from their watery grave using the yogurt cups and toss them into the trash bag.

I nearly lose the microwave burrito I had for lunch in the process. Why is it I have no problem changing a diaper, but scooping my own poop makes me want to hurl?

I march the bag o'shit outside to the trashcan and thank god that it's winter and not summer and 100 degrees with humidity out, because trash doesn't get picked up til Wednesday.

With a turd free bowl, I am able to plunge the toilet.

It still takes me quite an effort to get the embolism of Charmin free from the innerworkings of our 1920's plumbing.

I turn back on the water, and test-flush the toilet. SUCCESS!

I spend the next hour mopping up the pee and poo broth that was liberated, and I hop in the shower to scrub all the icky feelings off that come with scooping your own poop.

This plumbing success definitely ranks up there with some of my proudest moments. I was able to keep my cool, and the contents of my stomach despite being completely naked when my turds decided they weren't going to test the theory of all drains lead to the ocean.

And the moral of the story: Charmin sucks. Even if it's cheaper than the cheap-feeling stuff, don't get wooed by it's supple softness on your buttcheeks.



Blogger The Curly Knitter said...

Wow. I think I'm more impressed that you actually shared the story than I am at how you dealt with it. Bravo. I would have felt the same way. I too have bought Charmin and while it's a vacation from the sandpapery cheaper stuff, it definitely does not hold up very well.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

OMG, dropped the kids off at the pool? That's THE best! And I believe you've come up with the ONLY yogurt flavor on earth not yet seen on the shelves ;-) You are woman, brava!

7:23 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ok, I laughed so hard I cried, really! One, I don't know that I would have been brave enough to share that story, so kudos to you! Two, I would have hurled, most definitely! Three, I promise I will never ever buy Charmin. My toilet in my last apartment was so old, it didn't even have a tank!

7:34 AM  
Blogger T. Budnik said...

Holy Shit! That definitely wins the funniest thing I've read/heard all day, maybe even week.

What kinds of sanitary codes are you violating by throwing your poo in the trash?

And are you sure it was the excess of toiletpaper that caused the problem? Not the size of the poo? haha!


8:00 AM  
Blogger Amby said...

"Now I don't know what fills me with more dread: the sight of a nuclear missile screaming towards me, or seeing the water level on the toilet bowl rise to dangerous levels."

Whether people want to admit it or not, truer words were never spoken. Thanks for the laugh first thing in the morning, I read it aloud to my officemate and we were both cracking up. You tell it like it is!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Good Lord. Today started out with quite a nightmare in our house so... thanks for having a poo-vesuvius you are willing to share.

All I keep wondering is did you have that shitty back up into the tub with the old plumbing that just does not drain? Did you have to stand in 3 inches of bathtub water while you showered your shit water off? I hope the plumbing gods were smiling on you and at least that drained right.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

All I could think of was the year I visited my uncle when he was negotiating some fruit selling:

The white men laughed at the "quaintness" of my uncle's bathroom, located OUTSIDE his adobe house. It is completely tiled and the toilet roll lives in a box outside that you must remember to bring in with you. And yet, they were mightily impressed when they noticed the drain in the middle of the room. "To hose the whole thing down, if necessary; these are Mexican sewers we're dealing with." was his response.

If I ever build my own house? You know there would be a drain in the middle of the floor. It makes any spills much more manageable.

Charmin is a trouble-maker...'s all I'm sayin'.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I think I may bookmark this post to read on those days that I desperately need to laugh.

Only the toilet paper with the little dog on it (cottonelle?) in my house.

8:59 AM  
Blogger janna said...

OMG! My house in San Antonio had the worst plumbing when I moved in. I watched every single flush to make sure everything actually did go down. By the time I sold them place, things were "moving" much better, but one thing I learned about: toilet snakes. (No, they don't live in your toilet.) You can buy one at the hardware store and it will clear out whatever is clogging things up.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Starfish said...

Oh man, reading about the water creeping up to overflow actually gave me waves of panic - there is nothing worse that than feeling - other than when it happens to you at someone ELSE's house!

Glad it all worked out in the end, and thanks for the laugh.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

That was the most tasteless blog post I have ever read! I am NEVER visiting your blog again! The very IDEA of discussing one's own errant feces in public is highly disgusting to me! How dare you pollute my mind in this way!

I'll need to watch several back to back episodes of South Park to cleanse my thoughts of this image of poo and e-coli. Perhaps the More Crap episode or the season appropriate Douche and Turd?
Yes, I am sorely offended! You won't see my comments again, I can tell you!

snicker, Poor thing, that was deeply traumatic and when your lease is up, I want you to move. Seriously. You don't have time for this crap. tee hee

10:20 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Perhaps your ancient hygienic system would be better off with the stuff used for septic systems...single ply. Which is, indeed, the rougher stuff. I had that happen to me a few months ago. distinctly unpleasant.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Magatha said...

Two more things:

What? No pictures? Hah! rip off!


Seriously, that bathroom needs a swabbing in Clorox water. Seriously.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Bummer. So sad that something so soft is so very destructive. You handled it well. I would have cried.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Bezzie, you kill me. I would have freaked out good and proper and there still would have been a mess on the floor.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! Again I laugh!!! I can just see you naked trying to get the water to stop and the turds to stay in the bowl!!! And as T said what kind of law are you breaking putting your poo in the trash? I bet if you looked into it there is something on the books about that!! Love, Mom

11:59 AM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

Okay - now I'm laughing out loud sitting in my cube at work and everyone wants to know why....I also think that is the best use of the word precipice I've seen.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

You're right - Charmin sucks. I made the mistake of drinking coffee while I read your post and immediately snorted said coffee all over my clean polka-dot jammies, the dining room table, and the floor. Then I had to read it to Hubster, who promptly spewed his coffee all over the coffee table and rug. Moral: keep all beverages away from self while reading your blog.

I have to agree with Carol - "dropped the kids off at the pool" made me choke because I had the coffee halfway down my throat when I read that and promptly began laughing, which ended up in a strangled-sounding gurgle. Hence, the snorting through my nose.

You are a goddess. I bow down to you.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Poor thing.

But bloody funny though.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...


1:23 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Charmin is the worst. When my children were born, I had to switch to the cheap, thin stuff because little kids love to use lots of toilet paper. We have never gone back. And we have far fewer floods. Although, I have a brother in law who regularly stops up the flow. Must be something he eats.

2:01 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Well, I'm uh...glad I haven't eaten lunch yet.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh Bezzie, I'm laughing and filled with great sympathy over here.

And I really hate the extra-thick, extra-soft two-ply stuff like Charmin. Standard one ply ScotTissue at our house.

We own a plumbing snake, which we've had to use occasionally. You're welcome to borrow it if you're in the area.

3:56 PM  
Blogger maryannlucy said...

OMG! What can I say?? Please write a book, you had me laughing so much. I am also full of admiration and awe, I wouldn't have known where to start - you just paint such a picture. DH has a toilet paper obsession, but has definitely learnt the lesson of Charmin ;)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Poops said...

You can come poop at my house any time. I have an old super-flush capacity toilet and I swear I could flush a bath towel and it would go down.

And yes, the panic that rises with the water and the turds: it's universal.

But the yogurt cups? Only Bezzie.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Stickyfingers said...

Dear, sweet, reliable Bezzie . . I can always count on you for a laugh!

7:42 PM  
Blogger JRS said...


I'm glad you escaped...unscathed.

I always complain about crappy Japanese toilet paper. It's all single ply, unquilted, scratchy, plus it's usually "virgin pulp" (why?!), bleached and dyed to boot. But most Japanese people have Washlets--electric heated toilet seats (what wusses!) that have both Bidet and "Butt wash" functions. If you press the button with the butt and the spray on it, it does just that--wash your butt after #2. After I realized most homes (but not mine) have these, I understood their tolerance of sub-par toilet paper. Your story has me rethinking my love of super-soft and quilted American toilet paper though!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Makes me glad I use the 100% recycled paper stuff ;). Even though they've had many many lessons, I don't believe my children have yet mastered the art of toilet flushing, and if we used anything other than the super thin, recycled stuff, we'd experience this very scene on a daily basis. Ick!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Sherry W said...

Okay, okay I have to share- I had my laptop an was reading this post on the can!!!

10:14 PM  
Blogger Zonda said... you could post this so eloquently!! Thanks for the laugh, sorry it was at your expense though!

10:29 PM  
Blogger coastergirl said...

OMG - firstly - been there, done that, wearing that too! Yeah - glad to know I am not the only one that gets pukey when dealing with my own to speak....

Hys-freakin-sterical - dropped the kids off at the pool - I am laughing sooo hard.

You are the to speak....

10:51 PM  
Blogger peri said...

So funny!! You paint a wonderfully vivid picture there.

I do regret the chocco cereal I had for brekkie right at this moment though.

Finally - I knew there was a good reason why I married a plumber.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I salute you for exuding calmness under pressure, especially in your state of undress.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Oh a thousand little jokes come to mind (well, more like 2 or 3) but I do have to thank you for the hearty laugh I just enjoyed! Glad you were able to get it under control without having to involve the landlord or a plumber. =)

3:07 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Springs was probably in the corner laughing the entire time too wasn't he?

7:53 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

Why do household crisis happen when one is naked? Glad you made it okay! That's craptacular at a whole new level.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Laurah said...

O-M-G! I literally laughed out loud like six times! Seeing toilet water rising seiously is one of the worst sights. Oh, the anxiety! Thanks for the funniest moment in my day today!

1:53 AM  
Blogger Macoco said...

That is horrific. It makes me glad that I use the cheap stuff though!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

gee, and I first I thought naked plumbing had to do with other things!

anywho, hubby LOVES the soft stuff. That's all they ever had in his house. my mom hates it, so we always had good 'ol Scott tissue.

i think that fluffy stuff works for nothing. ugh. so our compromise is Scott Extra Soft. Just enough for him to call it soft, but still sturdy enough to get the job done.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Oh man, as soon as I read the word "Charmin" I had a bad feeling. Not only does it give you paper dingleberries, it's a sure way to f-up your toilet. A plumber once told me that the best TP for your crapper and pipes is the cheap shit kind like Marcal or Scott. It disintegrates whereas Charmin turns into a pipe clogging paste. Totally off topic: I was born in Alaska but raised in Jersey.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I love your have a flare!! You made me wanna read on about someone elses poo....LOL

12:25 AM  
Blogger Laurah said...

A toilet-flushing tip my water engineer cousin told me: don't run the shower or the sink when you flush the toilet. Somehow it takes 'suck power' away from the toilet.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous andi said...

Poo in yogurt cups! Running around the house butt naked! What next!

I will admit, there's not much scarier than the rising tide, though.

2:50 PM  

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