I Am Now A Believer.

OK, so Carmen didn’t kill me, but she got her revenge just the same.

Let me set the stage.  Husband was in the shower and I was just about to throw laundry from the washer into the dryer.  As I descended the basement stairs, a strange odor slapped me in the face.  It was vaguely reminiscent of a pile of shit.

This is not the first time I’ve smelled shit in my own basement.

Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, I heard gurgling.  I can name two things, right off the top of my head, that shouldn’t gurgle.  One is your sewer drain.  The other is your toilet.

One quick peek at both indicated a problem I wish I could tell you I was unfamiliar with.  Our sewer line was backed up.  Again.  This is about the fourth time since we moved in two and a half years ago.

Being the resourceful and frugal gal that I am, I decided I would try to take care of this myself.  I grabbed some gloves, some plastic bags, a bucket and a wire hanger.  I gently removed the cap to the drain and guess what came oozing out?

You guessed it.  Sewage!  Hurray!

If you guessed massive clumps of toilet paper, I will also award you some points.

I used the hanger to remove the paper into what I found out was aptly named “the pit” around the drain.       Upon doing so, we went from ooze to rush.  I now had, oh, about a gallon or so, of slime spewing forth from a hole in my basement floor.  Since I’m pretty good at thinking on my feet, I had the wherewithal to slam the cap back on the pipe and call a professional.

For the low, low price of two hundred and thirty five dollars (and forty cents!), you too can have a sewer pipe free of shit and toilet paper!

So, John of Royal Flush popped on over.  He told me that I was lucky that it wasn’t backed up worse and that I didn’t “get a face full” when I opened the cap.  Lucky, indeed.

He stuck some things down the pipe and now we’re good.  Good, except you know, for the smell of a porta-potty in my house.  John suggested that I pour some disinfectant in the pit.  We had some Mr. Clean and now my house smells like shit and lemons.

As someone who knows, take it from me.  Don’t open your sewer drain if it’s bubbling.  There are some things you simply cannot unsee.  Or unsmell.  Don’t use thick and fluffy toilet paper if your house has a history of sewer back ups, even if that toilet paper is on sale.  And if you happen to read a story on Facebook about a girl who died in a sewer drain, just repost the damn thing.

This is a little different from the kind of post I’d normally link up with Yeah Write, but, well, I did it anyway.  Head over there for a collection of great blogs and then on Thursday vote for your five favorites.

65 Responses to “I Am Now A Believer.”

  1. Ugh. That is the worst. The sewer in our first house backed up and flooded the basement — the week before our closing date to sell it. It was beyond disgusting. You’re right: You can’t unsee or unsmell that experience.

  2. Bee says:

    Oh, yuck! I’m so sorry this happened — and right after you read that Carmen post.

    • For a brief moment, I considered the possibility that I’d tumble down the basement stairs, break my neck and fall next to the drain. I know it’s not exactly what the story claimed would happen, but it would be creepily close, right?

  3. Laurel says:

    Michelle, this sounds awful, but you had me laughing my ass off. Shit and lemons, bahaha
    I hope the smell clears up & your Carmen story reminded me of this pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/12596073929523837/

  4. Christie says:

    Um I’m traumatized from reading this. I can only imagine how you feel!

  5. Brenda says:

    Hahaha, Carmen indeed!
    Reminded me of Grandpa’s house and his little signs in the bathroom to “Please don’t put Kleenex in the toilet!”. Unfortunately, it went ignored one day as people were on the way with the realtor to see the house…
    For you it’s Carmen, for me it was Grandpa.

  6. Anonymous says:

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  7. Ugh, that is so gross. Plumbing problems are just the absolute worst.

  8. Verry Merry says:

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  9. Oh man, that is the worst! The smell kind of gets stuck in your nose doesn’t it? I hope it dissipates soon for you. Maybe Mr. Clean with Febreze would have been a bigger help.

    • I smelled it all day and I couldn’t tell if the house still smelled or if it was just in my head! It’s gone for good though now I’m sure. After being out all day at work on Tuesday and not smelling it when I got home, I know we’re safe. So awful though!

  10. In graduate school, I lived in an illegal basement apartment when sewage backed up in my sink. It was disgusting. I was brushing my teeth with poopie water. I’ll never forget it. Ever. Poop always makes for good stories.

    I’m here from yeah Write.

    It’s my first time.

  11. Oh ick ick ick! We broke the sewage pipe on our trailer once, and the cleanup was NOT fun. The good news was it was out-of-doors, so the smell dissipated fairly quickly after the cleanup – I can only imagine that lemon-shit smell…

  12. Linda Roy says:

    Omg – Carmen gotcha! That is so weird. As a manager of Waste Management like…constantly…here at Chez Roy, I can tell you that I feel your pain. I have a poop story that is itchin’ to be told someday. But this was a Queen Mother of a poop story, I’ll tell ya. I’m still cracking up that the plumber was named JOHN and that company was ROYAL FLUSH. That is stellar! LOLOL “…shit and lemons…” haha Sorry, it had to be horrific, but so funny.

    • It was pretty funny. And seriously, how can you NOT hire a guy name John from Royal Flush. He’s actually a really nice guy. And clearly I see way too much of him.

      I can’t wait to read your poop story. Now you must write it!

  13. That happened to my brother-in-law, but it was a fountain. And my niece just stood their screaming “Poppy get out of that poo!!” Thanks for the reminder, and don’t do that again.

  14. ew!! i can’t believe you even opened it!!! you’re a better woman than i am!

  15. Love the humor you add to this. Doesn’t always seem to go that things just take on a life of their own when you think you’ve got it covered?

  16. Marcy says:

    I thought you were very resourceful in your story, partly clearing it yourself. That was really funny timing with the Facebook thing.

  17. IASoupMama says:

    Ick. Ick. Ick. I’m gagging in my office. I can’t imagine lemon poo potpourri…

    My hubby always went nutso with the Lysol after a dog poo accident in our house. I can’t stand the smell of Lysol mixed with dog poo. Blech!

    • My dog was good for some really impressive poop accidents and the smell of that with something to “mask” it always made it so much worse! There’s really nothing that covers that up!

  18. Shit and lemons – I spy a one-woman show in your future! Great post!

  19. Jester Queen says:

    Oh man – I hate rooting around in anything involving shit. And yet, my son is a flusher. I, too, have dredged the drains. Shit and lemons. I think that may be my new swear word. I promise to credit you.

    • “Oh, shit and lemons!” Yes, it does sound good.

      I’m lucky that my son never flushed anything. But I figure there’s a first time for everything and I wouldn’t put it past him!

  20. Jared Karol says:

    Oh, the joys of home ownership. I laughed at the part about your place smelling shit and lemons. Reminded me of Adam Carolla way back in the day on LoveLine saying that he never used fragrance spray in the bathroom because it just smelled like someone took a crap on a pine cone. True, true. . .

  21. There should have been a disclaimer at the beginning that warned me not to eat Nutella while reading this. Besides that, I laughed and felt horrible for you at the same time. I hope you have no more home problems for quite some time!

    • Oh, Nutella. I was cracking up thinking of you enjoying a snack, then reading this. So I think my laughing cancelled out your laughing.

      I’ll try to remember to put a disgusting disclaimer next time.

  22. Oh bless your heart! I would have yelled, “Honey!” faster than I’ve ever yelled “Honey!” before.

  23. You are either brave or crazy! I would have picked up the phone right away. I am not a DIYer and i’m scared of poo.

  24. Dana says:

    OH, dear lord that is awful! Almost as awful as the fact that he named his business “Royal Flush”!

  25. Anonymous says:

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  26. Ken says:

    Sometimes, all you can do is laugh?

    We live in the country and when we needed our septic tank sucked, It was cheapest to get the neighbour to come with his tank and suck it out. Except his hose was bad and half way through the job it blew apart and covered the curious group of onlookers in, well….shit! That’s my sewage story. I think we burned our clothes.

    Also, when I go into my basement, I smell teenage boys. Some days I wonder if the sewage might be better? :)

    • We had a septic at our old house and right before we moved we had to have it cleaned and flushed with peroxide. Stupid thing was open in the direct sun for much longer than any of us would have liked. Thankfully none of us were wearing the contents!!

  27. Oh god, that sounds very disturbing….

  28. Kiki says:

    Ew. Love the things you can’t unsmell. Totally.

  29. OMG that sounds disgusting and yet so well told! My neighbours just had the sewer back up in their house and it flooded their unit and the duplex next to them! Both sides have moved out while repairs are done!!! At least your backup wasn’t that bad!

  30. Ericamos says:

    I love it! Not the fact that your sewage line broke, but I always love to read a good poo story!

  31. Kianwi says:

    Ick, ick, ick! I can’t even imagine. And yes, it does seem like Carmen had her revenge. Why oh why didn’t you repost???

  32. Esther says:

    Oh jeez! I don’t know that I could’ve opened the thing. You are very brave. Love the unsee/unsmell bit. Eww!!!

  33. saalon says:

    Oh, Michelle. Bouncing me back and forth between retching-gagging-nausea and laughter for an entire post. You jerk.

    Shit and lemons. laughretch


  34. Oh my gosh. “We had some Mr. Clean and now my house smells like shit and lemons.”

    Tears. Streaming down my face.

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