Thank you, Kleenex, for my E-Coli poisoning.
I was reading another blog the other day, which recounted how their basement was flooded.
Although we’ve had our share of water around my house, the closest I've ever come to having water in my basement was a horrific incident almost solely caused by the Kleenex company.
Flushable Wipes are the Devil.
…first…a bit of background…
I have two kids. My oldest daughter is 7 years old.
About 7-1/2 years ago, we were in the process of building an addition to our house. This addition included a ¾ bath.
The sewer pipes leading from this bathroom out to the street wind through our basement, at a height approximately 5 or 6 inches above my head.
If you do the math, you’ll find that my daughter was still of that magical diaper age.
Yes...it's the age of wonder where every bodily function ends up in a giant heap of stink smashed against their bottoms...requiring parental intervention to mop up the crime scene.
Kids, being what they are, don’t care where they crap or pee. Typically, they’ll do this where and when you don’t want them to, like – say – standing in line at the DMV when you're next in line...and it now smells like the very bowels of Hell have opened and YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR KID NOW!!!
When a child poops in a diaper, it is akin to discovering a body in the woods…and said body was dismembered by an army of poo-wielding chainsaw madmen.
There’s a hideous, horrifying stench.
…and there’s a magnificent, fantastical mess.
To quote my previous post, "Poo Marbles and Mona Lisa":
Baby poo is disgusting. Right out of the chute, baby poo resembles tar and smells like - if I may be so bold - Armageddon. Once again, the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse - Stinky - rears his ugly head.
Cleaning up this mess is not only an effort in intestinal fortitude…but it’s also a bitch on the mellifluous odor of your house.
Because, unlike toilet paper…you can’t flush a diaper.
You have to find a "Diaper Genie" to store them.
...or throw them out...
...or hide them really well.
But…then…we heard of the miracle of the Flushable Wipe.
OH! Flushable Wipes!
It's a wipe!
Wipe the bum! Collect the poo! Flush it away!
(Just like what Daddy does with his poo…except his is much, much larger...would take an entire container of wipes to clean...and (HEALTH WARNING FOR PARENTS) may contain peanuts)
Anway...so we bought the Flushable Wipes.
..and we used them…
…and we flushed them…
But kids keep pooing.
So we used more.
…and flushed ‘em.
Until…one day…the Jed Clampett in me noticed that up from our new shower came a’bubblin’ crude.
Poo that is. Brown Gold.…and some pee.
The sight of the brownish water floating in the bottom of our shower, along with the flurry of little brown canoes, tipped me off.
We had ourselves a clog somewhere downstream from the bathroom.
We figured that the problem had to be the very slight slope of the pipes. However, my contractor is akin to a giant, so I try to not scold him very often.
So we called a company who came and cleared out the pipes for us using a giant “Arm of Death”, and gas masks. This arm thing was SO COOL - it reminded me of a movie I saw as a kid called "The Black Hole" (not the same movie that I have hidden elsewhere in my house), and the evil robot had arms JUST LIKE THIS.
For a minute, I wanted to be a rooter.
Then I watched them work on poopy pipes. And the feeling left quickly.
Anyway, within an hour, the pipe was cleared.
Life went on.
And we kept wiping our daughter’s bum...
…and flushing those damn wipes…
…and sure as sh*t….we got ourselves another little brown oasis in the bottom of the shower after a while.
Now…I happened to be watching the Roto guy who came the last time. I watched him intently...so I knew (KNEW) what I had to do...
I watched him enter our basement, and check the pipes leading above my head snaking through the rooms.
He tapped on them…apparently checking that the immediate area was free and clear...
…he opened them up.
On the corner of one of the pipes, where it took a bend, was a plate that would open with the turn of a wrench, allowing you to look inside.
At the time, after tapping on the pipes, he opened the plate and could see where the clog was a little further down.
Piece of cake.
I went downstairs, armed with a wrench, a bucket, and my faithful wife beside me...ready to clear the clog.
Raising the wrench to the plate just above my face, I began turning.
…please note, at this point, that I neglected to tap on the pipe.
…which - unbeknownst to me - happened to be completely backed up with poo...and pee...and God knows what else.
Had I tapped on the friggin' thing...things may have turned out differently...but...
At about a quarter turn, the plate let go with the force of several hundred gallons of sewage stopped upstream of it.
This plate plunked off of my forehead, before landing on the ground.
…leaving me staring at a four-inch wide pipe hole…which was now emptying it’s contents onto my face...think, the scene from FlashDance...except instead of a hot Jennifer Beals covered in water...you have a 5'2" guy drowning in sewage.
And there...watching me fight off this torrent of poopy-caca...
My wife...laughing hysterically.
Like Ernest Borgnine fighting in Poseidon...I'm screaming, "GET THE PLUG!!! GET THE PLUG!!!"
It took three tries to get that damn thing in.
...mainly because my wife was busy crying from laughing so hard that she was too busy to actually hand me the damn plug.
Once we got things settled and got the plumbers back, we were advised of the following:
You're not supposed to flush the Flushable Wipes. They clog pipes.
Oh, they clog pipes, do they?
You know how I know that, Mr. Plumber? I know that because I look like this:
Flushable wipes, my ass.
Flushable wipes that aren't flushable.
Consider yourself warned.