Day Six: Tide rising. So is the smell. Prudence is telling me to go over to someone's house to shower, but I am just too lazy. Going in. Tell my boyfriend I love him.
Day Seven: Found out Upstairs Dude's toilet is connected to our shower. Gurgling sounds invaded my dreams. Still haven't reached the landlord. Working up a good righteous anger for next call.
Day Eight: Three Brothers are spending the weekend in our house. Wondering if I should prepare them for the Septic Apocalypse or just Noah's Flood. God help us all.
If I had kept a journal of the events at our apartment over the past week and a half, it would have looked like this. We've had problems with our septic system since we moved in; most of you know some of it. In response to Garrett's and my first notice of the perpetual puddle on the floor of the basement, the previous tenant and the landlord both assured us it was a leak from outside and that it was not serious. Turns out, though, the water through which I was treading to get to the washer and the dryer was not rainwater.
I was changing the laundry one evening and I heard water rushing; the septic pipes run against the wall in the basement. What I did not expect was a gush of water to spill out of a gaping four-inch hole in the main line right onto the table and floor. I was struck dumb for a moment, then, almost dropping the armload of clothes I had, I flew up the stairs and drug Garrett down to see. Yes indeed, boys and girls, everything from our bathroom and Upstairs Dude's bathroom was pouring down this one pipe and onto our basement floor.
This all began a little less than two weeks ago. After several unsuccessful attempts to contact the landlord, I took matters into my own hands and called a plumber that despite his blazingly colorful language (even for a plumber), patched the hole well.
Please note that the house in which Garrett and I live is very likely more than twice my age. The pipes, then, have had about fifty years to get corroded and clogged. Not a day after Ken the Cussing Plumber patched the yawning hole in the main line, I discovered a lesser leak. It could wait a day. Then, the toilet stopped flushing properly. But with tough love from a plunger and choice words from yours truly, it accepted its lot. That could wait a day too. That night, I was awoken by violent and prolonged gurgling sounds coming from our shower drain. These were caused by the flushing toilet from upstairs. That could even wait. The next morning, I discovered that our shower no longer drained and that our bathroom sink leaked.
That could not wait a day.
But it had to, because the next day was Saturday. To throw some sprinkles on this pile of shit, Garrett and I had invited three Psi Brothers to spend the next two nights at our house, in addition to hosting a large party for the Brotherhood on Saturday night.
Everyone is well, so we don't have to worry about another apocalypse until 2012. It got hairy for a few minutes during the party; since there was only one plunger, Garrett and I took turns jousting with the toilet. Evidently it felt it was getting the rotten end of this whole deal. I couldn't completely blame it until it gurgled irritably at one of the Brothers and freaked her out. She hasn't used our toilet since then.
This morning I called the Ken the WonderPlumber and bless his jaded soul, he put off a few other calls for us. He and his slack-jawed young assistant spent about an hour clanking around in our basement, cussing and roto-rooting our toilet (the hole in the floor to be exact; they had taken the toilet off its pipe). The results according to Ken the Hero of the People: a three-year-old had assembled the plumbing in the entire house. Tree roots had complicated the problem. Ken had patched, unclogged and unrooted to the best of his ability, but the problem would never really be solved until the all the pipes were replaced.
Let me take this moment to say how happy I am that I do not own this house.
Let me also take this moment to say how not forward I am looking to cleaning up the shitwater lake from our basement floor. Anybody think Garrett could pull off a Moses move?