When the shit hits the fan…and the vanity…and the floor

I really struggled with what to call this post, because the options were endless.  I thought of everything from “A Memorial Day to Remember.”  to “I had a shitty weekend.”

I had a work commitment on Saturday which required that I get up early and work until about 2 PM.  I rushed home after that and got Casey then headed to Moab where my family was convening for the long weekend and where Riley was already playing with cousins.  The 4 hour drive seemed endless as Casey slept and I struggled to keep alert and focused as I drove through sunshine – then pouring rain – then sunshine – then rain like I had never seen it come down before.  I’m talking flash flood rain, and I creeped along the interstate doing about 40 miles per hour.

I arrived in Moab just after a downpour as the sun peaked through and the most gorgeous, vibrant rainbow filled the entire sky.  I felt myself relax.  My work commitments were over, and I planned on having a fabulous weekend of tacos, tequila, and family.

As I pulled into my sister’s driveway, I had but two things on my mind…using the bathroom, and eating dinner.  I had called from town and said I was almost there.  She said Shrimp tacos were being served even as we spoke.  My mouth watered.

I entered the living room and started to beeline to the bathroom when I heard someone say, “I hear water running in the bathroom.”  I glanced into the bathroom to the most gruesome sight I had ever seen.

The toilet was a volcano.  More aptly put, a geyser, and it was forcefully exploding raw sewage.  A little more powerful (though about the same color) as the mud pots of Yellowstone, the sewage erupted with force from the toilet.

My first thought was relief that I hadn’t arrived a minute earlier.  I was sure that I would have been sitting atop ole’ faithful getting a shit-water enema.  Not exactly what I had in mind for my holiday weekend.  I was equally relieved that I hadn’t arrived five minutes earlier.  I would certainly have been blamed for “clogging” the pot – an accusation thrown my way since childhood.  My second thought was, “How am I supposed to go pee with this happening?”  It wasn’t until my third conscious thought that I realized the horror that was now pouring out of the bathroom and into the hallway and living room.  “What in the world is my sister going to do?”

She and her husband jumped into action.  She called the city.  It was Memorial Day Weekend.  She called the on-call number.  She finally got a hold of the on-call guy who had clearly been 5 beers into the game, but said he’d be right down.  Her husband got busy throwing down towels and blankets and rugs and anything he could, and my nephew and I picked up their new couch and carried it to the kitchen.  We picked up anything on the floor, saving most everything we could.  But the sewage kept coming as the toilets (we discovered the master bathroom was having the same problem simultaneously) exploded for a good twenty minutes.  My sister announced that we all had to vacate the premise due to the presence of methane gas.  (Umm.  Duh.)

That’s when my survival instincts kicked in.  I ran to the kitchen and grabbed myself a shrimp taco and proceeded to eat it while standing in ankle high sewage and inhaling the stinky air.  At this point, Riley’s survival instincts must have kicked in too.  He gathered up all the children and himself and climbed atop the trampoline, because “if the flood keeps coming, we’ll be safe here.”

The brown water (and I use that term loosely) was now about 4 inches deep in spots and rising.  It was clear that the 15 of us would not be able to spend the night there.  My dad and I gathered up the 7 children and took them to the park where incidentally I was finally able to use the facilities.  Though the facilities were port a potties, I had never been more thankful.  I called every – and I mean every – hotel, motel, hostel, condo rental, and campsite in 20 miles, only to find that Moab had no.  And I mean NO.  VACANCY.

At this point my dad said we all needed to pile into the cars and drive to Roosevelt, leaving Carrie and Miguel to sort out their house.  It wasn’t hat we weren’t willing to help.  I mean, I’ve had a hepatitis shot and all, but really, I was more of a hindrance.  Chasing two children through a poopy living room isn’t exactly the kind of dig in and scrub assistance they needed.  There was no way I was getting back into a car for 4 hours.  I had been up since 5 in the morning, was busy and stressed out coordinating the work event and post-reception and then drove for 4 hours already.  While driving back to the house to see the progress my sis was able to make, and hopefully to make a plan, Casey chimed in from the back seat, “Casey no want to go to the shit house again.”  I assurred him that he would not have to go in.   I was just about resigned to the upcoming 4 hour drive when my sister’s friend offered up her house.  I quickly agreed to the charity offered by my sister’s friend.  She had naively offered that we could stay at her house for the night.

And the 15 of us did exactly that.

So Sunday morning we all drove back to Roosevelt, and left Carrie and Miguel to strip the carpet, linoleum, and wood flooring from their house.  We spent the day and then drove back to Salt Lake City on Monday.  It wasn’t the Memorial Day Weekend I wanted.  Indeed I feel a little self absorbed even to label it a shitty weekend.  Because it certainly was shittier for my sister.

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2 Responses to “When the shit hits the fan…and the vanity…and the floor”

  1. Kaye Says:

    Holy shit!
    Bwah-ha-ha-ha. That really “stinks” for your sister, though.
    Could have been worse… The methane gas could have caused you all to pass out and drown.

  2. Doug Hackford Says:

    did i hear SHRIMP TOCOS

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