Raindrops and Whiskers

I had to do an exercise in a training recently where we had to list some of our "favorite things". It took a great deal of strength not to channel my inner Julie Andrews and jump up onto the tables singing, "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." I know the whole soundtrack by heart. What? Don't judge.

I sat and listened to some other people listing off things I too enjoy, like that deep belly laugh little kids do when they've just cracked themselves up, a hot cup of coffee and a good book, the Internet!, funny movies, anything with glitter and rhinestones (that one was on my list, obviously), and then it was my turn. I piped up with: INDOOR PLUMBING.

It's probably a good thing I didn't start dancing around and singing like the scandalous nun in Sound of Music. I don't think indoor plumbing was on Fraulein Maria's list of favorite things, and in a room full of mental health people, you start talking crazy and people raise their eyebrows. Then I had to explain myself.

About a month ago, Ross texted me at work and says, "our basement flooded". And I can go around and around with him about why he would possibly send me a TEXT MESSAGE saying that, but there really is no easy way to tell someone the basement flooded. We're looking into texting etiquette classes.

So I call him, completely hysterical, only to find out that I'm about 6 hours behind the rest of the world.

ME: WTF do you mean the basement flooded?!
ROSS: I don't know how else to say it. There was water, and it was all over the basement.
ME: Well what happened?
ROSS: I don't know
ME: What do you mean, you don't know?!
ROSS: It's gone now
ME: Gone? What do you mean gone? Just now?
ROSS: No, it went away after awhile

You can see how this conversation continued. Apparently Ross took a shower and noticed it after he went to the basement to do some laundry. I should mention here that Ross is a princess in the shower. I don't think I've ever known him to take a shower lasting less than 25 minutes. So when I say Ross took a shower, I mean he SHOWERED. And evidently all the water from his princess shower ended up in our basement. And then went away. There is a hole in our floor where water drains into from our washing machine. I know what you're thinking. And yes, IT RUBS THE LOTION ON THE SKIN. Are you happy now?

So we did what any respectable homeowner would do, and applied the "Car Noise" technique. You know the one, Turn-Up-The-Radio-And-Make-The-Bad-Noise-Go-Away. We shrugged it off, and promptly forgot about it.

You can guess what happened then. A few days later it happened again. Only this time it was worse, and it wasn't just water. Uh huh. Yep, there was poo in our basement. Ross quickly discovered that our main drain was clogged. Which meant anything that went down any drain in our house, ended up on the basement floor!

Ross spend the next 2 days snaking out the drain. First with a 25 foot snake, then a 50 footer, and finally a 100 foot snake. Mind you, we're at day 3 of no plumbing. That means no indoor plumbing. Ross was a champ though, and he used our Shop Vac to suction the water out of the drain enough for me to take a monkey bath in the shower and wash my hair so I could go to work. Our entire house smelled like an outhouse on an 80 degree afternoon.

As this little saga progressed, we were getting input from everyone who was a plumber, or knew a plumber, or watched a thing on plumbing on the Discovery Channel one time. And each person we talked to had a worse scenario than the last. By the time I talked to Ross that afternoon, I had been convinced that the roots of the huge tree in the backyard had worked their way under the house, collapsed a pipe, and they were going to have to bulldoze the house to fix the problem. And it was going to cost me upwards of $10,000 and a pound of flesh. You'll have to forgive me. I hadn't had a proper shower in 3 days. And Ross spent three days covered in poo. We were under a lot of stress.

At about 3pm on Thursday, day 3, Ross threw in the towel and I called Roto-Rooter. AND I GOT A VOICEMAIL. I felt like I had called 911 and was told to leave a message with my emergency. Did he not understand that there was POO! In our BASEMENT!!! So leave a message, I did. And I was careful to make sure he knew about the poo. It was traumatizing.

The message said they closed at 5pm. And at 5pm, he still hadn't called back. So I called the 1-800 number thinking maybe that would get me somewhere, and was informed that when you live in the sticks, they'll charge you your left foot and first born to come out from Portland. We decided it had been 3 days, what was one more? And mercifully I had Friday off. Ross, however, had to go to work. So I woke up at the crack of dawn and waited by the phone with the intention of calling Mr. Rooter at 8:00 on the nose. And then Hangup-Redialing until he answered the phone. No more leaving messages about poo.

But I didn't have to. He called me at 7:50 and cheerfully informed me that he'd be happy to come out in about an hour and take a little look-see into our plumbing problem.

He brought out what appeared to be a glorified pressure washer and blasted the crap (sorry I couldn't help myself) out of the pipe! He said Ross had been snaking right through the clog. Because of course he had. 3 days spent poking around in poo for nothing. Perhaps we ought to take up dairy farming after all.

And when it was all over, less than an hour later, he charged me $85! That's it! That's how much my cleanliness, mental health, and a new cap for the drain cost. God bless the Roto-Rooter guy. I wanted to hug him, and tell him I was forever indebted to him, and perhaps could I build some sort of worshiping shrine to pay him homage? But I didn't. I think he could tell though. He probably drove to the courthouse right from our house and got a restraining order.

For the record, I did try to get some pictures, but Ross got angry that I was taking pictures of him covered in poo, while he was trying to get rid of the poo in the basement, that was also covered in poo. I tried to explain that this was for the blog, and that inquiring minds would want to know about this. His response to that would be edited out of most syndicated programming, so I won't post it here. I don't understand him sometimes.

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