Since I’m a mom of three, one might assume this story is going to be about some silly mishap involving my kids (you know, having to fish turds out of the bathtub when they accidentally pushed too hard in the water like most parents have to do once or twice … or fine, ten times in the span of all three kids). But oh no, that’s simply child’s play compared to what I’m going to share with you. And no, my kids weren’t the culprits in this poop story. So hold onto your britches, this is a doozy. Let me set the scene….
It was a balmy August day a few years ago. In honor of my 35th birthday, two of my best friends (Jules and L) and I went to a Luke Bryan concert. We drank overpriced beers, got drenched in a rainstorm (since we had lawn seats because, hello, we needed extra money to pay for those beers) and had a blast shaking our booties, in between screaming “Luke, I want to have your baby!” like any self-respecting mothers would do. It was a girls-only outing, and no kids or husbands that we had to claim were in sight.
After the concert, Jules dropped L and I off at L’s house. Her kids were at her parents’ for a sleepover and her hubby was out of town, so we had the place to ourselves. We stayed up to eat bad food, laugh hysterically, and recap the night while doing our best to sober up before going to sleep.
Around 1 o’clock in the morning, I headed to the guest room and she headed to her room to bed. I laid down, but my stomach started to rumble (likely due to the fistfuls of Doritos, buffalo chicken dip, and other various snacks we consumed throughout the day). I headed to the bathroom across the hall, which was her kids’ bathroom, and proceeded to do my business. I felt so much better and flushed the toilet. That was my first mistake.
For some reason, the toilet wouldn’t flush. In my altered state of mind, I didn’t realize there had been a large wad (i.e., half a roll) of toilet paper jammed in the commode. So I tried to flush it again (that was my second mistake, and the fatal one). The waters started to rise like fecal flood waters in a poop canal and before I knew it, the toilet overflowed all over the floor. I exited the room as quickly as I could, and I must have been yelling for L, because she came running down the hallway with a look of drunken terror on her face. The conversation went like this:
Me: “I am SO sorry! I overflowed the toilet!”
L: “Oh no! I forgot to tell you that the boys always jam too much toilet paper in there and sometimes it’s hard to flush. We can clean it up.”
All of a sudden, we both hear water whooshing from somewhere and we start running around the second floor trying to locate it. L bolts downstairs after a few moments and I heard her say, “Ohhhh NOOOO … there’s water coming through the kitchen ceiling! It must be coming from the bathroom!”
I run downstairs and see that it’s dripping down from the lighting fixture above their pretty blue kitchen island. L is frantically trying to move everything that’s on the island. She looks at me and says, “Oh God, this is terrible. It’s pee water … eww … but we should be able to get this fixed.”
I must have had a look of panic on my face, because her mouth went agape and she yelled, in what I can best describe as a primal scream, “OH MY GOD KIM, TELL ME THIS ISN’T POOP WATER!!!”
As if on cue, the plumbing burst with the fury of a turd tsunami, and the trickle that was slightly covering the island turned into a gush of murky poop water pouring directly out of the light fixture in the kitchen. The same kitchen where this lovely family prepares meals, does homework, and has friends gather for drinks, conversation and snacks.
L continued her tirade as we ran back upstairs to the bathroom of shame, when all of a sudden she tossed a bucket at me and ordered me into the bathroom like a drunken drill sergeant, yelling “START BAILING!” I threw some towels down haphazardly on the soaked floor and proceeded to bail the horrendous poop water into her children’s bathtub. It must have worked (either that or all the water that was on the floor had soaked into the kitchen by this point), because a short time later L yelled triumphantly from the kitchen, “It stopped! Oh, thank the Lord!”
We weren’t entirely sure what to do next — remember we had been day drinking and, well, night drinking — so some of the details are a little fuzzy. But I do recall we called Jules about ten times (she didn’t answer!) and my dad about seven times (mind you, it was 2 o’clock in the morning and I was 35), until he answered. We expressed to him our concern about poop water pouring through a light fixture that was ON because we were fairly certain that this was enough to burn the house down, if and when we finally went to sleep. After he got over the initial shock of being woken up out of a dead sleep to hear this type of story, he told us to turn the damn breaker off and just go to sleep! I think he thought it was just a bad dream.
L and I ventured down to the basement to find the right switch, while having a paranoid discussion of what other terrible, unsanitary consequences this poop-tastrophe could set into motion. After a thorough scrubbing of the kitchen and then myself in another bathroom, I ventured back to bed while L shuffled down the hallway in an appalled daze.
We did not sleep well (likely due to our certainty that despite our best efforts, the house was still going to burn down, and oh what a terrible tragedy, and oh gosh, if they found out what happened, how would they put that in an obituary?!). So we were relieved when we woke up intact despite our pounding headaches and hysterics reliving the night.
The scene looked worse in the morning, with the water stains prominently mocking us on the kitchen ceiling, and there was no way L’s husband wasn’t going to notice when he got back into town later that night. Jules FaceTimed us to ask why the heck we had called her an excessive amount of times overnight, and we tried to give her a play-by-play, but we were crying from laughing so hard.
Next up, L called her stepdad (who apparently has plumbing, electricity or disaster recovery experience … or is just a really nice guy). When he showed up with an industrial-sized dehumidifier and other tools to fix the kitchen ceiling, I was so relieved. He didn’t say much as he took the light fixture down and then headed up to the scene of the crime upstairs, but I’m fairly certain he was saying a lot of four letter words in his head. He unclogged the toilet and disinfected the entire bathroom, and I suggested that he be canonized, but no one thought I was funny.
L is an eternal optimist, and before I left she told me, “You know, I actually wanted to get some new lighting fixtures in the kitchen so this gives us a reason to do so now!” As if we were just having a friendly conversation about redecorating, and I hadn’t just destroyed her kitchen ceiling with raging poop water. They ended up fixing the ceiling and getting some spiffy new track lighting.
Thankfully our friendship was more solid than the ceiling.