Monday, May 4, 2009

The Plumbing Incident: I've Lost That Fresh Feeling

As the experts say, in order to fully emotionally heal from a trauma, you have to put some distance between yourself and the events of the offending ordeal. I assumed this to be sound advice. It seems logical that things always appear to be worse than they really are WHILE you are in the midst of the trauma. The passing of time will eventually reveal and brighten the sunshine. Butterflies will fill the golden air. Someone will sing.

And now that a few days have gone by, I decided to look back on my personal hell to see if the pain has eased. To see if maybe I overly-dramatized things here and there. To see if I might even want to sing about it, even if it's just a trite rap song with only four words in the lyrics and featuring a guest vocalist that you've never heard of before. And I have discovered this:

The experts are liars. The pain is still excruciating. I have not moved on. I am not singing, and I will happily kill anyone who dares to do so within a five-mile radius. I don't think I will ever get over The Devastating Plumbing Incident of 2009. (Cue the violent string music from "Psycho", zoom in on tight shot of Brian standing in an overflowing bathtub, head thrown back in a primal howl of fury and impending dementia.... fade to black...)

It all started rather innocently enough.

I was laying on the bed in the guest room, playing XBOX 360 with the curtains drawn. (Not out of shame, I just like playing in total darkness, makes the imagery onscreen even more vivid and helps bolster the sensation that I am indeed somewhere else, anywhere, where they don't have to pay taxes or look at ugly people.) I was just about to receive the Golden Rod of Power from one of the lesser overlords (well THAT looks interesting once you type it out) when I heard this strange gurgling in the wall.

Gurgling. In the wall.

With irritation, and only a minimal amount of concern at that point, I paused the XBOX and approached the wall. Granted, there is indeed a bathroom on the other side of this gurgling wall. But the sound wasn't coming from DOWN THERE, floor-level and such, where you might expect to hear this type of noise. Besides, no one was using the facilities. And the sound was coming from UP THERE. High. Like where you would point when asking something like "Do you think this is where we should put the Malawi print we got off the Madonna website?"

Then the noise stopped. Like any of the idiot minor characters at the beginning of a Halloween movie, I assumed nothing more would come of it and went back to the XBOX to accept my rod.

A few days later, while Terry is in the shower and I'm doing something meaningless like re-organizing my CD's or pretending to think about doing my taxes, I think that I might be hearing the gurgling again. I head toward the guest bedroom, and realize that not only is there gurgling, but this time we have the bonus feature of what sounds like a catfish flopping around in the guest toilet. An angry catfish.

I alter the flight plan slightly and head to the guest bathroom. Approaching, I can see one of our cats, Scotch, who has an odd, un-catlike obsession with water, sitting on the toilet seat in a near state of rapture. Even before I am physically IN the bathroom, I can see little geysers of water spurting above the rim of the toilet bowl. Geysers. Shooting upwards and falling back. In Disney's "Fantasia", this scene would have been set to music. There is NO music here. There is no Disney. Only toilet water defying the laws of gravity, and a drooling cat about to hit the Big O.

Old Faithful finally gives it up, and the waters calm. It's almost serene. Zen-like. Except this isn't a pristine lake nestled in the mountains of Utah. Or a buddhist temple. This a toilet. And I shouldn't introduce any unnatural qualifiers into the situation. This much I have learned since my journey from Broken Arrow to... well, anywhere else.

I pry Scotch off the toilet, his claws frantically scrambling to retain any type of purchase on the porcelain. (I briefly ponder the realization that if they ever invent Viagra for cats, the world as we know it will end. But I let the thought go. Bigger fish to fry, must move on.) I close the toilet lid, fully aware that this is not over, and wait for Terry to finish his shower.

"What do you mean, with the gurgling. And the geysers," asks Terry, primping in front of the steamed-up mirror, like Veronica Lake with really good lighting and a decent director. Except that he's not blonde, or a woman. As far as I know. "Are you sure it wasn't a weird fluke thing?"

Well, maybe. He could have a point, it might never happen again. (This is where someone in the audience watching the movie would stand up and bellow "You idiot. You DO have a problem. Why are you being so stupid?" I hate those people, especially when they are right.) So I buy into the delusion, and choose to not think about it.

A few days later, and deja vu kicks in with reinforcements. We have Terry in the shower (why does he need to clean himself so much? he's not Catholic), we have gurgling, we have geysers, we have an incredibly aroused cat. For some inane reason, I completely lose my mind and approach the demon guest bathroom toilet and actually FLUSH the damn thing, like a Republican trying to hide the INS papers for his nanny. And of course the toilet water spirals upwards, spilling over the rim. And does not go back down. Great.

Then I realize I can hear gurgling in stereo. Something ELSE is whacked. I trace the noise to a hall closet, where the inside air-conditioning unit USED to be before we paid people to move it to the attic. There's a drain in the floor of this room. Apparently AC units back in the day had to have some place to gush out water. Don't really know the story. Anyway, liquid of some kind is quickly rising out of this drain and flooding the floor. Great, Part II.

I race to our bathroom and inform Terry that he must turn off the shower NOW, no matter how unclean he may feel about his un-Catholic-ness. I can tell that he's not certain if this is some kind of intriguing sex game or if something more important is afoot. I do my best to remain calm and explain the situation, shouting over the noise of water gushing throughout the house and a certain feline critter calling 900 numbers in search of relief.

Clearly, The Devil has entered our house.

There is no turning back.

I muster up all the courage I have and state what has been crystal clear to the viewing audience since Scene 2.

"We have to call a plumber."

Cue the soundtrack of "The Exorcist", zoom in on famous shot of Max von Sydow standing on a foggy corner in Georgetown. There is a feline screech howl and a horny cat races across the screen and into the darkness.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

1 comment:

  1. OH the anticipation of Post #7.....its like waiting for New Moon to be released....or the next Harry Potter. I say next because I'm pretty sure they've divided the last two Harry Potter books into 7 movies, you know, to make more money. But I digress....

    say, if I spend the night can I flush or???

    *I'll just step away now*
    * denotes whisper

    luv and kisses
    Clark Griswold

    so I guess, at one point anyway, the shi**er really WAS full, eh?