Monday, January 21, 2013

Crappy Excuse

A few eagle–eyed readers out there noticed I skipped last week’s post. I have a really good excuse. No, I was not incarcerated, hung-over, or wrapped in a hug-me jacket and confined to a padded cell—thanks for asking. All of those weak-assed cop-outs would have been preferable to what actually went down, (or, more accurately, came up), but I’m warning you right now, this tale is not for the squeamish. If you can’t change a diaper or use a port-a-potty without gagging, trust me, you don’t want to go where I’m about to take you. I’ll see you next week.

Okay, my hearties, I think I’ve mentioned in prior posts that I live in Malibu. Many know Malibu as a celebrity hideaway, a source of reliable waves, or a picturesque stretch of Pacific Coast Highway. There is a dark side of the ‘Bu. We have no sewage system.  That’s right. We’re all out here sitting on our own shit.
The local no-growth contingent insists a sewer would be the first step down a slippery slope leading to such horrors as a hardware store, a Target, or, I don’t know, ocean water that won’t give you Hepatitis. I really don’t buy the whole un-checked growth argument. Malibu isn’t off the grid. Not by a long shot. I don’t have my own generator, for Christ’s sake. Hubs and I don’t trek to the town well every morning balancing clay pots on our noggins. We enjoy electricity and running water just like everyone else in California. Hell, we even have Fios. Separating sewer from the other basic utilities sounds to me like a big load of you-know-what.

I secretly believe our lack of sewer is less an anti-growth thing and more a money thing. If a smaller sewage project in lower Malibu serves as any indication, we can’t put a proper, centralized sewer in Malibu for a penny less than all the money in the world. Instead, most homes, including ours, have septic systems.
Fine and dandy. Flush the enzymes. Get the tank pumped once a year, and everything works…except when it doesn’t. But don’t expect a lot of advanced warning when things fail to flow. I heard a funny gurgle coming from the toilet last Sunday night when I drained the tub after the little guy’s bath. Later, while we sat in my bedroom watching “Go Diego Go!” I noticed a distinctly funky smell. The four-year-old swore it wasn’t him. The dog gave me an innocent look. Then I went to my bathroom for something or other, and discovered…the unspeakable…gurgling up from the drain in the shower.

I immediately called a local plumbing and pumping company, which was closed, of course, and left a semi-articulate message. Apparently I relayed my call-back number clearly enough, because a very calm woman contacted me after not too long and assured me she could send someone between nine and eleven the next morning, provided I was willing to pay for an emergency visit. My response went something along the lines of, “Lady there’s shit backing up into my shower. If that doesn’t qualify as an emergency, I don’t know what does.”
We made it through the night. I won’t give you details, but, suffice to say, it wasn’t pretty. By ten a.m. the next day, I was on the phone with the plumber, sounding like a stalker girlfriend. “Where are you? What are you doing? How soon can you be here?"

They came, they snaked, they pumped, and they told me not to flush paper towels down the toilet anymore. I don’t, I assured them. The little guy just looked up at the ceiling and whistled. Hmm.

Sooo…still want to give me shit for missing a blog post? I didn’t think so.

Happy Martin Luther King Day. In case you were looking for something more inspiring than my crappy excuse, here’s a link to the full text of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/martin-luther-kings-speech-dream-full-text/.   

13 comments:

  1. Oh, you poor thing. But that has to be the best crappiest excuse ever. : ) I'm glad all is well now.
    I had a condo in Park City and was entertaining an actor who I had a crush on. My kids were helping make dinner, and he was bringing his kids. Five minutes before arrival time the garbage disposal was crunching bits of veges when my son came out of the bathroom with a puzzled look on his face. There were veges coming up the drain and into the spa tub. I was horrified. But actor friend lived in the same building and he'd suffered similar events so it turned out to be something to laugh about.

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    1. So you totally know what it feels like to be betrayed by your plumbing! At least/thank GOD I wasn't expecting guests!

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  2. OMG! I would think that Malibu of all places would invest in decent plumbing.

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    1. With a 9.0% city tax rate, you would think, right?!

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  3. What a crappy night/day! ;) I'm glad things are rosy again! And as usual you write the best blog posts - even in the face of a plumbing catastrophe!

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    1. Oh, thanks! I'm all...ahem...flushed!!

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  4. Oh, wow. Horrible and hysterical at the same time. At least NOW it is. So sorry you had to go through it. But still chuckling at your story. And I learned something new about the 'Bu. Glad you're back.

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    1. I'm glad you weren't too grossed out to comment! It's because you're a dog owner, isn't it? Dog owners have to expect a certain amount of doo-doo in their lives.

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    2. You absolutely crack me up. Yes, it's the doo-doo in my life. And there is a ton. (My dogs are big. )

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  5. I have a dream and plumbing, now those are strange blog-fellows.

    Sorry about your sh*#, but at least there was a happy hasmat ending?

    Now I've got a dog to walk - speaking of crap...

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    1. And there it is...another dog owner! I'm telling ya, once you own a dog, you can discuss anything. :)

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  6. LOL. Seriously, laughing out loud. You've managed to make me feel so much better about my recent home inspection, the one that required pest treatment, mold treatment, water remediation, new furnace, new AC, new water heater...dare I continue? No, I won't. At least, there's a new sewer line in the backyard.

    OMG. Here are my thoughts: Get yourself fitted for a swanky, sequin-encrusted HAZMAT suit so next time (please God don't let there be a next time), you can greet your beleagured plumber-boyfriend dressed to the nines.

    Hilarious. You've made my day.

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  7. Hey, as far as I'm concerned, that new sewer line makes the place golden!

    A surprising number of friends sent messages offline telling me about similar incidents they'd endured, (odd how nobody wanted to post their story for God and everyone to see), so now I don't feel quite so cursed. In fact, I don't want to bum you out, but apparently this back-up thing can happen even when you're on a sewer system. Put the local rooter company on speed dial NOW.

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