This blog post contains some pretty gross subject matter; specifically, it’s fecal matter that I am referring to. I promise to keep it as clean as possible given the subject but consider this fair warning if you are squeamish. If you are reading this while having a meal, I strongly urge you to put aside the food and keep reading 😉
Life sometimes goes to shit. The real test is, as always, how do we deal with it.
This Monday morning I woke up full of enthusiasm for the week. I had taken a particularly lazy weekend. While I hiked 11 kilometers and ran another 8 kilometers, I say lazy because I did not get any work done; I define work as working on my book, blog, angel investing or entrepreneurial projects. When I don’t get much done a degree of healthy stress builds up within me and kind of zaps me into an intense state of productivity similar to the effects of a triple macchiato.
Come Monday morning I was rearing to go, full of stress, ideas, and energy to get started on conquering the world (i.e. finishing my novella, typing up a blog post or three, finalizing some contracts, etc. etc.).
Three hours after breakfast, I found myself waiting for a plumber, half the day gone, with none of the objectives met. What happened?
As I alluded to at the start of this post, shit happened, literally.
I had just headed down to my basement office and fired up my Razorblade laptop (I love this thing; check it out if you don’t know what it is: ) when I noticed my phone was low on juice (unlike my cutting edge Razorblade, I use an old Samsung S4 mobile phone; I have no complaints with the phone, however, as it’s 3 years old, the battery now drains in about ½ day; also, that’s me in a nutshell when it comes to purchasing gadgets; I don’t have to have the latest greatest thingamabob; but when I buy something I tend to buy the best of breed and use if for a good 3 years at least). I took a few minutes to check who followed me on Twitter overnight (33% were bots promising to increase my followers by thousands for $7) and then headed upstairs to grab my phone charger.
As I got to the top of the stairs, I felt the urge to go the bathroom – as one does in the morning. So I did. When I flushed, the water rose and rose to the top of the toilet bowl, and then stopped without draining. I must have been standing there staring at it for awhile because my wife who was getting ready to go to work inquired as to what happened. I told her and from her expression I could see she was not impressed.
“Call a plumber,” she said picking up her handbag on her way out of the door.
“Hmmm,” was my reply.
I located my charger and headed back down to the basement. After all, my laptop was down there and if I was going to call a plumber I needed to look one up.
Once I was down in the basement, I decided I would wait a while and see if the water in the toilet settled. No need to be hasty. The problem may sort itself out or surely I could YouTube a fix for it?
Such is the devil in a man’s mind: if they say idle hands are the Devil’s playground then to a man’s mind, a problem unsolved is the Devil’s Disney Land. What self-respecting man would call in another man or woman to solve the problem without giving it a good crack first?
I was staring at the blank screen thinking about the final few scenes I needed to write to wrap up my novella. Should Inspector Yilmaz team up with Arthur to find the kidnapped Chan? Or should Arthur go solo perhaps with Inspector Yilmaz providing intel and a more supporting role? Or should Arthur just run upstairs and fix the darn toilet first? I mean how can he help rescue Chan if his plumbing is backed up? And what’s the point of cleaning up the mess if only more gunk is going to flow out of the sewers?
It was no use fighting it. The problem must be fixed. Up I rushed with a smile on my face.
I knew exactly what to do. First, I needed a bucket. No bucket in the house? No problem. Empty the garbage bin in the kitchen. The plastic bin is a big bucket after all. Second, fill the bucket with water. Third, pour water into the clogged toilet while flushing. Simple. Execute the plan.
I watched in horror as the water rose alarmingly before lipping over the white porcelain. Before I knew it there was a gray water Niagara Falls in our powder-room.
Quick! Move the carpet away. The contaminated tsunami wave had made it out of the powder-room and into the corridor. Quick! Paper towels to divert it away from the stairs to my basement office.
Good save, that was close!
There I stood, in the middle of a giant pool of water looking at the bottom of the toilet. The mess I could deal with, the fact that the toilet was still clogged however was infuriating.
No one can say I am not a man of action. No one can say that I give up when the going gets dirty.
I was back in the kitchen, tracking wet footprints over tiles, filling up the bin for the second time. Pour the water into the toilet again. Flush. More flooding. Repeat.
What is that saying again about insanity?
About 30 minutes later, when I heard the drip-drip of water from the basement downstairs, I rushed down to find water dripping through the ventilation in the roof. I panicked and rushed to check on my beloved Razorblade. Dry, thank God.
The close call was the final reality check I needed; I threw in the paper towels and called a plumber.
What fun it was to sponge up water from the floor, to get to bleach the entire house, while waiting for the plumber. Not.
Shit happens as they say.
Murphy would argue that shit happens exactly when you don’t want it to happen or when you least expect. Today was such a day, but I got through it, dirtier and wiser, better prepared for the next time. I have the plumber on speed dial.
Corollary: Listen to your wife the first time.