Vs. Overflowing Toilets

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Odds and Ends
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  If you’ve never had a toilet overflow on you, consider yourself one of the fortunate few.  I don’t know why, but there is nothing more terrifying than those few seconds as the water slowly rises towards the rim of the bowl. 

And you can’t stop it.  No amount of pleading and gentle coaxing will do the trick.  Your cries will fall on deaf, porcelain ears.  Your wild gestures and frantic hopping about will be ignored.  Like Luke Skywalker hanging in the Wampa’s cave, you’ll try to will it…but the force is not strong with this one, your energy is wasted.  For the water…will rise.

And it is truly frightening.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve seen – there is no more intimidating sight.  Firemen balk at the very idea.  Lumberjacks quake if you even mention it.  Navy Seals run in fear.   

You know what Chuck Norris does when his toilet overflows?  He freaks out.

Because we’re not frontier folk anymore.  We don’t chop down trees and build our own houses.  We don’t plow the fields to grow our own food.  And the majority of us don’t even know how most of the stuff we own works.

We take it for granted that the fridge will keep our groceries cool, that our heaters will keep our feet warm, and that our toilets will smoothly transport away our unmentionables.

And when any part of that system breaks down, we realize how vulnerable we are.  Most of us are just one virus away from a computer meltdown, one bad sparkplug away from sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck, and one overflow away from the type of mess that one can’t mention in mixed company.

My friend recently had a pipe burst in his house, flooding his garage.  And a few weeks later, discovered he had termites.  You’d hope that maybe the flood would have drowned the insects, but no such luck.  The termites were laughing and water sliding towards their next meal.  For them, a broken pipe in the floorboards just meant dinner and a drink.

It’s at times like these that we realize how crazy modern life is.  We have water running through our floors, electricity flows through the walls, machines whir and click about us, cooking our food, storing our data, protecting us.  Imagine trying to describe all of this to our Neanderthal ancestors – they’d be terrified, and yet we just expect it all to work out.  And when that toilet does overflow, we know that what little control we thought we had was (forgive the pun) a pipe dream.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I quell the rushing waters?  I don’t know.  I don’t know how a freaking toilet works.  What do I look like…a guy who knows how a toilet works?  What would that guy even look like?  What the heck are you talking about?

Sorry, this whole topic makes me uneasy.

I suppose I could try to live like my family.  My immediate kin folk are nomads that roam the woods of Central Virginia, foraging for food, bathing in babbling brooks and sleeping in crudely-fashioned huts.  (Maybe this is an exaggeration, but they do tend to live on dirt roads, they can often be found hiking and my dad does bear a suspicious, striking resemblance to Grizzly Adams).  And, while I admire their ability to live off the land, I like knowing that if I want a Pop-Tart at three in the morning, I can go buy one, put it in my toaster, and consume it.  I like television.  Carpet.  Indoor plumbing.  And we’re back to the problem.

Who am I kidding?  I’m not equipped to deal with this.  I’m adding a plumber to my speed dial.  I need someone who’s number one when it comes to number two.  If this ever happens again, I’m bringing in a professional.  And he better hurry.  Because Chuck Norris and I are freaking out.

  1. heathersnyder1 says:

    Hahahaha!!! This s%#t is funny!

  2. Kestrel Blue says:

    This problem is one that i would like people to fix, cause I dont want to be the one fixing it! This family you describe, they sound awesome!! (and a lil crazy!) 😉

    I sure hope someone with the super power ability to make toilets stop overflowing comes across this!

    • Makya McBee says:

      I guess the closest thing we have to a superhero plumber is Mario (you know, “It’s a me…Mario” followed by Nintendo music). But he’s always so busy battling flying turtles and rescuing princesses he rarely has time to plumb anymore.

  3. The most horrifying event is to have the toilet clog when you are at someone else’s house!!!!!!!!! Multiple guests!!!! How are you going to tell your host that her bathroom has foreign matter on the bathroom floor and you couldn’t find the plunger. What if someone else goes into the bathroom before you can get the matter taken care of?!!

  4. jimsnyder1 says:

    Not once, but twice I have moved into vacation rentals late in the evening. The water to the house was shut off. The valve accessible only from the locked up basement. Could not get up with the real estate agent for the key until the next morning. I was as freaked out as Chuck Norris…scared that it would eventually turn into the Overflowing Toilet fiasco.

  5. Josha says:

    I believe you may have a point with this “family” of yours, i mean the only sure fire way to avoid the overflowing toilet, is to simply not have one. composting toilet, an outhouse… hmmm… but would it be worth it?

    • Makya McBee says:

      I’ve given your question many seconds of deep thought…and the answer is no. Look, I recycle like crazy. I take short showers. I give a hoot and try not to pollute. But I need my flush. There’s a reason it’s called an “out”house. Hasn’t been in since before bell bottoms.
      By the way, how dare you put my family in quotes…are you suggesting I made them up?

  6. angelina says:

    I say a Hail Mary before i flush. Just for good measure

  7. Roger Waite says:

    If you ever go to Seattle, Washington, they have an “Underground Tour”. They had to build the city we see today one more level up. The reason why they did this is in the 1800’s, Seattle had horrible plumbing problems caused by the high water table and a poorly designed septic system. The pipes emptied into the ocean, and the fluctuation of the water level when the tide would come in made flushing a bad thing. If someone didn’t pay attention to the tide schedule and flushed during high tide, the toilet would flush in the opposite way that it was intended. Therefore spraying them right in the face.

    • Makya McBee says:

      It’s bad enough that we put the moon in charge of the tides, but the moon controlling our plumbing? That’s it. I’m adding the moon to my vs. list, something has to be done about this satellite menace.

  8. David Snyder says:

    I remember back in the early 60’s when my father first carpeted the bathroom. My mother liked it so much that she had it rolled all the way into the house!

  9. Ugh! Overflowing toilets be damned! If I see an overflowing toilet, I run away like a scared little baby and head for higher ground.

    By the way, in the picture of Grizzly Adams above, those look like Acid Wash Jeans he’s sporting. I’m sure of this. Didn’t know ol’ Grizzly was so fashionable.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Ewwww nasty! Thanks for versusing this one. You are truly taking on some tough issues here that have had people in deep doo doo. Thank you again Makya McBee Vs.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad you shortened versussissis to versus or I would be confussississ.

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