This story is how my paranoia got the better of me... not for very long, but long enough to feel like a flooded pantry was my fault.
It started yesterday. Our toilet wasn't flushing properly. It would drain super slow and then make a weird glugging sound. Ben discovered shortly after that each time we flushed, a small amount of water would bubble up into our tub. Ew.
Ben had to go to work and the toilet/tub problem preyed on my mind. I researched plumbing problems online and found that you aren't supposed to put Drano down the toilet. How the heck were we supposed to take care of the offending toilet if we couldn't put Drano down it?? (Well, you CAN.. it just has to be a certain type.) I ended up getting so antsy about it that I grabbed my purse and keys and ran to the store at 10:20pm, but not before I collected money from my virtual dragons, planted seeds in my virtual garden and looked at a bunch of stuff on Pinterest to calm myself down. I got the strongest stuff I could find. I didn't get the stuff that said you could put it down the toilet because you have to measure out 10 oz and that required too much effort. AND it said that you couldn't run water in the shower for 6-8 hours after putting it down the drain.
Ben did the honors and took care of the Drano... he waited the required 30 minutes and went in to flush and encourage with a plunger. It did... nothing. Around the time he started using the plunger in the tub, I decided I had gone slightly crazy.
I don't know why a clogged shower is so horrible, but it really, really is.
Fast-forward to this morning. I wake up to the sound of Ben snaking the toilet. Oh, yeah... my bathroom is broken.
Whilst I was lying in my bed, my brain started trying to reason what could possibly have caused such a disaster. This unsavory scenario flashed unpleasantly into my head:
Whether you are grossed out by this or not, I just happen to be on my period right now. (I'm calling this particular blog a loss at this point, anyway. I mean, it's about plumbing.. er.. issues, for Pete's sake.)
Because of my monthly concerns, I immediately blamed myself in spite of my usual carefulness. I discovered a long time ago that a tampon and any.. um.. solid waste would not flush down together. That's just asking for a clogged toilet. So, to save myself that embarrassment, I learned to first flush the tampon and then take care of the rest of it.
As it happens, for the first time ever since potty training my kids, both of them had to go #2 right after I did. It all flushed okay, so I didn't worry about it at the time.
Back to this morning, I worried about it... obsessively. In my head, my imagination conjured up an impossible situation... That tampon had gotten stuck in the drain... SIDEWAYS.. THEN the deposits left by me and my children were backed up behind it. It made so much sense. Drano would NOT dissolve a tampon.. so we were screwed.
I also wondered if the new over the toilet shelf we installed the day before had somehow put weird weight on the floor and was pushing a pipe out of shape or cracked it or something... yeah. I'm not a plumber for good reason.
Ben's attempts with the snake were not successful. I thought something magical would happen, but it didn't. So, he called for a plumber. They said they would be able to come and give us an estimate at 4... PM.
Then I started to notice a... smell.
Ben did too, and he looked in the pantry where the water heater and whatnot are kept... yeah... flooded.
At that point, I realized that it was ludicrous that a silly little tampon could have caused so much havoc. I started to postulate wildly.
"Well.. that's it.. Mom flushed something weird down one of her toilets and we're flooding down here because we're below ground level."
"G-G must have flushed a toy down her toilet." Yeah.. like she has action figures in her room... I can just see her cackling as she shambles to the toilet to throw in an Iron Man toy she's hoarded for this purpose for two years.
"Someone killed someone and is flushing body parts down the toilet one at a time.. they are SOOO going to jail for this."
Mom told me later that she was worried that the non-flushable wipe she put down the toilet a month ago must have done it. (See, I'm not the only paranoid one.)
All this time, Ben was using a shop vac to get the water off the pantry floor. When that got full, he attempted to get it back up the stairs and it landed on his foot and slopped icky water all over the carpet. I was slightly more worried about his foot than the carpet. It went purple really fast.
Dad noticed that there is something wrong with the drain outside. The one in the street. I never went and looked, but whatever was wrong prompted Dad to call the City and tell them to get their people out here to fix it.
At that point, I was completely vindicated. Yeah.. it wasn't me. The clog wasn't my fault. One of my neighbors killed someone and flushed them down the toilet. Or flushed a diaper. Or put grass clippings down the manhole... Or.. well, it doesn't matter, because IT WASN'T ME!
So aside from my room smelling a bit like an outhouse for a few hours and my children complaining that their room smelled "stinky", it wasn't too bad.
But that's probably because Ben did most of the dirty work (literally) and got everything cleaned up.
I love my husband. I really, really, really do.