It’s been exactly six months since I last published, a sort of blogging sabbatical necessitated by the stresses of working multiple jobs, having multiple kids, and having a singular me.
But today something happened at work that stirred me from my writing slumber. The sort of epic story that called me to action like a shit-covered bat signal glowing against a stormy sky. I couldn’t ignore it, and as a comedy blogger I felt an obligation to detail this tale, sort of like how Michael Jordan felt like he had to come out of retirement to help the Looney Tunes defeat the Monstars and save the planet in Space Jam.
And, of course, this is a poop story.
It all started with a trip to Applebees with coworkers where we talked, laughed, and shared stories over a plate of nachos before our entrees arrived. My choice was the brunch burger, the kind of dish a husky gent like me selects when he’s so hungry he prefers to cram two meals into one.
The burger was delicious and I washed it down with a pair of Mountain Dews for good measure. Not wanting to feel disgustingly stuffed, I left a few bites of mashed potatoes on my plate and exited the restaurant feeling a far-more-manageable “uncomfortably stuffed.”
Two hours later I’m across the street when I feel the brunch burger start to move south, a sort of beef and cheese intestinal glacier looking for open water. Figuring I had some time, I meandered my way back to the office. On the journey, though, that glacier started moving with the speed of a jet boat and I half-sprinted, half-waddled, half-rolled up the steps to the office and into the bathroom for sweet relief.
Weightlifters will tell you there are days you get in the gym and just know you’re going to set a personal record. The adrenaline is flowing, the sweat is pouring from your face, and with a Tyrannosaurus-like roar you set a PR. That’s exactly what happened to me. I felt like I just deadlifted a Honda Civic as every last ounce of that Applebees brunch burger passed away and went home to be with its fallen brothers.
More accurately, though, that thing went straight into the depths of hell.
I stood from my throne and turned to flush and immediately recognized a problem. Have you ever moved a piece of furniture with a friend only to get it to the doorway and recognize, “Son of a bitch, that ain’t going to fit through there.” Yep, same thing.
But just like I would do moving a couch, I thought if I twisted it, turned it, and took the legs off that I could eventually shove it through. Boy was I wrong.
Upon flush I felt my stomach drop as I watched the water come towards me rather than away. I listened to the sound of the fast-filling toilet and did the quick and dirty math in my head to try to figure out whether she was gonna overflow. Luckily, she did not.
But I knew a plunging was in order, so I grabbed it and stealthily plunged away — the walls in that bathroom are paper thin and I was trying to avoid drawing attention to myself.
Five minutes later I not only was drawing attention, I was drawing it with permanent marker.
I thrust the plunger up and down with more and more vigor as the toilet refused to swallow the Milk Dud I deposited in it. Water was actually coming up from the sink drain with each plunge and a couple times I did it so forcefully that a little water splashed up and hit my face.
I’ll pause a brief moment for you to finish vomiting.
At this point I’m going at it so hard with this plunger I felt like I was giving CPR.
“Still no pulse! We’re gonna lose her!”
I thought back to my CPR training and the way they taught us to time our compressions with the hit Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive.”
Ah ha ha ha, plunging a shit, plunging a shit.
Ah ha ha ha ha, plunging a shiiiiiiit, iiiiiiiiiit.”
By now my co-workers knew what was up and I could hear them huddled outside the bathroom door laughing. Worse yet, apparently water was backing up in all the sinks and the other office toilet wasn’t flushing either. I was being blamed for sending the entire office plumbing network into gridlock. I plunged harder and harder to no avail and even developed a blister in the palm of my hand: the sort of war wound you get in the line of battle they give out Brown Hearts for instead of purple.
Regrettably, I had to call in reinforcements so one of our maintenance employees, Bill, joined in on the fun. He brought a power drain auger and started snaking the drain. I held my sides and laughed as I watched him wrestle that thing into the drain like he was trying to reel in a 48" muskie.
Or perhaps, brown trout, if you prefer a more appropriate analogy.
“I think I hit something!” Bill yells as my colleagues collapse in laughter. “I can’t get through it!” I’m reminded of Scotty from Star Trek. “I just can’t do it, Captain! She don’t have the power!”
While this is happening, I go into the back room of the office and see water all over the floor. Apparently there’s some sort of drain pipe back there, too, and the water and even little bits of toilet paper were now oozing all over the floor. I feel like our entire office is stationed on a big ole’ geyser and I’m terrified Old Faithful is gonna blow.
By this point, the smell in the office is intolerable. It was the sort of smell you’d get if the air conditioner went out in a slaughter house while the employees were cooking Thai food while wearing wet socks. With each foot of drain that snake travelled it left a wake of gaseous fumes like the trails on a jet plane. People were gagging, animals were howling, and we were one open flame away from having the whole thing go up in smoke.
And speaking of smoke….
By now Bill has decided he needs to take the toilet off as the story enters epic status. I’ve clogged a toilet before, but never so badly that another toilet and three sinks also back up and require the complete removal of a shitter to unclog it.
He has to first shop vac all the water out of the toilet, though, which is as disgusting as it sounds, but no where near as disgusting as it looked. You know all that stuff that’s at the bottom of the crock pot when you’re done cooking a roast? Now imagine sucking that up with your vacuum.
But this is where the story becomes legendary. Bill fires up the dirty old shop vac and sends a cloud of dust flying into the air. This sets off the smoke alarms in the office, which is tied into the alarm system.
The alarm wails away as I run to the panel to shut it off. Next the alarm company calls our Operation Director’s cell phone to check on the alarm which leads me to overhearing the following exchange:
“Hi, yeah, no, it was a false alarm, no fire. Jason just took a massive dump. No, I’m serious. Massive shit. Sure, I’ll give it to you” before he rattles off his access code to verify his story.
You know you took an epic shit when the alarm company gets involved.
Eventually we end up having to call a sewer company and schedule an appointment for the next morning. My boss, Lindsay, declares it “the shit that won’t quit” and we all return home to our loved ones knowing full well when we return to that bathroom things will never be the same again. I imagine it will sort of be like when Rick Grimes wakes up in the hospital in the first episode of The Walking Dead and he stumbles around outside in his gown looking around trying to figure out how the world ended while he was asleep.
The following day Lindsay is the only one working and she texts updates throughout the day on what the sewer company is finding. I’m also positive she’s sending updates so we know she’s still alive. Apparently not even the sewer company can figure out what’s going on with this thing after sending 150 feet of snake through it. Hilariously, the Department of Public Works is called out to inspect the entire system. Want to know another tell tale sign of an impressive dump? Someone ends up wearing a neon safety vest.
I’m embarrassed to say at the time of this posting the toilet is still clogged and awaits the arrival of another company on Monday morning. Lindsay even had to call our Regional Vice President of Operations to prepare him for an emergency capital request in the event we need an excavator to dig up the lines. There are rumors the office might even end up being condemned.
I shit you not.