Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Superstition

I stared into my t-shirt drawer last Saturday morning as if the secrets of the universe could be found among the folded fabrics.

The only short sleeve shirt left in the drawer was the grey one David brought me back from his Texas trip in March.

I don't wear that one anymore, because of the last time.

It had been a beautiful April day and we spent much of it outside. Happily exhausted, I changed into the grey shirt, and we settled in for the night. David was flipping through On Demand to choose a movie, and I went into the kitchen to get dinner ready.

I was opening the drawer to get a spoon when I heard the ominous sounds of water hitting the basement floor.

I went down to assess the situation, and when I got there I saw sewer water and bits of toilet paper streaming from the top of my washing machine's discharge pipe.

I fumbled out my phone to call the plumber I practically have on speed dial. Of course, he couldn't come until morning, so David managed to free huge clumps of toilet paper, and then, thinking it would hold until the plumber came, headed up to take a quick shower because, sewage.

I stayed in the basement, eyes glued to the pipe as I heard the shower start. A couple minutes passed, and just when I thought we were ok, a new clump of toilet paper rose to the top of the pipe and before I could react, it burst free, and gallons of water and poop geysered out, covering the washing machine, our basement floor, and my clothes.

We spent the next five hours cleaning it all up, and couldn't run any water in the house until the plumber came the next day to clear the clog.

When the ordeal was over, I shoved the grey shirt into the hamper, and vowed never to wear it again. I'm a little superstitious, and that shirt was now bad luck.

So for the two months since, the shirt has lived in my drawer. I was certain that if I wore it again we would face another plumbing nightmare, and I really wanted to avoid that.

And for two months, our pipes behaved.

With that in my mind this past Saturday morning, I considered borrowing a shirt from David's drawer before I came to my senses.

A shirt does not cause your pipes to clog, I lectured myself.

Pull yourself together and put it on.

I did.

Feeling righteous and very adult for facing my anxiety-ridden superstitions, I headed downstairs for coffee.

When I walked into the kitchen, the sound of dripping filled the room. Certain it was my imagination, I went down to the basement to confirm.

It wasn't my imagination.

Sewer water and toilet paper were once again streaming onto the basement floor.

While David called the plumber, I peeled off the grey shirt and shoved it straight into the garbage can.

31 comments:

  1. No way! That did not happen!! Actually, this reads like a page from my life...just when I chastise myself for being superstitious, something like that happens and confirms to me that trusting my gut is never a mistake!
    PS-I hope you never have broken pipes again.

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    1. Seriously, I'm never ever discounting my superstitions again. I'm a little afraid that this experience turned me into a complete psychopath.

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  2. Hahahah! I love that you wrote about magical thinking. I totally do the same thing. That's sad about your pipes though.

    Good riddance to that evil shirt.

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  3. Big mistake, you should have burned the demon shirt.

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    1. I totally wish I had. I wanted to get it out of my sight immediately, and the kitchen garbage can was the closest receptacle handy.

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  4. I'm laughing, but only because what are the chances that would happen twice? Oh my goodness. Sewer nightmares are the worst. We have had several since we bought this house 3 years ago and it's just awful.

    I've found Scott toilet paper to be the only thing our pipes can handle. Anything with more than one ply or that doesn't feel like sandpaper will have me spending $200+ to have our sewer pipe snaked.

    Hope that was the last time, now that the shirt is gone.

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    1. Apparently in my city every house is required to have this U shaped trap in their waste piping, and that is what's causing all the problems. We now have to check it every couple weeks to make sure it's clear, and we now know how to snake it out ourselves in case it happens again (really David knows how, I'm not getting near that pipe). But yes, plumbing nightmares are the absolute worst.

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  5. That is so crazy! You definitely brought that shirt to life with your descriptions here. I hope it dies an ugly death for bringing you all that trouble :)

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    1. Me too! Tuesday is garbage day, so I took it out this morning, and all I could think was, good riddance.

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  6. omg!! that is so funny - i mean - not funny because Ugh, but FUNNY. i can't believe it.

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    1. Now that I'm three days removed from sewage all over the floor and throwing away that hateful shirt, I can see the funny, but on Saturday? Definitely not.

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  7. uck! You are so much braver than I who also says...no such thing...but honestly that shirt would have never lived to see another day after the first time in my house!

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    1. I know, I have totally learned my lesson.

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  8. You should have kept the shirt to give to someone as a gift. Like, to someone who has been crappy to you. I didn't even mean to, and I made a pun! Sort of.

    In any case, sorry about the pipes--hopefully now the problem has gone with the shirt.

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    1. Honestly, I would not wish clogged and overflowing pipes on my worst enemy. There is something about plumbing disasters that so unnerving. I kind of love your pun :)

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  9. I totally do this all the time. I threw a new pair of shoes away after I had to pull and all nighter in them. I am so with you. GEt it out!

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    1. I feel totally free now that the garbage truck hauled that hateful shirt away.

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  10. Ohmiword! You have got to burn that shirt!

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    1. Tell me about it. I wish I would have thought to set a huge bonfire.

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  11. My Dad, the ultimate "The Secret" type, would have said that you invited the second plumbing incident by believing it would happen if you wore the shirt, so the universe obliged.

    His thinking used to drive me crazy. But he always won playing scratch off lottery tickets because he believed he would.

    I would have thrown out the shirt too, but not told my Dad. :)

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  12. That's crazy! Always trust your instincts from now on.

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  13. Wow, that's just amazing. And gross. I don't blame you for throwing the shirt out!

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  14. No way! This is a Stephen King level horror story! I'm so sorry you went through this! No more grey shirts for you!!

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  15. Wow, that is crazy! And so disgusting! I'm thinking your 'helpful' plumber put a hex on that shirt :)

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  16. You did the right thing. Once you associate an object with bad things happening they will happen, one way or another. You will even feel worse about minor complications because they associate with the object. Besides, if you can't throw the problem itself out with the trash, at least you can throw something associated with the problem out.

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  17. Omg! Burn that shirt!

    I once tossed an outfit that my son wore because two times that he wore it, he got a tummy bug.

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  18. Ugh, this reads like a bad dream!! Or like a Stephen King book!! I hope getting rid of the shirt will keep those plumbing problems at bay...

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  19. I would have tossed that shirt too.

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  20. Talk about a page from my life too! Just yesterday the plumber was at my 101 year old house to snake out the old cast iron sewer pipe. Same toilet paper and yuk sewer water dripping into the basement left for me to clean up, not to mention the main culprit being that it backed up into my laundry room. Now, in this humid, hot summer, without my central air-condition thanks to hurricane Sandy, I have a mess to clean up. Well, as they say, misery loves company....but I do feel your pain.

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    1. Oh, and I'm not at all superstitious so no shirt to speak of for me and if I were you, I wouldn't worry about your shirt either. (-;

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