Nothing strikes more fear into my heart than rising water in a toilet bowl.
Even realizing my alarm clock failed me, or discovering I've worn my black panties that say, "Only if You're Lucky" on the ass, with my white skinny slacks, to school doesn't hit me as hard and sudden as realizing poop water is about to run like Niagara Falls all over my linoleum.
Am I right? Or, am I the only one who uses half a roll of toilet paper AND forgets to courtesy flush? Surely I'm not the only tool who has felt this cold fear. Surely.
Let me tell you what is worse than an overflowing toilet onto linoleum: an overflowing toilet onto carpet. Before I move on, can I express my utter disgrace for whoever thought carpet in a bathroom was a good idea? IT'S A HORRIBLE IDEA.
Years ago, I lived with my boyfriend's mom. Not only was the bathroom adorned with 80's-special red counter tops, and gold finishes everywhere, the entire floor was carpeted. It was terrifying.
How can one confidently use a bathroom with carpet under their feet? Not only did my skin crawl wondering how many pee germs, courtesy of my boyfriend, and God-knows-what creepy crawlies were inhabiting the carpet circling the toilet, but the fear of overflowing the toilet was a very real, daily emotion.
I'm known among my family and friends as the Toilet Paper Monster. I know, glamorous. Basically, I can easily use half a roll of toilet paper in one trip to the bathroom. My dad says every time, and I'm not shitting you, every time, I come over, "Better make a run to Costco, Katie's here". Not funny anymore, Dad.
I see not one thing wrong with wanting an extra clean derrière.
Not only was I known, in my childhood home, as one who possibly ate toilet paper-for what other explanation was there-I was a professional toilet overflowerer. All I had to do was yell, "Mom!" in a panicked tone for her to come, immediately, running with the mop, a plunger, and bleach.
Well, back to the 80's bathroom nightmare. After an especially long crappy day (see what I did there?), I was running, pinched cheeks, to the bathroom (what a wonderful visual. I'm trying to make this as minimally unsavory as possible, but we are talking toilet paper and overflowing toilets here).
After I had done my business and used my usual half-a-roll share, the time came to flush. I stopped. A hot sweat immediately dampened my skin.
Had I flushed? Did I courtesy flush?
What do I do? What do I do?
I'm just going to have to flush and pray.
OK. Here we go.
Nope. I can't do it. Maybe we can just forget about this toilet. It's a loss.
No. Flushing has to happen. It must be done.
3, 2, 1, FLUSH
I think it's going to go down.
Momentary relief flows through my veins. That is, until...
That doesn't sound right. Wait. No.
No, no, please, Lord Jesus, no!
I jump up-pants around ankles-and whip around to face the pain.
DEAR GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY.
Bile is rising, my stomach is clenched firmly in fear's fist, and my mind is blank.
I'm not here. This isn't happening. I refuse to believe it.
Nope, this is very real. What are you waiting for, asshole?
I frantically lift the top to the tank. I pull the bobber-ma-jiggy, like my exasperated mom taught me. It does nothing.
Racing against the clock, I get on my hands and knees, onto the ill-fated carpet, and reach for the water valve.
It's not going to stop.
THAT is going to be all over the carpet.
How will I tell Linda?
How will I ever live this down? I will forever be The Girl Who Stained My
Carpet With Her Poo Water.
I almost faint. It's all too much. It's bare-assed, primal fear. I can only imagine what the scene would look like if someone walked in. Anyone witness to the mess I was, would immediately be struck blind. *shudders*
With the water shut off, the offensive contents have finally ceased rising. Precisely a millimeter above the edge-the point of no return-it's stopped. I'm stunned, relieved, physically and mentally exhausted, numb.
With a sweat-lined lip, I mouth, "Thank you, baby Jesus. Thank you".
What do I do now?
The water level wouldn't allow a plunger, even a mere pube would reverse what my fervent prayers and sweating worked so hard to prevent.
By the utter grace of God, the water starting draining, and a white bowl dotted with my disgrace started to show.
I am the luckiest bitch on this planet.
No one has ever heard my story. It was a very hard, embarrassing story to tell. Maybe my words can help save someone's dignity, or at the very least, their flooring.
Public service message of the day: FLUSH BEFORE YOU WIPE AND DON'T EXPECT AN ENTIRE ROLL OF TOILET PAPER TO FLUSH.