I’m feeling pretty good today. I’m feeling good because I believe this is the first day in two weeks that someone in this house has NOT had some form of the stomach flu.
This flu was especially nasty because a) it coincided with Thanksgiving traffic and we suffered through a five hour car trip, much of it spent while holding a bag of a child’s warm vomit and b) because when we returned home from said trip, we found a puddle of sewage bubbling up in the basement. Every time somebody flushed a toilet (which happens quite often when the stomach flu pays a visit), the pipe in the basement would spew sewage.
I immediately got on the phone and called plumbers. Plumbers can be so very dramatic that I half expect them to burst into iambic pentameter. I have a particularly bad memory of a plumber visiting our very first house in LA and taking a video of the scope he did of the plumbing underneath our backyard. The video was dark, creepy, and emotionally narrated. It soon became known as the “Blair Witch Plumbing Project.” It was LA, so perhaps an out of work actor was doing our plumbing and filmed the video, but I soon learned that all plumbers have a flair for the dramatic.
It’s never a good sign when you call a plumber, describe your problem, and hear him say, “Uh-oh” or “Oh, that’s pretty bad.” It’s an even worse sign when the plumber you have called says, “I think this job is too big for me, you need to call a plumber with BIGGER equipment.” (Read: NO thanks, lady. I’d like to take lots of your money. Really, I would. But your house sounds like Chernobyl.)
The problem sounded enormous. Plumbers gasped and sighed at my descriptions. Nobody was interested in coming to help. I was quite sure that whoever did come to help would leave our house with all of our money in hand.
I was all but ready to tell the kids that they were getting plumbing for Channukah.
The plumber who finally agreed to come (and who frankly sounded excited by the challenge) arrived first thing Monday morning. I think plumbing is a great job — not just because of the bucks involved, but because people are REALLY happy to see you. After twelve hours of no plumbing and with several family members on the tail end of the tummy bug, our house was beginning to resemble a large, furnished port-o-potty. I almost leapt into the arms of the unsuspecting plumber at our front door. I think I may have scared him a bit with my exuberance. He beat a hasty retreat to the basement to fix the problem.
A couple of hours later, he emerged victorious. Crisis averted. The problem was not a bad as it sounded. At least for now. We live in an old house. Even with updated plumbing, problems arise.
Here is a picture of the bag-o-vomit.