Our war with the toilet began when our daughter, Jenny was about 4 years old. Up until that time, our toilet had been very good to us. We had one bathroom and it was imperative that it was always in working order — but our toilet had never given us any reason to think that some day we would have to throw it out of the house in a fit of rage!
The first fateful battle happened late one night when it was bath time for the children – Jenny, 4 and Bob, 2. After flushing the toilet before starting to run the bath, water (if it could be called that) started coming up through the bathtub drain – while of course, not going down the toilet! Then the water starting coming of the toilet – and not going down the tub! It was not a pretty sight – or smell! I tried plunging. I tried screaming. I tried crying and I tried praying. My children sat outside the bathroom door and just thought it was funniest thing they had ever seen and couldn’t understand why they weren’t being allowed to play in all of that water! I finally had to resort to calling Roto-Rooter and begging them to come over as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the soonest they could be there was in approximately two hours. As soon as I hung up the phone and realized it would be two hours before anyone came to rescue me – I had to go to the bathroom like I had just finished drinking 30 gallons of water! The neighbors weren’t home, the gas station would require loading babies into the car and hauling them into the bathroom with me — and it was too damn cold to go out in the back yard with the dog! So — I paced the room for two hours trying not to think about my predicament. At least one of my children was still in a diaper and the other one had probably caused this mess to begin with — so I didn’t worry about them.
At last, my knight in the shiny white van showed up and started doing his roto-rootering. First, he started with the toilet and said “wow, whatever it is must be almost out to the street!” So, he went on the roof — yes, on the roof! – and ran another thingie down through a pipe out to the street – and succeeded in finding the offensive object which had caused all the problems in our house. He felt the need to bring me the striped shirt for my inspection and asked if I still wanted it! Was he insane? All I really wanted was for him to leave so I could use my unclogged toilet — what would I do with a shirt that had been through raw sewage? Then, I saw that it was daughter’s shirt – a shirt she hated and had tried to throw away many times — I seriously thought about making her wear that shirt for a couple of days just to teach her a lesson! Lucky thing I had to use the bathroom so bad, I was willing to do anything to get that man out of my house — so he took the shirt with him.
This was the first in many skirmishes with our toilet — it became a yearly thing to have the Roto-Rooter man to the house. He started to feel like the relative who comes once a year and leaves everyone happy and relieved!
The final straw for the toilet came late one night when we couldn’t get anything to go down and Roto-Rooter couldn’t be there for at least 5 hours! My husband had finally reached his boiling point. He yanked the toilet of the floor, took out to the front yard and proceeded to flush it out with the hose! It was a good thing that it was pretty late at night — so our neighbors weren’t overly offended — but a few cars which zoomed by almost hit our mailbox trying to figure out what was going on.
It turned out that our sons had decided that whatever was in their pockets when they used the bathroom should go down the toilet – and they weren’t going to fish the stuff out if it accidentally fell in. My husband pulled out six pencils, two pens, a bottle cap, assorted coinage – and a partridge in a pear tree — okay maybe not the partridge – but there was enough wood for a tree!
After that horrific night, we finally won the toilet war. We patted down the boys before they went into the bathroom — emptied their pockets and prevented further floodage. We listened to our daughters when they wanted to get rid of certain pieces of clothing and above all else — we still kept Roto-Rooter on speed dial!