Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dirty Job

Anyone ever seen Dirty Jobs? Take away the cameras, witty commentary and money, and I hosted an episode this past weekend. Mom called me mid-week to let me know she had sewage leaking into her basement. I knew where the conversation was going. "Can you help me clear it out." I could have said no, but then the inevitable guilt trip would ensue, ending with "Twenty eight hours I was in labor with you!" How do you argue with that?

I should probably mention that I have used the word basement very liberally. We call it the cellar but torture chamber, dungeon and hole in the ground would probably work. As a child I'd play down there sometimes when I wanted to get information out of one of my toys. Let's just say, it's already an unpleasant place, so filling it with poop only amplifies the sense of terror and desperation that passes over you when you enter.

It was around 19 degrees outside. The cellar door opens into the yard so we had a nice cool breeze to keep us from overheating. We had to use a pump to get the liquid part of the sewage out into the yard. First though, we had to get all the ice out of the hose we were using on the pump. After an unsuccessful battle and the hose wasn't unblocked. I suggested maybe it was blocked by a more solid perpetrator. This was in fact the brown, poopy case. So after running hot water through the hose and finding this assailant, we connected it to the pump and began the smelly endeavor of removing the waste. This pumping without touching didn't last and soon I found myself shoveling and bucketing. Apparently the perfuse brown goo that formed when the water level began to go down clogged the pump.

All this effort, filling a bucket, walking it up the stairs and dumping it down the outside sewer access was very tiring. At one point I faced my own death. A particularly heavy load almost got the better of me as I lost balance and nearly fell on it. As I caught myself, my face came all to close to the surface of the liquid solid mix and saw my life pass quickly by. It was boring. This activity soon became futile. As we shuttled loads to and fro, more poo juice started bubbling out of the drain, so we gave up and began to sanitize. We'll just call the plumber. My wife wouldn't let me go anywhere else in the house when I got home but straight to the shower. It was utterly disgusting. I feel like I should go to the doctor to get shots. I'll just have them give me everything they have. I want all the shots.


  1. "I want all the shots." is only fun when said in reference to alcohol. Not so much fun when said in reference to your health.