If I were to say to you that I had a shitty Thanksgiving, I would not, for once, be writing hyperbole.
I was all dressed up and ready to go to Melanie’s Thanksgiving Vegan Extravaganza, looking forward to one or both of her twin eight year-old nephews being my date(s) for the festivities (yes, it is that hard to get poor Heidi a date). Just so you can picture: I had the purple velvet empire waist top with the silver sequins and some grey silky pants. No shoes or socks yet. Was just doing my makeup when nature called….and for the record (I know this seems like TMI, but it’s important), it was numero uno.
So, the toilet doesn’t drain. That toilet has a destructive history, so I wasn’t going to fool around. I grabbed the plunger and, congratulating myself for being so handy, gave it a few plunges. Well, instead of swallowing, as the toilet usually does in that circumstance, my toilet vomited, and I’m not talking just a dry heave. I’m talking a fountain. And it was a fountain of my neighbor’s feces, and her neighbor’s feces, and his dead aunt’s feces, and without doubt the feces of Satan himself.
As this occurred, I thought, well, shit.
Then, I thought, if I just plunge harder, this nightmare will end, but it did not. No, the water kept running and fueling this nightmare, until there was nearly an inch of water on the floor, on my naked toes. Taking in all that dreadful sensory stimuli, I was a little slow to get to the Water Off valve at the wall. Once I did, I grabbed every towel in the bathroom and put it in the doorway, to block the flood, and took still more towels from the hallway closet. Then I thought I had the flood forestalled.
I didn’t want to repeat the fiasco of two summers ago, when the whole apartment had to be re-carpeted and -painted, thanks to this same monster toilet.
Then, I set about trying to find the building maintenance emergency number. Whenever I have needed the emergency number in the past, I have just called the building’s management office. When the office is closed, the number is given on the recording. This call reminded me that we no longer have a building manager; the recording referred me to the building perpendicular to mine (the one with ugly blue balconies). So I rang over there. That recording just said, “We’re not available; please leave a message.”
No problem, I thought. I’ll walk downstairs. The number has always been posted in the mailroom. Nope. Nothing. So then I started pounding on neighbors’ doors. No one was home, except one girl on the first door on your left as you leave the elevator (if you want to kick her door). She did come near the door (I could see her through the wee spy glass), but then she just wandered away. Biatch.
When I got back to my apartment, I walked on the carpet and heard the terrible “squish, squish, squish” of carpet soaked through the padding and then some. By this time, the water had wicked through the padding and all the way up past the laundry room to the kitchen. Ugh.
So now I called back at the management office at the blue balcony building. As you might imagine, I left a very kind and dignified message about where that silly emergency number might be, because there happen to be feces flying about my apartment and I need either their help or the emergency number, and I need it before Monday. Thanks, ever so…luvya; mean it.
Then, I got out the letter from the property management company, Real Estate Services Incorporated, announcing my rent will be raised in January. So I conveniently had that phone number. I left my landlord a cool-headed message as well about how I felt spending my Thanksgiving up to my elbows in feces without an emergency number to call.
By this time, I had already terrorized my poor mother, who was trying to be on vacation, with two hysterical phone calls. I might not even have noticed my own hysteria were it not for the gentle reminder from my mother: “Uh, you are going to have to get yourself together; it is going to do you absolutely NO good to wail and cry like that!” So, you can gather that I maintained my sunny disposition throughout the experience. Probably the only reason I am semi-coherent today is that Sharan talked me down off the ledge no fewer than fourteen times.
At this point, it was clear that I wasn’t going to make it to Auntie Melanie’s fabulous vegan extravaganza.
I had made an amazing vegan pumpkin cheesecake to bring. I was so looking forward to the amazing feast (with no one shaking a turkey leg at me and saying, “Heh, heh, heh, how about a little turkey, there, Heidi. Oh, that’s right. You’re a vegetarian”).
Melanie was very understanding. Carlos and Bob even brought me a plate of amazing Melanie food (so sweet!) later at night, as I still waited for the plumbing/cleanup service I called to clean up. I won’t go into the details about that, because they’re too frustrating.
Suffice it to say that as of late this afternoon, my carpet has been cleaned through water extraction and a little chemical treatment. There’s a big fan drying it, which thus far, seems to be a stank distributor.
On a more positive note, my killer cleaning mistress of the universe, Daysi, came in and rocked the deadly bathroom. She went over everything in there with bleach five times and washed the shower curtains, including the plastic one. It looks like a brand new bathroom that no one ever lived in. To give you an idea about how hard she worked, it took her two hours in that little room. Damn the luck; I wish I had before and after pix!
I’m going to have to deal with the building on Monday about re-carpeting. Then, as I have confirmed with water expert Marvourneen Dolor, there is still the matter of the e-coli bacteria I have tracked all over the house. Careful as I was, I still had to wear shoes to go up and down that hall, and into the living room. Before I figured out it was in the hall, I wore my shoes in both bedrooms. So even now if I take them off at the door, the bacteria are here. I need to have the whole place steam cleaned. We all know about my immune system and just the run-of-the-mill bacteria. Oy.
Does anyone have a plastic bubble for me to live in? I am signing up.
P.S. Do you think I ought to report to the police a missing 3/4 vegan, gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake?