Wish You Could Flush This Experience Down The Toilet

, , , , , | Right | October 23, 2018

(A teenage boy of about fourteen or fifteen comes out of the bathroom and approaches me.)

Boy: “Um, ma’am, there’s a problem in the bathroom.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look.”

(I am thinking I’ll just have to plunge or something. I walk in, and my eyes grow wide. The entire floor is covered in poo water. A HUGE ball of paper towels full of poo has clogged the entire toilet — not just the drain, the whole bowl — and some is hanging out of the toilet. Several more pieces of paper towel are strewn on the floor. The empty paper towel roll is laid on the counter. Yes, there is an ENTIRE ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS in the toilet.)

Me: “What happened?”

Boy: “Well, there wasn’t a lot of toilet paper left, so I tried to use the paper towels.”

Me: “You needed that many paper towels to take care of yourself?”

Boy: “No. I mean, I used the first bit, but then it wouldn’t flush down, so then I just kept shoving more in there thinking it would fix it. I’m really sorry; this is so nasty.”

(I look at him, and then, in silence, I walk out and fetch his mom. I bring her into the bathroom to take a look. She peeks in, and as she does, the boy says:)

Boy: “I’m so sorry, Mom. I didn’t know what to do.”

Mom: *with a blank face she responded* “Oh, honey, it’s okay. Don’t be embarrassed; this happens.”

(In my mind, I’m screaming, “NO, IT DOESN’T! THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. THIS IS NOT A THING PEOPLE DO. PEOPLE DO NOT SHOVE ENTIRE ROLLS OF PAPER TOWELS DOWN THE TOILET. THAT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT JUST ‘HAPPENS.’ WOULD YOU BE SAYING THAT TO HIM IF HE DID THIS AT HOME?!” But I keep my cool and I stay silent. The mom looks at me.)

Mom: “Okay, let’s go, Son. Or did you want to ask about that book?”

(I’m standing in a puddle of her son’s poo water, staring. The boy looks at me and says:)

Boy: “Oh, yeah. Do you have Bram Stoker’s Dracula?”

Me: *still staring* “No. No, I don’t have that one. Or any more paper towels.”

(The mom laughs. The boy laughs. I do not laugh.)

Mom: “Okay, have a nice afternoon!”

(The mom and boy walk out. I’m still standing in the middle of poo water in the bathroom. I stare at the mess around me, dumbfounded. I call my landlord and ask her to send a plumber over. I begin cleaning. The plumber arrives, and he gets to the bathroom, opens the toilet, and exclaims:)

Plumber: “OH, MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED?! THIS COULD CLOG A SEWER! THIS IS NOT TOILET PAPER!”

(Yes, yes, I know. $95 and two hours of cleaning later… Moral of the story: I now understand why there are signs in public restrooms stating, “Do not flush anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper.” We’ve removed all paper towels, napkins, and hand towels from the bathroom and put them outside.)

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