Last night, while going through the weekly routine that accompanies trash night, I heard water running in the basement. Where no water is supposed to be running.

It looked initially like the bowl from our toilet had sprung a leak — which meant everything we had been doing in the commode all evening was now dripping on piles of our stuff in the basement.

As it turns out, we were likely wrong about that. It appears there’s a backup in the outgoing sewage line — and that means what everyone in all four apartments had been doing all evening was now dripping on piles of our stuff in the basement. And for some reason, that seems even worse.

We gathered a bunch of, uh, shit, that wasn’t cleanable and bagged it up last night, in time to go out with the trash. And I’ve spent the entire day disinfecting and then re-cleaning everything else that got wet.

And that plumber that the landlord said would show up at lunchtime. It’s 4:30 p.m.; I’ve spent my entire day waiting on him as well.

Still, the day hasn’t been an entire loss:

** After writing stories about flooding for like four straight summers, I found I was already very familiar with the cleanup process. By osmosis, I think.

** Under the stairwell is apparently where we keep the sporting goods.

** Tailgating season is almost here. The coolers needed to be cleaned anyway.

** We have a volleyball set! I had no idea.

** The Wife and I are proud owners of the cleanest snow shovel in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.

** I’m occasionally lacking for common sense, but while I was picking up cleaning supplies at 7 this morning, something in my brain said: “Knee pads.” I’m soooo happy I found some.


  1. This happened to me and Lushie 1 month after we moved in. We had 6 inches of sewage come back up the drain. We also hadn’t finished moving in yet so many boxes with our possessions were lost. Insurance company was very cool about coverage thankfully.

    Good luck with the cleanup


  2. I’m so sorry. What a way to spend the day. It’s bad enough cleaning up your own shit…but when it’s somebody else’s…nasty.


  3. Kewyson: There were three soft-sided coolers lost in the Great Poop Flood of 2008. The good news is that two others — not pictured here — were in other, less poopy sections of the basement.


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