The Bredlow Family Blog

Yeah, we really are this crazy.

Why I am an advocate for blue toilet water. August 2, 2010

Wow, what a beautiful day we woke up to.  The sun was shining and the clouds were few and far between.  A far cry from this past week where we saw more clouds than blue sky.  Clouds or no clouds, it was Saturday morning and we were going to go out and do something fun!

I rolled over to see that Bruce was already up and dressed for a run.  Ugh, he beat me to it.  I was praying all night I’d wake up before him so I could go for a run for a change, you know, since I can’t when I have three kids in tow.  Whatever, I just rolled back over and played stupid games on my cell phone (largely because I was too comfortable to get up).  Ok, so he’s going to run to the office, take care of a few emails and things, and then run back.  I say he’ll be gone for at least two hours.

It felt like only twenty minutes had gone by and Bruce was back already.  I know I didn’t fall back to sleep.  Either he had no emails in his inbox or he forgot his keys or something for the office.  Nope..seems he dropped a rather key item on his run into the office and was simply retracing his steps.  Dang it.  Not how I envisioned starting Saturday out.  We get Tyler up and dressed and together they retrace his steps to his office.  I, however; was still chilling out on the bed with the cat.  Why get up?  Can’t leave post without this one important item that someone leaped out of his pocket on his run.

To make a long story short….after two calls to the MP station and one stop at the visitor center for a memo stating he is who he says he is the phone rings.  Thank you Father for saving our day after all….bummer that won’t happen until after 3 o’clock when the gentleman gets off work.  I guess we can do yard work while we’re killing time right?

I randomly decided to shower in our bathroom (although it still needs a bit of caulking) instead of in the boys’ shower down the hall.  I have a few hours to kill so I am going to milk this hot water heater for all she’s got.  Yeah.

As I start the shower I hear a really loud, and slightly odd gurgling or bubbling sound.  What is that?  I stop the shower and the noise stops.  Now that is weird.  Hmmm…Bruce has been showering in here all week so it can’t be anything out of the ordinary, I tell myself as I restart the shower.  Darn it though if my curiosity didn’t get the better of me.  With the shower running (on crazy hot of course) I hunted out the source of that bubbling sound.  It sounded like those big office water coolers when bubbles of air shoot up as  you fill your cup.  Only this was consistently bubbling.

Where is that coming from?  I lift the toilet seat…..WHAT??  When the shower runs the toilet bubbles and gurgles.  That can’t be right.  I mean, I’ve been using a toilet and a shower for oh….almost all of my life now and I have never seen something like this.  What on earth is going on in here?  I did what every inquisitive human being would have done – I flushed the toilet.

Interesting, not much happened other than the toilet filled up a little.  The water managed to turn blue though;  you see, a few weeks back the boys asked to have blue toilet water so it’d be green when they peed in it.  I obliged and bought those toilet tank things that dissolve over time and turn the water blue.  Hmmm….let me flush that again, maybe I didn’t hold the handle down long enough (you need to hold it down in this bathroom for some reason).

Ah, that did the trick.  The toilet flushed with ease, blue water and all.  And the noise seemed to stop, even better.  Lid slammed shut with one hand, shower curtain pulled back with the other and oh my God in Heaven above what have we here and thank you Jesus I looked before I lept!

Now I know I am not supposed to have blue water in the shower.  Especially if it’s blue water that looks and smells uncannily like the Clorox toilet tank drop-ins I used in the toilet tanks.  Holy shit and what is this….the water is still rising in the shower even though I managed to turn the shower off and the toilet was no longer running……and now there are brown things coming up with the colorful water too….please Lord don’t let that be poo…oh God it looks like poo…..”BRRRRRRUUUUUUCCCCCEEEEE!!!!!!”

I’m fairly certain he came on the first scream simply by the tone of it all.  Because sometimes I have to call him or the boys several times before they pretend like they just heard me.  Not this time though.  And I didn’t step out of the bathroom because I needed a towel…well, it was that or give my new neighbors their morning show.  So, I chose to holler from the bathroom while getting a towel so I could make the mad dash across the house in case he didn’t respond.  Which is what I expected.

“Um, we have blue toilet water in the shower.”  I said.  He kind of looked at me like I had another head growing out of my shoulder.  “Well, when I started the shower I heard this bubbling noise from the toilet.  So, I flushed the toilet to make it stop and it flooded the shower.  I’m pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be on the same drain, right?”

He said, “Yeah, that’s not supposed to happen.”  What did he do next?  He flushed the toilet again.  As if the toilet water in the shower wasn’t enough already.  Yep, more water filled the shower.  So he tried to plunge the toilet.  More water filled the shower.  Ok, let’s think outside the box…..he tried to plunge the shower drain….yep – more water filled the shower.  Now, it’s not just water filling the shower.  It’s blue water with brown stuff floating in it.  Kind of like days old poo that is trying to decompose on its own…or maybe tree bark?  Regardless, it was in my shower and I was not.

He said: “You might want to shower in the boys bathroom today.”  I was thinking, “ya think?! Like hell I’m getting in there.”

Keep in mind this is a Saturday, a day when most maintenance folks are not working for the military and no way I’m paying a civilian to come fix this mess.  Before I get in the boys shower I dig through the paperwork housing gave me when we signed for the house.  Ah-ha!  Here it is, that paper with the emergency points of contact listed on it.  I handed it to Bruce and said “you might need this.”  Then I went to the boys bathroom, rather nervously, to shower.  If I saw blue water in this shower I was going to scream.  Now I was thankful I’d used those darn things….at least I knew it was toilet water in the shower without a shadow of doubt.

There shower worked fine.

So it was about 1240 now and I’m finally getting into the shower….”They’ll be here at 1300.” I hear him say.  “Who’ll be here then?” I ask.  “The plumbers.” he shouts back.  Sweet, you know you have a plumbing emergency when they agree to see you within 30 minutes of your call….on a weekend!  Heck yeah, this is how I wanted to spend this amazingly beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Sure enough, a few minutes after 1 two guys show up with a bucket and a couple of plungers.  I couldn’t help but chuckle on the inside.  Do you really think I’d call in a plumbing emergency for a clogged toilet?  Seriously people, I’d ignore it and just use the other bathroom.  Sure enough, less than a minute later one of them leaves and heads to their van for more tools.  I could have saved them the trip but they didn’t ask when they arrived.  Or maybe they did?!  I have no idea, they only spoke minimal English…barely more than I can speak in Japanese.  But we all speak the language of shit in the shower!

Ok, so an hour goes by and I can hear them drilling and pounding away.  What are they doing back their building us an addition to the master bath?  At one point I stuck my head around the corner to see them squeegeeing water back into the shower.  The shower with the six-inch lip on it, so water has to get pretty deep to come over the edge.  One of them was carrying buckets of water from that bathroom to the other bathroom to dump it down the drain.  What on earth is happening in there?!  They were using power tools I didn’t know plumbers even had.

A shot after they got some of the water up.

Ok, so in the picture you can see the orange cord…yeah, that was heading out the window.  They weren’t even drilling and plumbing in the bathroom anymore.  They were now in the backyard!  But, you’ll notice the blue water and brown floaties are out of the shower…that’s a step in the right direction.

Well, I guess it didn’t matter that we had to sit around and wait for Bruce to get his ID card back, couldn’t really go anywhere while our house was a plumbers delight.  I did feel bad for the guys though.  It was crazy hot and humid outside and where they were drilling and working didn’t have any shade.  I thought about offering them water, but that’d be kind of gross while working on a sewer line.

After a bit I noticed two more guys that I didn’t recognize.  Turns out they had to call for backup – and backup brought even bigger plumbing power tools.  I started wondering if the grove of Banyan Trees on the back corner of our yard had broken into one of the pipes.  Why we wouldn’t have noticed it sooner is beyond me but if not that, than what on earth was going on with our plumbing?  Another hour goes by….

four plumbers, two full size vans full of plumber stuff for plumbing, and over two hours later I took this picture

Well, after a bit of time and some seriously hard work on the part of the plumbers (all four of them), they started cleaning up there stuff.  Could it be?  Were they done??

They were done!  I have NO IDEA what was wrong with our plumbing and I’m sure I never will.  But I do know that they came in and showed Bruce that he could flush the toilet or use the shower again without causing either one of them to go awry.

The one thing that plumbers don’t do when leaving the scene of the grime is clean and sanitize.  Ugh, my wonderfully grouted shower…the one I spent oodles of time grouting only for Bruce to seal it with lizard guts a few hours later, was now sporting a nice shade of blue grout.

Luckily for me, Bruce scrubbed the shower and brought that sparkling white grout back to life.  All was not lost though, we did take off and enjoy the rest of the day – what was left of it anyway.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that  the boys toilet broke later that same night.  Thank God there’s was just a broken chain and not a blue geyser gushing forth like Yellowstone.


5 Responses to “Why I am an advocate for blue toilet water.”

  1. Denice Says:

    Your shower has become your nemesis. You should erect a shrine in there rather than using it for it’s directed purpose. Hope the rest of your weekend was much better than the start.


  2. Mom Says:

    Hey – look on the bright side – oh wait – there isn’t one! LOL


  3. Dad Says:

    I thought you were going to say Bruce’s ID card fell out and clogged the toilet.


  4. Pam Says:

    Ugh, that is soooo gross. Think I’d better run to the store and buy some blue toilet bowl thingamabobbers….pronto!


  5. Deb Van Bogart Says:

    Amazing! Both Mike’s and my father were plumbers (mine for the U.S. Air Force and they never came home with great stories like yours! Have you thought of writing a book? You are a fantastic writer!


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