Opinion: A true catastrophe


You may recall that last week I was all chuckles after coming home and discovering that my husband Doo had been the first responder on a rather messy plumbing issue. And you may have also guessed (and been correct) that I was exaggerating a hair when I declared said issue a “catastrophe.” Well, I’m not laughing now, nor is the word catastrophe sufficient to describe what actually transpired.

It seems our beloved dogwood tree found a crack in the main sewage pipe and decided to extend her roots into all of its glorious, nutrient-rich cargo. This woody tangle along with paper products, red hair balls, and various other not-easily-degradable “items” eventually created a gloopy enough blockage to impress even the most seasoned heart surgeon. One flush of the main floor toilet was all it took to bring most of the contents back up, out onto our hardwood and carpeted floors, down the air vents and through the ceiling of our finished basement.

Neither of us initially thought the damage was bad. In fact, we allowed our son to sleep two nights in his room despite the still-damp carpet and slightly-off odor. [Parents of the year!] But once the remediation people came through, we learned we were being exposed to nothing short of nuclear radiation. “This is DEFCON Five people! We need blowers, heaters, suction, and drains. Let’s move, let’s MOVE!”

We’re looking at thousands of dollars in restoration, including new flooring and drywall, landscaping, and of course, an updated sewer line. I can’t step foot in the house right now without threading my way through rubberized venting mats, sinuous air hoses and obnoxiously loud industrial dryers. And despite having the AC set at 71, the constantly running motors keeps the air temperature over 85, leaving us all grumpy and a tad bit sleep-deprived.

The good news? We have insurance, no one got hurt (or sick), and most importantly, it wasn’t my fault. [I’ve been known to leave the sink on for our cat and may have once caused a small flood.]  The bad news? I’m not laughing anymore.

Peace out.

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