You know my house with the crazy lights and the sockets that don’t work sometimes and the uneven doors?
(wait, have I told you about the uneven door? I don’t think I have. Here goes: When we were painting back in the fall, there was an odd break between the dining room and the living room that I didn’t know how to deal with. It was one flat wall, intersected by the front door, but I wanted the rooms to be two different colors. I had the idea of build a fake cornice over the door using pieces of molding. Pete’s mom and I had done this with the mantle and had great success with it. So I bought a few pieces of molding to test with and I discovered that the door-to-ceiling height is 1 2/3 inches taller on one side. WTF, right? Once again with the crappy builders.)
Right, so what I’m getting at is that we have some issues with our house.
But there are other issues…stinkier issues. We have a bad septic system.
My condo is attached to 4 others, and our building shares the same septic system. Even before we moved in we knew it was an issue since there were all sorts of meeting minutes and comments by neighbors and all sorts of guidelines you have to follow (No garbage disposals in the sink, don’t run your diswasher and washing machine at the same time, make sure your toilets don’t run, don’t pour any non-biodegradeable substances down the sink, etc.). There have been issues with it, but most of it hasn’t effected us. Our neighbors have reported yucky smells and the pumping truck has been out a few times to…how do I put this delicately…vacuum the shit out of people’s front yards. That’s it!
The last couple of weeks have been particularly bad for our neighbors but we had yet to experience anything. I was hoping it was because the system lives under the middle of the building and we are on the very end, but I was being overly hopeful. Last night we went to Pete’s parents house for dinner and when we got home at 8:45, we just decided we were exhausted and we were going to go to bed early. At about 9:15 Pete bolted out of bed because he could smell the garbage (which was on the first floor) (in the trash compactor) (with nothing smelly it in) (He has a remarkably sensitive nose…I didn’t notice anything). After he took it outside, I walked out of the bedroom and was hit in the face with the distinctive, wretched sent of poo wafting up the stairs. And it was getting stronger by the second. “Honey,” I said, “that isn’t garbage. I think its…poo!”
We immediately went into “Oh SHIT” mode (no pun intended!) and ran all over the house looking in every toilet and smelling every drain because I was convinced that a geyser of the poop of strangers was about to rocket through my house. Pete went down into the basement where he swore the scent was more intense, but he said the washing machine wasn’t stinky, so we never actually found the source of the smell. It was like it was osmosing through the walls of our house. So we did the sensible thing and threw open the windows in the bathrooms and in the master bedroom (which we don’t sleep in because the smaller bedroom stays much warmer) and a few downstairs as well. We turned the thermostats down as low as they would go (because heating fuel is $4.17 a gallon here) and I didn’t want the furnace running pointlessly all night. We shut the door to the bedroom and cracked a window because Pete was worried about the methane and threw on another quilt. I was convinced that I was going to freeze, but I actually work up very warm and comfy this morning. I doubt Pete felt the same way, as I looked over a realized that I had managed to literally cocoon myself with the down comforter and the extra quilt while he was left shivering under a paltry cotton sheet.
At least he wasn’t hit with a geyser of shit!
(and this morning, everything was back to normal with nary a scent in the air)