Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The trench

I've been avoiding talking about this. I guess I thought if I didn't talk about it, it would go away. OR, it would magically get fixed by the plumbing fairy.

The downstairs bathroom (still unpainted) smells bad. It's always smelled bad. When we came to look at the house they had candles burning in there. I should have known. And I don't mean, it doesn't vent well, or it smells a little musty. It smells BAD.

Imagine if you will a port-a-potty. I want you to close your eyes, and imagine that port-a-potty is at a week long music festival in Texas, and it's day three. The temperature outside is 97 degrees and the port-a-potty is right next to a BBQ stand. Ok now imagine that somehow that port-a-potty is accidentally locked and left to sit in the sun and heat until day seven when it is picked up by a guy named Jerome. Poor Jerry goes to work on getting it open, and when he finally succeeds in his mission, the door flying open, the wickedness that emerges knocks him back on his ass, and melts his eyebrows clear off. That my friends is the smell I'm talking about.

It comes and goes as it pleases. Sometimes it's gone in under and hour, and sometimes it lingers all day. It seems to be worse in the morning, but then sometimes it disappears for months at a time. It seems to have no correlation to how much the toilet is used or if water is run in the sink. Leaving the door open or closed makes no difference whatsoever.

Sometimes when you get up in the morning, you go into the kitchen, and as you round the corner by the fridge it hits you like a brick wall. The smell is so bad it actually triggers the fight or flight instinct in me. It also fills me with disgust and shame. Why do we have a smelly room?

We've had so many plumbing problems with this house, and I know in my heart of hearts that what it needs is for someone to come in, and redo the whole system top to bottom. It also needs to move into a better school district, but that's not going to happen either. When we moved in, there were pipes that were running uphill to drains, and leaky pipes. We lost a wall in that downstairs bathroom to a leaky pipe. That cost us a couple grand in pipe fixing, mold abatement, giant blowing fans, and dry-walling. My father who was here visiting, said if it was his house, he'd have fixed it for $7.32 and a trip to home depot. It was his way of letting us know our mold is bourgeois.

Ok, so the smell seems to be getting worse in the last few weeks. I think it's crying out for me to pay attention and finally call in a professional. My greatest fear is that the plumber will be just as stumped as we are, and we'll have to pay him $300 to tell us there is nothing he can do. Or worse, we'll pay him $300 to pretend to do something that in no way makes our bathroom not smell like a trench full of rotting flesh and poop on fire.

Yay homeownership!


  1. "Yay homeownership!" ...exactly! That house is now your home! Congrats :) Despite the crap and expenses, there is nothing I love more than home! XO

  2. $300 sounds a little optimistic to me.... I would budget at least a grand.