Plus, one day almost all of Doyal’s clothes were stolen out of a drier in the laundromat on campus. All his favorite shirts, a couple good pairs of pants, socks, underwear, all gone. We knew it was hippies, because there really wasn’t any other significant group of people on campus. And Doyal’s already given to getting aggravated all the time, and his roommates are always bagging on him for being short, and he wasn’t getting laid and it was just all bad. Doyal was totally, completely pissed.
A couple days later, it got worse. We lived with a guy named Andy Miller The Lady Killer, and Andy had this giant fat bastard of a friend who came over once or twice. One afternoon, when Andy was away visiting his girlfriend in Seattle, the big giant friend came into our house uninvited and took a half-hour shit in our bathroom. I don’t mean a guy with a beer gut or anything, I mean one of those huge fuckers where you pause and wonder how they got that way, like if there’s something medically wrong with them. You wonder if their bones are okay; like, if women with large breasts develop back trouble, and those boobs only weigh a few pounds, what kind of permanently screwed up spinal disaster is THIS guy carrying around with his 100-pound gut hanging off the front of him? It was the kind of fat where, instead of just looking like the larger version of a normal-sized person, you look like a factory screw-up with extra body parts badly stuffed in there.
I don’t mean to be cruel, but I do want you to understand, darling reader, that this was the guy who hijacked our toilet and sat in there shitting for half an hour. It pissed me off. I’d have probably left him alone otherwise.
So the dude finally comes out of the bathroom and we’re all irritated but not quite mad enough to say something to him, and he comes into the living room and he makes a pained face.
“Oh, man, I think I pulled my back in there,” he says, and walks out through the big living room window we used as a door.
Everybody’s nervous as hell. What did this fucking guy do to our toilet? Is it safe to pee in the house, or are we treeing it until further notice?
We waited for the stink to air out and then three of us went in there to scope out the situation. We agreed that the best thing to do would be a test flush, so if it backs up it would just be water and not somebody’s pee getting on the floor. It’s a risk, but we can’t do a test plunge, because the water in the bowl isn’t high enough for that to work.
So we held our breath.
I reached out and put my hand on the lever. I looked at my roommates. They nodded, yes, do it.
I flushed and we all jumped back.
And the water went right down the toilet. No problem. Whew. We all breathed a giant sigh of relief and went back into the living room to have some beer.
Half an hour after that, our roommate Rob goes into the bathroom to take a leak and flushes the toilet and all hell breaks loose.
He flushes, and GALLONS of disgusting shit water come gushing up out of the pipes. To this day I have no idea how the physics of this worked but Rob starts screaming in the bathroom and runs out into the hallway and we all spring up to see what’s happening and the entire bathroom floor is being flooded with brown water. And it wasn’t watered down, either: that foulness was thick.
It flowed throughout the entire little side room where the toilet was, across the middle room with the two sinks, into the bath-and-shower room on the other side, and finally crept up against the little edge at the bottom of the doorway into the hall.
The bathroom had linoleum floors.
The hallway was carpet.
We had no idea how much more water was going to keep bubbling up out of this hellhole that foul tubby asshole had made out of our toilet, so we had to think fast – how were we going to sop up all this shitty water before it overflowed onto the carpet? The entire bathroom floor was wall-to-wall covered and the water was still flowing. This was an emergency.
Inspiration struck: we’d have to raid the free box.
Right outside the student center where the pizza place and the laundromat were, there was a free “box” (aka “wooden dumpster”) where people dropped off old sweatshirts and pants and t-shirts and crappy books and scratched CDs, so the hippies could just raid that when they needed new clothes or a plastic disc that used to play music. We sprinted to the free box, grabbed as many absorbent-looking cotton clothes as we could hold and sprinted back. We threw the sweaters and socks and pants all over the bathroom floor and thank God, there was no overflow – the shitty water was contained entirely to the linoleum bathroom floor. We were geniuses!
We decided to drink a bunch more beer and some whisky and give the clothes time to sop up as much liquid as possible before setting to the gruesome task of lifting those clothes into garbage bags and getting them the hell out of the apartment. The smell was unbelievable.
I don’t think you know just how bad you can hate somebody until his actions force you to lift dripping crap-soaked clothes into a bag. The bag won’t stay open by itself; you’ve got to get somebody to crouch down holding it open while the other guy uses a stick or something to pick up the clothes. You have to be careful not to drip on the outside of the bag. The guy holding the bag has his face right there where you’re stuffing the clothes. It’s awful. Doyal and I took the first round, crouching by the door to the bathroom and switching off who held the bag. When we had a couple bags done, we walked them through the apartment and out the window towards the dumpsters.
So as we’re walking to the dumpsters, I look over at Doyal and I can tell he’s at the complete end of his rope, anger-wise. The guy is ready to kill somebody. First the hippies steal all his clothes and now this. And then I see a little glint flash up in his eye and a tiny smile crack the sides of his face. I know exactly what he’s thinking and he looks at me and I say, “You wanna put these right back in the free box?”
Doyal says, “Fuck yes.”
So that’s just what we did.
Words: Sean Murray
Art: Manuel Martinez