everybody loves….closing time

Today’s post is a guest post by the hilarious Alex of everybodylovesyou.net. He suggested the topic of home repairs gone wrong and we obviously know a lot about that over here! My home repair nightmare can be found on his blog today too, so hope over there and check it out. It is slightly embarrassing, but pretty hilarious. Without further ado…

I excitedly left work early in the afternoon to head to the Howard Hanna real estate office in Moon Township for the settlement of my home sale. We had already closed on our new house a month earlier and I was greatly looking forward to leaving behind the avalanche of paperwork and inspections that we’d been dealing with. Maybe it’s different in Canada, but in my experience buying and selling houses isn’t nearly as much fun as the Property Brothers make it out to be.

My old residence was on the way from my employer to the closing office so I decided to stop by and take one more look around before signing it away for good. Thanks to the java chip frappuccino I guzzled on my way there, the first thing I did upon arrival was take a big whiz (#TMI). I flushed the toilet, washed my hands (at least I think I did), then headed down to the basement to make sure I didn’t leave anything important behind…like a cordless drill or a cat.

Almost immediately I noticed “water” bubbling up from around where the house’s main sewer stack tunneled into the concrete foundation floor. Though disgusted, I didn’t panic because this was unfortunately a sight I’d seen before. About five years earlier the same exact thing had happened. After spending hours trying to snake out the pipe and succeeding only in tiring out my arm while getting covered in God-knows-what, I called in a professional.

As it turned out, the stack fed into a terra cotta pipe that was connected to the city sewer. Over the years, the roots of the backyard maple tree had infiltrated the WWII-era terra cotta through a coupling in a subterranean section. This provided the perfect catch-point for a huge wad of toilet paper to get hung-up on. All it took was an industrial snaking and a few hundreds bucks for the brown river to start flowing again. The plumber-dude said as long as I didn’t flush any tampons or let Bigfoot drop a deuce after eating Mexican, everything would be copasetic going forward.

Flash-forward – so there I was, a half-an-hour away from transferring the title deed and I’m staring face-to-face at a mini-cesspool. The devil on my shoulder told me to mop it up, forget I ever saw it, go forward with the closing and then plead ignorance whenever the buyers rang my cell. Though I frequently listen to him when it comes to diet choices, I decided to do the right thing and carried on to the closing ready to deliver the bad news.

The buyers were a wonderful, young married couple who expectantly were not thrilled to hear about this unfortunate turn of events. I suggested calling a plumbing service to have them come check it out ASAP, and as long as they could fix the problem without finding any other significant issues, we could still move ahead and try to close later that evening. Everyone agreed to the plan and we high-tailed it to the old house to await the arrival of Mr. Rooter.


Thankfully, he showed up about halfway through the dreaded four-hour window. The prospective buyers and I watched as his worked the snake, which was now armed with a fiber-optic video camera, make its way through the channel of chode*. Those bastard tree roots were again the culprit and were quickly laid to waste by the swirling, metal mamba. Relieved and reinvigorated, we drove back out to Howard Hanna to complete the marathon document-signing session.

Moral of the story…rent. And don’t flush tampons.

* Prior to consulting the Urban Dictionary, I was always under the impression that chode was a synonym for turd. Apparently that isn’t the case (see here and here), but I thought “channel of chode” sounded too good to change.

Haha! Alex’s story made me feel a little better and a little worse about our plumbing fiasco. Better because I wasn’t in the middle of selling the house. (I would have 100% walked away. I am a horrible person.) Worse because the final straw for our plumbing was me having the audacity to wash my hair upstairs, which overflowed everything in the basement, ruined the carpet, and put our plumbing out of order hours before my birthday party. Oh and it cost several grand to fix.

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