Once upon a time, I observed that the first thing I generally do upon checking into a hotel room is to take a crap. Don’t have any idea why; it’s simply What Happens.
The last time She Who Must Be Obeyed and I stayed in a hotel, however, the tables were turned: The hotel tried to take a crap on us.
Oh, everything started off perfectly normally. We checked in. We unpacked our bags. I crimped off a length. And the loo gulped it right down... a detail that you may consider to be TMI, but trust me, it will be important later in our story.
Interstitial: SWMBO, for as long as I have known her, refuses to drink water that has come out of the bathroom tap. Perhaps she thinks it picks up Doodie-Cooties as it courses its way through the plumbing; I don’t know. But our hotel room had two bathroom sinks: one in the bathroom proper (where sat the Evil Toidy), another in a separate vanity area. Was the water from the vanity sink tap acceptable? Or was it subject to the same Bathroom Water Taboo despite its never having been in the Room Where the Poopy Goes? Somehow, the Missus managed to avoid giving me a straight answer... because just as she was about to admit that the Vanity Sink water might be marginally acceptable, the toilet made a scary “glug” noise, almost as though it wanted to help her answer the question. “Aha!” said she.
Though we did not know it at the time, that “glug” was the first indication of Impending Doom. But all systems appeared to be nominal, so we went about our business with no further concern.
Sometime in the Wee-Wee Hours - deep in the night when folks our age get up to pee - the toilet gave out another ominous-sounding “glug.” This one lasted longer, but a visual inspection revealed nothing amiss. Yet.
When we got up, the Missus took an uneventful shower. Shortly after that, things started getting ugly.
The toilet once again started making its “glug” sounds. But now the sounds were more insistent. Glug. Glug, glug. Glug gluggity glug. And the water in the toilet began to rise, finally stopping halfway up the bowl. Yeef.
That was horrifying enough for us to put in a call to the front desk requesting that we be moved to a different room... a request to which the hotel promptly agreed. “We’ll give you a new room as soon as Housekeeping can get one ready,” they said. And so we began to repack our bags in anticipation of being relocated.
Said relocation developed a whole new sense of urgency when the bathtub now began to fill up. With Poop-Water. Stinky poop-water.
The Missus nearly had a hemorrhage when she saw that. “Good Gawd,” quoth she, “if that had started while I was in the shower, I would have thrown up right on the spot!” Of course, the first thing she did was to whip out her iPhone and take a picture of it. (No, I will not post that photograph. Feel free to thank me for that rare bit of discretion.)
It seemed like something out of The Amityville Horror. No, wait! It was... the Hilton Horror!
We got the hell out of that room as fast as we could.
The front desk peeps were apologetic. Apparently, some youthful miscreant in the adjacent room had flushed something indigestible down the WC - a washcloth, or a toy, perhaps. (No, I had nothing to do with it. For once.) Since both rooms shared a waste line, that created problems for both... problems that resulted in some 48 hours of power-snaking. Feh.
By then we didn’t care, being ensconced in our new room. And our vacation was off to a roaring - no, a glugging - start.