The Time I Showered with Sewage: What's the Worst Thing Your Bathroom Has Ever Done to You?

It wasn't on purpose; I'm not a monster.
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Louise Hung
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It wasn't on purpose; I'm not a monster.

I've been battling my bathroom lately. 

If Jesus stole my sense of smell (like I thought He did when I was a terrified Catholic school girl in middle school), my bathroom would seem pretty darn spiffy. It's small, but it's bright, relatively clean, I like the gray tile floors, and as far as Hong Kong apartments go, it doesn't look like someone recently died in it. 

But it kind of smells like someone died in there. OK, not so much as died, but thought they might be dying so they fear-peed everywhere and then ran away in shame without cleaning it up. It smells like there's old pee all over my bathroom. But I can't find the pee, and I've looked/cleaned everywhere (toilet, shower drain, sink, cracks in the grout, leaks, pipes, etc.). Is it ghost pee? 

lou and bathroom

Casually lounging outside of my stinky bathroom. Like ya do. 

It's been getting really awful for almost a week now. Our landlord had the toilet checked out (again), and the plumber claimed that the leaks that had occurred more than six months ago had not returned. I've scrubbed my entire bathroom top to bottom with everything from peroxide to caustic blue stuff that might have destroyed the part of my brain that can do the eight times multiplication table. 

It still smells like pee. 

I thought maybe Mr. Louise was "sleep peeing," i.e., missing the toilet during his late-night bathroom visits, but I put paper towels around the toilet several nights in a row, and no evidence of splatters. 

I am not a disgusting-pee-person, but I fear that if anyone uses our bathroom, they will just assume that Mr. Louise and I don't understand how toilets work. 

This whole debacle reminds of the time in college when I accidentally showered with shit...and stuff.

I lived in a really old building that was in the midst of getting fixed up, so there was always construction and pounding on pipes. My bathroom was practically original to the early 20th-century building. 

One day the toilet backed up, like it was fond of doing. I plunged it, yelled at it, and bargained with it, before it finally gurgled and flushed. Thinking all was well, I jumped in the shower to rinse off my toilet-fixing sweat. 

While I was in the shower, I heard the burp. The exposed pipes rattled a bit, and I heard water rushing into the tank. Not thinking too much of it, I kept showering. 

Stupid. 

The toilet made a sound that I suppose was its death-fart, the pipes made a bubbling sound, and before I could say, "Oh, shit," shit started coming up through the drain of my shower. 

Liquid shit. 

My nose knew before my eyes did. 

I couldn't back away fast enough. It was like the Blob encroaching upon me. It touched my toes. IT TOUCHED MY TOES

I stumbled out of the tub, getting liquid shit on my shower curtain and bath mat, all the while trying not to slip on my tiled floor. The last thing I needed was to be found with my skull cracked open, naked, and covered in shit. 

The police would shake their heads so judgmentally. 

For a moment I just stood in the middle of my bathroom swearing, screaming, and wondering if I should just cut off my shitty toes and start over again. 

Eventually I washed off my toes, turned off the shower, and stared in horror at my tub. Liquid shit had bubbled up through the drain and formed a thin layer on the bottom of the tub. The water had drained away, leaving behind a shit sludge. This was not just my shit, it was also the shit of my neighbors. Community shit. 

I stared at my shitty tub for a long time, contemplating how to proceed. Was there a way I could just make it all disappear? Could I just seal up my bathroom and never go in there again?

Finally, I gritted my teeth, put on some rubber gloves, and started rinsing and scrubbing — not just the tub, but the entire floor and any other place my flailing might have flung shit. I used up all the cleaning products in my home.

Of course, I had to shower again after I cleaned up all the shit, but the trust my shower and I had built up over the course of the year was gone. There was an unspoken shame between us. 

So that's the time I showered with shit. It hasn't gotten that bad with my current bathroom, but I'm wary. However, the pee smell is not a good sign — I'm this close to enlisting my own plumber to rip the toilet out so we can drain what I'm sure is a pee reservoir collecting beneath my floor. (CRAP, what if it crashes through the ceiling of my neighbor below me? Pee pouring into your living room is worse than shit flowing into your shower.)

What's the most disgusting/horrible/disturbing thing your bathroom has ever done to you? Has your toilet ever backed up into your shower? 

Has your bathroom ever been haunted by the never-ending odor of piss? What did you do? Help?