Friday, January 25, 2008

Late Night Surprise - Update

So why did I volunteer to be on the Board?

Here's the story:

Last night, around 11ish, Tomoko and I smelled something burning. We checked her kitchen. Nothing. Then, I felt her radiators. They were coolish to the touch. "That's weird," I thought. I went down to my apartment to see if anything was wrong there. My radiators were also coolish. Then, Tomoko called to see if I had any hot water. Nope.

So, I thought I would check the boiler room beneath my building to see if maybe a circuit breaker had tripped or something. The picture in the previous post was what I saw.

And, kittens, that isn't just plain old water. It's sewage. There was poo. And used condoms.

I immediately called the other Board Members and we swung into action ... calling every emergency number we had on hand. I turned off the boiler emergency switch (because that seemed like the thing to do, since the boilers were mostly submerged in sewer water).

The rest of the timeline involves ... VUBOQ going to bed ... plumbers arriving ... VUBOQ waking up ... more plumbers arriving ... heating/electric people arriving ... Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission arriving ... waiting ... waiting ... taking pictures ... more waiting ...

oh, and freezing.
and really really wanting to perform my morning ablutions (so to speak).

When I left for work at 11:45AM (after being relieved by another board member), the room had been pumped and hosed down, the heating guys were taking a survey of the damage, power to the room had been restored, and the water had been briefly turned on (but, soon after, shut off again).

The property manager (bless his mostly useless little soul) should be arriving soon with electric heaters for some of the apartments. I will probably stay at Y's tonight, since he (a) has hot water, (b) has heat, and (c) is close to the airport [since I'm flying to NC for the bro's surprise party (shh! it's a surprise!)].

The good news is that it looks like the fault was not with our building, but with the main WSSC line. This means that WSSC should reimburse us for any damages, costs, etc.


I am very, very sleepy.


  1. Ick sewage! Poor you. (And one very good reason why you shouldn't flush condems down the toilet...)

    Hope you get to nap soon!

  2. That is a horror story.

    And why are people flushing condoms? They are not flushable or fun to have magically reappear.

  3. makes you remember how difficult a plumber's job must be.

  4. gayprof: The WSSC sewer guy said, "You would not believe the things that people flush." I didn't ask for any more details.

  5. What a shitty experience! Glad they fixed it up and hope you get some sleep.

  6. Ah, yes. The Joys Of Home Ownership. I know all about that stupid shit. I *hate* home ownership. I'd so much rather rent.

  7. If I had a Board, I'd want you on it. I'm useless in poo situations.

  8. Ugh. So 'Vuboq lives for weekends' weekend got off to a shaky start. I hope the shhhh (surprise birthday party) takes the whole weekend thing on an upswing. Be safe. Have fun.

  9. I remember some old safe sex videos that always advocated you tie the used condom closed and then flush it.

    Hope you are showered and refreshed now.