• Chez Us

    This is too funny! L always has the same problem. Not only at hotels but my family’s as well. I always want to crawl under the urrrr, toilet, to hide when he goes off to ask for the “plunger”!

  • tksinclair

    This is a favorite post not because of the photos (who wouldn’t LOVE those!?) but the toilet issue. Yes because I had this conversation with friends recently when I didn’t want to stay at my fathers house. You know the father, my BIRTH FATHER who I had not seen in over 20 years…because of the bathroom issues.

    Long story short, I flew to W. Va where I stayed in a hotel for four days. I did not use the toliet once other than to pee. SO you know what’s coming right? Went to stay with the father, hadn’t been there more than 6 hours and for the first time in 5 days had to “GO.”

    It was not pretty. I won’t go into details – you may close the blog forever for going over the TMI Act of 2008 but seriously I still have not recovered. Let’s just say it involved – ahem –

    my hand….OH GOD KILL ME NOW…..

    Unfortunately my husband was not with me. The husband who would have gallently taken responsiblity for this “mess” because that’s the kind of guy he is…no, just me, and when I asked, ”
    “do you have a plunger” they said “why?”

    WHO SAYS THAT!?!? Who doesn’t know what a plunger is for? And they had to find a plunger long hidden in the closet getting three people to search all the while I’m ankle deep in…well,

    I need to go lie down now. I thought I had blocked this out of my mind but obviously I did not….

  • CO

    Beautiful pictures, hilarious story. Brilliant! :)

  • luv and kiwi

    :) My best friend’s family has a consistant “always happens on vacation” thing happening…I think she’d feel reassured knowing it could be OH SO WORSE.

    Poop in a bag. That needs to be a rap song…

  • Alison R.

    Wait….so….you didn’t tip him?!?!?! Thats the most tippable of all tippable circumstances!

  • dad

    I thought at first the overshare was going to be a vacation sex story…..now I wish it was!

  • lcg

    I am happy (?) to inform you that your husband is not alone. I am notorious in my family for doing the exact same thing! you are stronger than I am. I usually make the call and leave the room. quickly. while avoiding eye contact with all hotel staff.

  • Daddy Scratches

    Wow, you guys actually experienced Mexico. Very ambitious. When we went to Playa del Carmen last year, we never set foot off the resort. Something about the way they kept bringing to our lounge chairs one pina colada after another persuaded us to mostly stay put.

    But thanks for the glimpse of a more authentic Mexican experience. And for all the revealing poop info.

  • girlplease

    You can’t fool us. Those were not pictures of rocks in the ocean. It’s what clogged the toilet.

  • odonata9

    Why oh why can’t they just leave the plunger? Just went to Mexico last month as well (Zihuatanejo, highly recommended) and I clogged the toilet TWICE! Once I did leave my husband to deal with it, but the second time, I had to make that call – I just hung out on the balcony when he came to fix it. And I also wondered about the tipping, after the fact of course – it does seem like something worth tipping for! And luckily, all the staff at our hotel spoke English so at least I didn’t have to try and explain it with gestures.

  • tokenblogger

    Okay, two things:

    Plungers usually come apart so they don’t take up much room in your luggage;


    You can also use the ice bucket and/or trash can in the room; fill with hot water and keep pouring into the toilet (slowly). The hot water will either move through the “solids” and make the toilet begin to drain. Even if it only drains a bit, just keep filling that bowl up to the rim and water weight will drive through ‘ventally.

    …and no one has to know.

  • jon

    I tipped the dude as we left for home. A GREAT tip. That guy was in and out fast. Plus? Sweet plunger. I need to look into where they got that plunger. Massive.

    Also? Heather was in the toilet RIGHT BEFORE me. So it wasn’t just me, is all I’m saying.

  • mycouchhascrumbs

    My husband and I, we are toilet cloggers as well. Why oh why cant they just put a plunger under the sink in all bathrooms? That would save us that shameful situation. Your pictures are beautiful.

  • cpchrisman

    Can I please go there now? What beautiful photo’s. I love the combo of the red gate and the water or electric meters.


  • skykate

    I believe it is customary to tip service personnel when they go above and beyond the line of doody.

  • sarahdoow

    “Mexico, number two” may have been a more appropriate title ;-)

  • kristanhoffman

    Ditto what “dad” said.

    Also, maybe try less TP?

    Gorgeous photos!

  • Funnelcloud Rachel

    Hilarious. Also, when you said you took one for the team and brushed off your shirt, I seriously thought you were going to say “And then I rolled up my sleeves and unclogged that sucker WITH MY BARE HANDS!”

  • aposiopetic

    I think that once you compensate him for his efforts, he’s really more of a poop *servant*.

  • jan001

    So glad to know it’s not only me. I don’t do it with the regularity (sorry) you two apparently do, but when I do, it’s noteworthy. Recently I was just leaving a lovely spa where I’d been pampered and cosseted within an inch of my life, and just before leaving, I decided to visit the “facility” and you know what happened next. So I had to go out there among the flattering lighting, the soothing music, the chi-chi appointments all around and ask for The Plunger. Oh no, we’ll get it, it does that all the time! was the answer I got. Still. You know.

    And this one time? In band camp? No, wait, not band camp. This was in the lovely and spacious and well-appointed home of a cousin I hadn’t seen since we were both kids. I was staying in a guest room that had its own bathroom and It Happened. God, I was mortified. He shrugged it off and went to work with the plunger, assuring me that it happens a lot from that bathroom, being the farthest one from the main line. Not sure I believe that, but I didn’t argue. But GROSS!!!

    Oh, and the bag thing? Necessity is a mother, isn’t that what they say? I had to resort to that once after a hurricane, and recently passed along that non-Heloise-like hint to someone who was living without flushing toilets after a flood. N-A-S-T-Y but it works.

  • healthtwisty

    @Dooce: Whenever anyone does anything special, e.g., bring room service, bring more towels, unclog your toilet, they deserve a tip. This is true in the US (do you tip your housekeepers when you check out of your hotel? It is standard to leave a couple of dollars for each day you were there in an envelope on the dresser) and especially true in countries where the standard of living is lower than that of the US. A few pesos is not much to most Americans, but it can be a lot to service workers in Mexico.

  • ThePeanut

    Haha! Awesome. Also? The way you explained the clogged toilet problem to the guy downstairs is hysterical. I totally thought that dude was going to think you killed your husband in the bano and needed someone to clean it up. Ya know, with the way you pretend slit your throat and all.

  • sandi

    Your post cracks me up! I feel SO BADLY for Cami! Bless her heart!

  • ScrappyWyf

    Holy Crap! I think I busted a gut laughing, this post was so damn funny. Thanks for the AM laugh, I SOOO needed a crap story that didn’t involve politics.

  • Jeca51601

    I started reading this just before my lunch.
    Now, that fabulously made chicken salad is in the hands of my husband.
    Come to think of it, I think Heather should patent her blog as a new diet: “just read it and you’ll never, ever eat anything else in your life! promise!”

    Love the photos…

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    great photos. happy you posted them to save this shitty entry (rimshot! and i guess i mean that in more ways than one).

  • susanfishy

    May I just say that I needed that tears-rolling-down-my-face laugh today. Thank you.

  • Meisen

    No, no, no…you don’t tip the guy “to see your poop” you tip him BECAUSE he saw your poop! And since we are talking tips, here’s one: when using an unfamiliar toilet poop and flush before wiping. Do not wait to flush until you have a toilet full of poop AND toilet paper because it will clog. And if you use lots of TP flush several times.

  • Rebecca from Texas

    How is it that you can make dilapidated Mexican buildings beautiful? :) So jealous!

  • One Hungry Mutha

    Oh my god, laughed out loud! (I refuse to adapt to LOL, I mean, how hard is it to type, “laughed out loud?”)

  • celestefsmith

    my husband does this whereever we go and it doesn’t even have to be a hotel room. he’s done it at every house we’ve ever visited as well. his suggestion is the mid-poop flush. :) anyhow, he waits to go until everyone is in bed – we’ve spent many an evening snooping through people’s houses trying to find a plunger. when we visit anywhere now i just ask where the plunger is kept right away.

    on another note, my nine year old seems to have inherited his father’s problem. he not only clogged the toilet, but he caused it to overflow on our last vacation.

    and yes you tip the plunger guy. poor guy.

  • Christina_MT

    I will never again complain about the chronic constipation that I suffer whenever I’m away from home.

    Love the pictures. That sculpture is amazing.

  • Greygirl

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess most hotels in Mexico are used to gringos clogging the toilets!

  • jilllovesbacon

    Good rule of thumb: if anyone gets you out of a poop bind (so to speak), tip them!

    Poop-related embarrassment: my college roommate told me a story of when she was a teen hanging at her boy crush’s house, she landed a big one in the toilet. The toilet plugged and it wouldn’t go down, just swirling and swirling. In a complete hormone-teen-panic, she scooped it out and buried it in the bathroom garbage can. And ran. I don’t think she ever got that makeout session she was hoping for.

  • LuckIsMyMiddleName

    You obviously need to start staying at a lower class of hotel. I used to work the front desk at a Holiday Inn Express, and we just handed the plunger to the guest from the doorway and cheerfully waved goodbye. Once, someone tried to insist that one of my coworkers plunge the toilet, and she was aghast. In fact, she declined.

    Your pictures, as always, are gorgeous.

  • Lauren3

    Thank jebus for your poop stories, woman. I friggin’ needed that right about now.

    Cami, if you read this comment, it’s OK, poop happens– and sometimes it’s gotta happen in a bag.

    …AAHH WAIT just as I was about to click to submit this comment, I remembered that episode of Hoarders! Anybody else remember the one where the woman’s bathroom broke so she just started pooping in bags and throwing them in the corner and by the time Hoarders got there there were YEARS OF POOP BAGS MAKING A MOUNTAIN!?

  • luv and kiwi

    ha ha! @skykate you said doody

  • malisams

    I actually just spent 5 minutes Googling “travel plunger”…to no avail. Also, I’m ashamed to admit that it took me that entire 5 minutes to realize how utterly revolting it would actually be to then stow the used plunger in your luggage come time to go home, nestled there near your toothbrush and souvenirs for the kiddies.

    Anyway, my husband clogs the toilet DAILY and also says the mid-poop flush is key.

    The pictures are amazing – the shot of the two palm trees is my favorite.

  • ljnelson

    Ahh, off a phone call with lawyers, and then this. Thanks; needed the laugh.

  • JasmineStar

    Tears. TEARS!! I’m laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face. All because of Jon Armstrong’s poop.
    Happy Thursday to me.

  • Coyote

    I so dearly hope the next Dooce.com masthead quote is:

    “I gave him money to see my poop.”

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos.
    And thanks for the fabulous laughing fits :-)

  • gitana

    interesting to note that ordinarily when foreigners visit mexico they ALWAYS plug the toilets…this is because they flush the toilet paper. Mexicans don’t flush the toilet paper… the sewage system isn’t built to handle that kind of bulk. People wipe and then deposit the paper waste in the garbage bin which gets cleaned out daily. Toilets clogging in hotels is happens so often your plunger dude probably wouldn’t be able to remember which poopy toilet was yours.

  • Ratatosk

    A few years ago I was walking to the park with DS early one Sunday morning when he announced he had to poop. We were nowhere near a bathroom or portapotty; however, we were a couple blocks from my inlaws house. They were gone for the weekend, but I knew the code for the garage door. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working.

    So my 5 year old stood on their front steps and squatted into a Target bag. Soooo proud. Was tempted to leave the bag on the front step because I called my MIL to clarify the garage door code and my SIL was shrieking in the background that I was a moron and apparently didn’t know how to operate said door ‘cuz it worked yesterday. :)

    IMO, in the future I’d tip the plunger guy and look up phrases in spanish indicating that your husband has adobe poop, dropped a huge load, sewer pickle, whatever.. :) Liza

  • TexasKatie

    It isn’t like you were giving him some sort of blessing of seeing your crap. I mean, it wasn’t like you would be “paying him to see your poop” like it is some sort of exotic flower, which in that case, he should pay you. He had to manhandle your dung, for goodness sakes. Of course you should have tipped him then and there. That’s the way it goes in Mexico. And just about any other place, I would think.

    Glad you tipped him at the end of the trip, but from now on I would tip people as things happen. Like, when someone helps you to your door with the baggage, tip them. When someone delivers room service – tip them. When someone handles your poop – tip them. When you don’t tip them on the spot, they get annoyed and then don’t give you good service. Especially in Mexico.

  • luckydog

    the guy in the pic titled hombre amable, when I first looked at it I’m thinking, “damn, I hope this isn’t the guy who they sent to unclog the toilet”. Cause it would be kind of creepy if everytime you ran into him after that, that this is the grin he flashed at you. I would certainly be throwing some cash his way…

  • jennisdrinking

    If you’re going to tip ANYONE, tip the poor plunger guy!

  • tallnoe

    That picture with the rocks, looking like the end of the island… I have a picture of me RIGHT there!!!
    How funny. Everything else has looked so different, but I KNOW that location. From when I was 6 years old and on Isla de Mujeres.

    Thanks for the pictures.

  • FunnyGirlTeri

    GREAT Story! … whenever i need a sparkle in my day.. you hit the nail on the head Lady!! Great Camera!!.. and photographer! ~Teri

  • Mrs. Figby

    This made me so happy, because I totally thought it was just me. Or rather, my husband. WHO DID THIS IN JAPAN. JAPAN! Also at the apartment of a seriously cool couple in Manhattan who we really wanted to be friends with and it was the first time they had invited us over.

    Oh God. The nightmares…

  • dixie

    He was definitely waiting for a tip.

    In Mexico, nearly any time someone does something for you, they expect a tip [ESPECIALLY if you are not local].

    As well, Mexican toilets tend to have smaller pipes and thus are less likely to be able to handle the waste put in, let alone waste+paper. Hence why most places/homes put the paper in the trash can instead of flushing.