• Alexa

    I think the story is great. This Christmas, my ‘baby’ cousin (she’s 12 years younger than her sister and me) clogged up the toilet at my parents’ house. Her boyfriend came and whispered in my ear to tell me, it was so cute. I asked my father for the plunger, and by the time he plunged it, it was confirmed as a family story for life. My cousin who is my age was horrified that her sister let her uncle plunge her poop, her husband thought it was hysterical, and he is already planning plunger-themed gifts for next year (and the rest of us, except my mother and her mother, are simply entertained). Oh, and the kids refused to use the bathroom and had to go upstairs (which is against my mother’s holiday rules). This is my family, people.

  • Janice

    Not sure this will help you on a vacation but once I had to call a plumber because of a clogged toilet at home. I was mortified and single didn’t think fast enough to blame a fake husband. The plumber diplomatically asked if anything had been put into the toilet that normally isn’t placed there. Uh, no. He told me to pour a gallon of bleach into the toilet (assuming it’s not overflowing) wait two hours and start pouring buckets of hot water into the toilet. Damned if it didn’t work.

    I believe others have mentioned toilet paper and he also suggested I switch to Scott because the fluffy stuff clogs up the system.

  • strawberrygoldie

    I am so glad my stepsister does not know of Dooce.com, because she would totally kick my ass if she knew I shared this.

    Keri and her husband were in the process of moving to Canada. The car is carrying not only their belongings, but Keri’s cat, Hallie.

    Keri is famous for frequency of pee. On our family road trips (two parents, five girls, packed into an Aries K wagon), the request came every half hour.

    “I HAVE TO PEE.”
    “AGAIN??”

    ~sighs of exasperation from all in the car~

    Anywho. In the car, en route to Canada, KERI HAS TO PEE. Only they are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic waiting to cross the border.

    Keri, who was in a high class sorority. Keri, who is the “good one” in the family. Keri climbed into the backseat and much to the horror and/or entertainment of the cars surrounding them, peed in her cat’s litter box.

    I will never, ever let her live that one down.

  • doublebuttons

    Beautiful pics. So much so, I had forgotten I had just laughed through a poop post until I started to read the comments.

    What camera do you use? Seriously, great pics.

  • Jalima

    My son did this during a recent trip to Hawaii. Condo manager came and did the deed and was NOT impressed with us. Next time it happened hubby decided to avoid his wrath and put some bleach in the toilet and we left it to do it’s job.

    Well mentioned it to the manager thinking we did good not BOTHERING him again and holy shit he flew into a rage about the precious ecosystem and yada yada. Ahem, the bleach was PROVIDED so we could do laundry. Explain that please? Owner got wind of CATASTROPHE and called us in a panic.

    Next time? We travel with a short plunger thank you very much.

    Awesome pictures!

  • Mrs. Q.

    Practice mid-poop flushes. That is all.

  • Buddahkat

    Always always tip the plunger guy! Especially if you overflow (Guatemala) and make a mess. Even if he (and it’s always been a he) lets you do it yourself, always tip. (San Fran, New York and Mexico)
    I think it decreases the embarrassment factor.
    The guy in Guatemala scored 20 bucks from my bulky drop.
    Hey, I can’t be the only one whose bowels freeze at the thought of an overnighter with a strange porcelain bowl. Get me on vacation and sooner or later my body is going to want my swimsuit to fit better.

    I feel 100 times better knowing that others share my curse of the weak hotel flusher.

  • dykewife

    lovely photographs (and i hope i didn’t inspire anything here). thank you for not taking photographs of the great bathroom adventure. though i’m sure a photo of the plumber would’ve made the post complete.

  • Chriss

    Dooce you’re funny. But OMFG with a bottle of wine in me you are on FIRE. On fire I tell you. Kendall Jackson Pinot Noir, FYI. Thank you. thank YOU.

  • jumblednous

    It has only happened to me a couple of times.

    Of course one of those times was in college on a third date with a guy I wasn’t altogether comfortable around, and as luck would have it, “it” occurred at his parent’s house.

    I excused myself from dinner and had decided to break my don’t-ever-go-no.2-except-at-home because I was so uncomfortable.

    I was washing my hands and fiddling with my very large 80s bangs when I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the water in the toilet was rising, and rising fast…and the, uh, contents of the toilet were flowing out and onto the floor…

    I felt a sweat break out when I realized it wasn’t going to stop…and that my date and his parents were a few feet away eating steak and mushrooms.

    The water turner off thingy was rusted and in the frenzied process of trying to close it I ripped off all my nails so my hands were bleeding…and also I managed to dunk my large 80s bangs into the crap infested water (the hairspray held, by the way, V05 never failed.) But never mind the bangs, for now… I need to concentrate on getting rid of the pieces of… well… or should I do something about the water?

    So I threw down towels that were in their closet but there wasn’t enough and then I wondered how I could get rid of them without anyone knowing. I considered throwing them out the window but realized they would surely notice. Also there was still about an inch of water on the ground…though the flow has staunched.
    But there was still the problem of the toilet… uh, inhabitants.

    Do you know what I did? DO YOU?

    I did what any self-respecting 20 year old college student desperate not to break the illusion of being the one person on earth who didn’t poop to the guy she was dating.

    I put the pieces in my purse, which I had with me. In the front part… where I usually keep my car keys. I even thought to move my car keys to a different location, so apparently I hadn’t totally lost it.
    By this time his parents were knocking on the door and asking if I was okay.

    Yes… I answered shakily… though the door I squeaked out that the toilet went nuts and I was trying to clean up. They told me not they would do it and to please come out.

    So I grabbed my purse full of crap and exited with as much dignity as I could and announced I had to leave because I wasn’t feeling well. Of course I wasn’t…I had a purse full of crap, a bunch of busted nails and bangs wet from dirty toilet water. So sorry I can’t stay for the steak and mushrooms.

    On the drive home I took out my wallet and threw the purse into a garbage bin by a local donut shop.

    Thanks for bringing it all back.

    This boy recently sent me a Facebook friend request, 24 years later.

    I hit the “not now” button…because Facebook hasn’t yet added “I’m can’t accept because I overflowed your parent’s toilet and stuffed pieces of my crap into my purse” button.

    Nice to meet you Dooce…by the way. I just recently found my way onto your well known blog. I look forward to reading some of the archives as well.

  • spensive

    Great story!! I love your photographs! What kind of camera do you use and what settings? They’re amazing!!!

  • haleypow

    You should have tipped the guy! In fact, you should mail the guy a couple dollars. You don’t have to include a note, just a picture of a toilet. He probably remembers you. The lady who made him look at ‘her’ poop and then didn’t bother to tip even after he lingered.

    I know it’s been said, but to avoid future embarrassment:
    1) bring a plunger!!! If I had this issue, I would probably rather buy a new plunger to stick in my suitcase and leave it at the hotel if it was used than call concierge about a clog (or have anyone see my poo)… factor it into travel expenses
    2) don’t flush your toilet paper, or flush it separately (notice pretty much every public toilet in 3rd world countries says not to flush tp).
    3) maybe start vacationing in places where the local cuisine does not include so much fiber. :P

  • Fucsialidades

    hahaha you are funny.

    “MI BAÑO ESTA TAPADO” that’s all, my toilet is clogged. thats all you needed to say :) it may come handy in the future

  • Kelie

    Okay, seriously – tell me you tipped the man who had to come plunge your poop filled toilet. PLEASE TELL US YOU TIPPED HIM. I’m begging you.

  • simpkins

    Chiming in to say that dish soap and hot water can often work to clear the clog as well… give a generous squirt of soap, pour a little hot water or just try flushing again to mix it up… wait 10 minutes… and then pour a bucket of hot tap water to flush it through. We have a family situation as well, and this has worked surprisingly well.

  • kbow

    You’d think hotels would pay a bit more for better toilets so they don’t have to pay a poop pusher.

    Here’s my unsolicited poop story. My husband’s parents lived in a retirement community in AZ. They lived in a “Park Model” tiny little trailer that are used by snowbirds who travel down there in their giant RV’s. The “Park Models” are actually smaller than the RV’s but they have storage I guess.

    We were visiting and I just knew their chintzy toilet would be an issue with my apparent above-average TP usage so I was extra careful not to use too much paper and did a courtesy flush first thing. OF COURSE the damn thing clogged anyway on the 2nd flush. I waited a bit (awkward–to be in there for so long) and looked around for a plunger to no avail.

    I tried to ask the mother-in-law quietly if she had a plunger and she was like “WHAT? A PLUNGER?” She had hidden it because the father-in-law had Alzheimers and apparently he had a tendency to plunge the toilet “too hard” and break their plumbing (plastic pipes?). She couldn’t remember where she’d hidden it. While we were looking all over for the damn plunger the father-in-law went into the bathroom and flushed again making the toilet overflow all over the cheezy bathroom floor.

    She’s yelling at him, he is oblivious, and we finally locate the plunger behind the living room couch after mopping the floor with towels and 15 more minutes of looking.

    I was SO SO careful to avoid the whole thing and it still happened.

    At least I wasn’t eating Mexican food!

  • Woon

    My philosophy: when in doubt, tip. If it’s the right thing to do, it’s right. If it’t the wrong thing to do, the tippee walks away with a little cake and a funny story.

  • Mexi-Packin

    Laughing my arse off! In Mexico we are trained to not put our papel in the toilet, that one takes some getting use to. Clogged toilets SOB (south of the boarder) or inevitable!

  • Laura Jones

    Laughed till my sides ached not only at your hilarious story but jilllovesbacon and jumblenous stories too. Absolutely made my day thank-you ladies.

    Beautiful photos.

  • thecounselormom

    I love your photographs!!! They are beautiful!!

  • DarStar

    I laughed so hard through this whole post that I had to run to the bathroom. Thanks.

  • doobrah

    Terrific photos — what is the big city across the water? Cancun?

  • eherzog

    Love the pictures, and the story was so funny I forwarded it to my mom.

  • m2h

    Yeah, I’m not a toilet clogger. I am however, one who always needs to go when we’re in the middle of buttf*ck and there is no bathroom in sight. A few years ago we were driving across Canada, and I made the massive mistake of eating at a gas station restaurant in the prairies. Then the even more colossal mistake of driving on – a couple of hours in, and the grippers have me cold-sweating it. And it’s the goddamn prairies – flat and not a tree in sight. Not a house in sight, nothing, just empty fields. Nowhere to have a discrete nature poo.

    So my spouse, who is by now also in a cold sweat, driving erratically, yelling “big grass patch up ahead, can you poop there?”, finds a tree. The only tree. And it’s there ’cause some farmer decided to plant a tree in his front yard. Damn if we didn’t pull up, glance at the house and decide no-one was home, and then squat in his front yard, and poop my lungs out at the base of his tree (which didn’t even really provide any privacy given it was a pine tree and the branches only started about 7 feet up).
    The worst part, I get back in the car, and my wife says “don’t worry, they’ll think a dog did that”….yuh, ’cause a dog always wipes with DQ napkins and arranges them over the poo to cover its shame.

  • ahmedhasyim

    realy this is a amazing picture
    thanks dude :)

    if you want to watch Triunfo Del Amor Capitulo visit me :)
    thanks a lot

  • leannabowles

    Thought you might appreciate this story. here’s the headline.

    Hotel Introduces Superstrong Toilets, Able to Flush Golf Balls

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/02/18/hotel-introduces-super-strong-toilets-able-to-flush-golf-balls/

  • SomethingLikeSunshine

    For the next time you find yourself in this situation in a Spanish speaking country try: el inodoro esta tapado (that might be more South American but it should get the message across). I’ve never been in this situation, but I live in Latin America and I’ve had to translate some pretty embarrassing situations like once when I got food poisoning and I had to explain how it was “coming out at both ends.” :p

  • Figtron

    Heather,

    Listen to me very, very closely. I am going to share some vacation/public/friend’s home toilet advice that will ensure that this type of situation never, EVER happens again. Please insist that Jon reads this, as men are notorious toilet killers.

    I have been researching this for nearly a decade, so I have become somewhat of an expert. After I had my gall bladder removed years ago, one side effect post-op was that I could now shit on cue. The culprit isn’t the poo, it’s the paper-to-water ratio. Trust.

    The answer is simple: you must multi-flush.

    1. when poo hits water – flush
    2. when first cleanup occurs – flush
    3. after final cleanup – flush again.

    It is much more appropriate to multi-flush than to make the ‘call’ or take the walk of shame. Besides, the first flush gets rid of the offending matter, and you can enjoy the rest of your pooping experience with far less odor. This concept is most excellent for those annoying times when we must dump in a public toilet. And never flush wet wipes, they are hell on septic systems.

    Good luck.

  • Anxious Annie

    Toilets are scary contraptions. I HATE the ones where the water slowly inches its way to the top of the rim, then slowly goes back down and you’re thinking, ‘please work because I don’t want to have to flush this thing AGAIN.’ I time my visits to certain people’s homes so I won’t have to go for this very reason!

    Great story and great photos. I want a new camera! Hope Jon is feeling okay now.

  • Amanda Armstrong

    “Hang her butt out the window” – Classic

  • hasenkind

    Really nice pictures.
    Greetings from Munich, Germany
    Hasenkind

  • kburant

    Um, it’s called FIBER!!! You guys need to consume MORE FIBER!!

    Heather – thanks for the ROTFLMAO story.

    Here’s one for you – I was at my fiance’s mom’s house to meet his nephews who were staying with her for the weekend. I went to use the restroom right after one of the nephews used it. I slowly backed out of the bathroom and told my fiance that one of the boys clogged the toilet. What does he do? He loudly proclaims for all to hear “Mom, Kathy just clogged your toilet!!!”. I was soooo mortified – even though I didn’t do it!

    Love the vibrant pics of Mexico!!

  • Steph VW

    When my husband clogged the toilet in our hotel in Mexico, rather than make that call to the front desk, he drew a picture and placed it on the toilet.

    To this day, I wonder if there is a hotel employee at the Mayan Palace who tells his/her friends about the neatly drawn (complete with shading) picture of a plunger he found sitting on top of a guestroom toilet with an arrow pointing down at the bowl along with a few dollars tip. I hope that the story makes them laugh.

  • shoppingsmycardio

    wait, so poor janitor guy had to get personal with jon’s poop and DIDN’T EVEN GET A TIP? come on, armstrongs…we expect better from you!

    i’d probably have wadded up a $20 bill and thrown it to him from behind the couch, so as not to have to actually interact with my Toilet Savior. but definitely, rule of thumb: always tip anyone that has to deal with your poop (unless they’re genetically obligated).

  • gwencg

    That “Baby Trashes Bar” video was so funny I watched it four times and had to sit on my foot to keep from peeing every time. I love the lift of the margarita glass by the stem and the near-choke on the corn. The fanny pack. The hat.

  • makfan

    I am a toilet clogger, too. Even if I flush before any TP goes into the bowl.

    We bought a better toilet for home, which has mostly fixed that problem, but it happens in hotels now and then. So embarrassing, even if they have seen it many times before.

  • ClarissaD

    Amazing. I practically shot the seltzer water, I am currently drinking at work, out of my nose laughing. I wouldn’t have tipped the guy either though – no worries.

  • VA Mom

    I am SO glad this has happened to someone else!! On our honeymoon (that’s right) in Jamaica it was my fault. I made my husband call the front desk, explain that we needed a plunger (and as you pointed out, of COURSE they can’t just provide one for you) and when the guy got there to plunge it, I ran out on our balcony because it was dark outside and we had our curtains closed. I left my husband inside for the humiliation, but now I realize it was totally obvious who was at fault. I still cringe when I think about it.

  • Ratatosk

    So I’m at the hardware store today with my husband looking for parts to repair our downstairs toilet — something called a ball cock which sent me into hysterics and I see some pretty blue toilet plungers and the tag on them said disposable plungers. Liza

  • trumpnetwork

    This is one place that the battle of the sexes never made it to primetime. The GUY always gets stuck cleaning the toilet (regardless of who pooped it up)

    But this made me laugh so hard I almost peeed my pants.

    Jim in Jax
    http://www.dsptn.com

  • ArgyleMcBee

    I read all of the comments to see if anyone has given you the suggestion that will absolutely fix this problem from here on out, as long as using too much tp isn’t the problem.

    I actually set up a new account for this, since I’m quite unlike my brothers and not proud of this poop knowledge. However, as a chronic pain patient who takes opioids and therefore suffers the constipation effects from them, I’ve learned some things I didn’t know earlier on in my life. Now, this is gross, but way less embarrassing than having to call down to the desk to ask for a Plunger Person to make a visit to your room.

    The solution? Make sure you pack rubber gloves (keep them on hand at home, too), and you can make sure you flush smallish uncloggable pieces. You can even (literally) hold some back for the second flush. Believe me, it’s not info I’m thrilled about knowing, but know it I do. When the water is flushed clean, you can rinse in the clean water, dry a bit with some paper, pull it inside out, wrap it in some tp and throw it in the trash. It’s gross, but so is picking up after your dog, so it’s not a whole lot different. You don’t get dirty. You don’t have to call anyone else to deal with it. And, surgical gloves are pretty cheap.

    A disposable plunger is a nice idea, too. But, this is better than having to use a plunger, or even worse, a snake. Or, gasp, putting it in your purse! Wow, I’ve been embarrassed about this situation a time or two at home, but I think the poop pieces in the purse should win some sort of prize.

  • HiddenChilli

    Those are certainly very nice pictures!! I like the image showing the red cage.

  • rrudnick

    First off, I love the photos. Did you take them all yourself?

    Second, I love the story! Hysterical!

    In my opinoin, a tip is a must in that situation. I mean, if I had to plunge someone elses poop out of a toilet, I’d definitely want a little bit of compensation for the whole fiasco, wouldn’t you?

    Then again, I’m one to tip hotel staff anytime the help (as long as they aren’t completely rude about it). I think it leads to better service (although I could just be fooling myself).

    -Ryan
    http://www.yikedat.com