If you are old enough, you saw The Blob, right? Or even Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? Or… well… you read (please tell me you READ the thing, vs. “I saw the movie”) Stephen King’s “IT”?
What it was, was there was a sound from the cellar, just as I was about to leave for the gym.
Only an insurrection in the plumbing makes that noise. I ran down the possibilities in my head; no load in the washer; dehumidifer shut off because it shit the bed two days before, but that’s another story; water heater, well, I was recently put on notice that it was twelve! years! old! which hardly jolted me given that the previous one had made it to about thirty, but… well… they don’t make anything like they used to…
I crept gingerly down the stairs, in case the actual Kraken or some similar aqueous horror lurked below (I have not forgotten Kilrat, either, for what it’s worth). No sign of tentacles in the laundry area. I approached the washtub cautiously with my breath held. Burblebababblup. The sound was coming directly from the tub. I let in a breath. Bad idea. A mephitic exhalation that combined compost, sulfur and well-matured urine ballooned from the drain.
I flipped on the tap. A slight agitation in the drain gave way to a blessed abortion of the stink. I waited a bit. Nothing happened.
I could call the County and ask what was up, I reasoned, and spend the next half hour on Hold and miss my workout, or I could just cut and run and hope the house didn’t blow up, and you know me so you know which way I voted. It was just lucky that I cut back through the hood to get to the gym, and there was a giant Works truck surrounded by an orange Conehenge with a lime-vested functionary waving traffic to either side.
I slowed as I passed. “You doing something with the drains?” I asked.
Flag Dude all but danced from foot to foot as he explained. “Yeah, we clearin’ the sewers so you don’t have crap backin up in the house like in DC! We takin’ care of you here!” I had heard a bit about such incidents in past months, but, so sue me, I can’t find any news items. The capital of the United States has seen flying gas main covers and the like in recent years, so I am ready to believe anything. Apparently the hard suction they were using had pulled the water out of the washtub U-bend. Who knew.
“As long as I don’t have a giant squid in my basement,” I told him.
I don’t need any more grief than life gives me already, but way in the back of my brain, I kind of wish I had fought the Kraken. Oh well.