The Assistant Plumber's Life
I'm going to start this poop report with a stern warning: if you are easily grossed out or offended, you might want to pass this one by. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that since you read PoopReport, you must not be easily grossed out. Still, don't say I didn't warn you.
I've held many different jobs during my life. I've been a wrestling coach, an electrician, and a home automation engineer; I even was an Easter bunny at the local mall. But NO job was more gruesome as when I was an assistant to a plumber. Mind you, being a plumber wouldn't be all that bad. What made it bad was that I was working in the projects of Trenton, NJ, a city very similar to Detroit or Compton. Not nice neighborhoods. But it was a summer job that paid a lot of money for not a lot of hours. Three weeks into the job, I realized why it paid so much for so little.
The plumber I assisted had many duties around the projects we helped maintain. Most of these jobs were shit and piss related. There were some days we would spend just unclogging shitty toilets; there were others we would spend in the trenches under the building, sweating the aged pipes. We would massage and cajole these pipes to work another day in the severe conditions they were under. The stink in the poop holes was unreal. I can't even think of something funny to compare the smell to, because there isn't one.
The smell was something so wicked and wretched we were forced to wear respirators. Bear in mind, there wasn't really anything toxic down there, save for the methane and rotting asbestos. But the smell was so ungodly that in order to work more then forty-five seconds in the hole, you needed a respirator designed for industrial painting applications. When you exited the hole, you immediately had to take a shower and dispose of your coveralls as if you were leaving a hepatitis-infected quarantine area. In the four months I performed my job as an assistant plumber, I saw no less than thirteen people quit the job after day one in the hole. Of the thirteen, eleven puked within the first minute, even while wearing their respirator.
When I tell you I've seen some shit, I'm not kidding. This hole made any septic tank or cesspool seem like Disneyland. We would spend roughly one or two hours per day in the hole -- but they say any time in the hole is really seven times time spent outside. I probably took fifteen years off my life during that summer.
On top of our time in the hole, we were also responsible for general building maintenance. This would include unclogging shit-filled toilets. People who inhabited these projects weren't generally the nicest or cleanest people you'll ever meet. And on top of that, we were extremely short staffed. Thus, shitters would sometimes go clogged for a week or two before we made it up to unclog them. These troglodytes would continue to shit in their clogged toilet until the shit was ten or twelve inches OUT OF THE BOWL. As soon as you walked in their apartment, the immediate and overpowering stench of human waste would kick you in the nuts.
I remember a particular bathroom that had an inordinate amount of crap piled higher then high. It looked like the homeowners were molding a giant shit sculpture. After spending thirty-five minutes scooping mountains of shit into a biohazard bag, I was down to brown pond water. I took a shot and decided to flush the toilet. It flushed normally. The people in this apartment didn't know how to use a toilet. Fellow PoopReporters, stuff like this can't be made up. I walked the resident -- who spoke no English -- over to the toilet and showed him the lever. He looked at me in amazement as I pushed it down and the water emptied out of the bowl. It was as if I had done something supernatural. He muttered something in his language to his wife and they nodded at me. He gave me a hearty thumbs-up and said, "Go Yankees!" as I was walking out the door.
In my six-month tenure at Château Shit Stain, I saw roughly fifteen people removed from their respective rooms in body bags. Occasionally, when these people would die, the maintenance people would be the ones to find them. On this particular day, yours truly found Mr. Dead Guy lying in a pile of what was once himself. Seems he had OD'd a few days earlier and no one really gave a shit until the residents downstairs noticed water spots on their ceilings. We knocked on Mr. Dead Guy's door and received no answer. So my direct manager and I entered the dwelling to see that his sink was overflowing onto the floor. We shut the sink off and then the smell hit us.
When someone has been dead for a while, the stink is pretty intense. I can't even begin to describe it. It's something that no one should ever have to experience firsthand. We called the cops and the coroner, who, incidentally, was on a first name basis with all of us, and had Mr. Dead Guy pronounced at the scene. He had a heroine needle stuck in his arm, so apparently he had died from drug overdose.
The paramedics entered the scene to bag the dude up. But they had a problem: he was extremely fat and bloated. When a person dies, the body tends to fill up with gas, thus bloating the body. I'm sure everybody knows that most people piss and or shit themselves upon death, as well. This guy was so fat and bloated that they couldn't get him in a body bag.
The paramedic pointed to his stomach. They had to "release the hounds," as they said. I didn't really understand what that meant, but I was sure as hell going to find out. The one paramedic gently pushed on Mr. Dead Guy's stomach until gas began to expel. Mr. Dead Guy's final word would be the most rank and horrific belch that any of us would ever hear. It sounded like a foghorn calling in the fleet at low tide. The smell was like nothing I have ever experienced; my manager immediately vomited upon catching a whiff of this nauseous stink. I gagged a few times, but held down my tacos like a trooper. Little did we know the worst was yet to come.
Even after all their years on the squad, I don't think either of the paramedics was expecting what would happen next. The paramedic pushing on his stomach gave him a good hard push, and Mr. Dead Guy blew out his last remains, blasting whatever the hell was inside him out onto the bed. From the grave, he took his last shit. I'm sure he was laughing at us the entire time.
The first paramedic started to gag. The second then horked all over the place and had to leave. I started to vomit and had to leave as well. The smell was putrid, vile, and any other horrible adjective you can think to describe it. It took me nearly four days to get that stink out of my nose. It stunk up the entire floor of the apartment building. I actually just dry heaved in my room right now as I remember that awful smell.
We sat downstairs in our office and contemplated what we had just witnessed. My manager just sat there, his head in his hands, thinking about the cleanup. I, on the other hand, was thinking about how drunk I would have to get that night in order to forget what I had just witnessed.
"That fucker took a shit on us after he was dead. I can't even believe this," my manager said. "I bet we have to clean up that mess, too." After hearing that, I realized that I had made enough money that summer, and needed a vacation away from shit and dead bodies. I quit the next day and vowed never to pick up a pipe wrench ever again.
-- Pill Pooper