Sticky Business

Life is full of embarrassing moments.

Like when my son was three, and we were standing in a checkout line.  I was standing, rather, and he was sitting in the cart, getting an eye-full of the other shoppers.

He pointed at the lady behind us in line, and shouted,

“Mama!  Look at that lady’s ENORMOUS breasties!”

I withered away to a mortified crisp, but the lady with the enormous breasties laughed it off, saying she heard that all the time.  (?)

So this time it’s my RV toilet.

RV toilets work differently than regular toilets.  Instead of “things” flushing into a city sewer system or a septic tank, RV human waste gets flushed into a PVC holding tank, where it mingles with whatever chemicals or enzymes one puts down there to digest things into a nasty black liquid.  When your tank gets near full, you dump it down a campsite sewer connection or a dump station.  Yes, your RV also takes a dump!

Well now.  Regular readers will know that I have bleeding guts from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  One of the annoying things about bloody poop is that it’s “difficult to flush away.”

That is to say, it sticks to the toilet.

Unfortunately, it not only sticks to the toilet bowl–I have a much more intimate relationship with my toilet brush than I ever anticipated or wanted–it sticks to the walls of the holding tank as well.  I found that out today.

I’ve been noticing of late that my holding tank has not been dumping very well.  I thought maybe it might be my macerator pump–the thing that grinds up any “solids” that are still hanging around after the chemical treatment.  The macerator grinds everything up and spits it out into the dump hose, to be pumped down the sewer drain.

Yes, lately it has seemed that when I go to dump my tank, not much comes out.  I can’t tell for certain-sure, because the sensors that are supposed to measure the level of gunk in the tank quit working the week after I bought this brand-new unit.  But I’ve noticed that the tank gets full more quickly than it used to, and it takes almost no time to dump before the macerator pump starts making the noises it makes when it’s finished with its job.  Er, duty.  Business.

So I took it to the repair shop, thinking the pump was bad.

As ill luck would have it, the RV repair guys who pulled the unfortunate job of working on my rig had an odious–and no doubt odorous–task to do.

Turns out the macerator pump was fine, but my holding tank was lined with layer after layer of…shit.  My sticky shit.

They washed it and washed it and washed it, but were never able to get the tank clean.  Yes, it’s supposed to get clean!

They quizzed me, with accusing eyes, about chemicals.  Was I one of those crunchy types who thinks all chemicals are bad?

They postulated that perhaps the previous owner had let the tank dry out.  I filled them in: it’s a brand-new RV, I’m the original owner, and I certainly do put the approved chemicals in at the approved times.

I couldn’t make myself explain that I have sticky shit because I have bleeding guts.  It was too much to ask.  I was already shriveling up from embarrassment….no doubt my face looked like a fire-engine-red prune.

So I just prevailed upon them to clean it really well.  I bought a special RV toilet cleaner-outer wand that you attach to a hose, then you stick it down the toilet and it goes whirr, whirr, and allegedly cleans the inside of the tank.

Of all the embarrassing things that have happened so far with this ass problem of mine, I think this one rises to the top.  After this, shitting my drawers in Wal-Mart was not half as mortifying as it was before the Encrusted Crapper fiasco.  A bright side!

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  1. Oh no!! But it makes for great story telling! Hope that got resolved!

  2. Oh boy! 👿
    You’ve got a macerator pump in there? We don’t… 💩 goes out like it went in.
    Even your wash brush failed?
    Wonder if there’s anything that would break it down? What do crime scene cleaners use? There has got to be a protein breaker-upper solution.
    Have you traveled with ice and salt in the tank? Good abrasion.
    On the embarrassment front.. I don’t know if I could bring myself to tell them the truth. Butt, I think a public poop is worse than a verbal confession.
    Hope this all works out in the… end 😉

  3. Oh the embarrassment! But they never found out it was from your bleeding guts. I’m sure they’ve seen worse. Oh, hush, you know they have! I hope the brush thing works. Or poopy ice cream? Maybe that will just plop right out.

  4. 100+ years ago, you wouldn’t have this problem — you’d have an outhouse unless you were rich, in which case you’d have hired help to keep your ‘problem areas’ clean. That’s why they’re fondly remembered as “the good old days.” 🙂

    • Hmmm, 100 years ago if I wanted to travel full-time I would not have an RV, but a wagon and horses. My toilet would be The Great Outdoors. I don’t live in a regular house! That’s why my unusual body functions sometimes become an issue. On the other hand, I always bring my bathroom with me wherever I go.

  5. at least you have your sense of humor!

  6. The Frozen Bird- I heard this joke from RUSSIAN FRIEND- The setting was the Tundra and a wolf was on the prowl.

    A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

    While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.
    As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.

    The dung was actually thawing him out!
    He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. Chirp, chirp, chirp.

    A passing cat (wolf) (wolf) heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the bird was discovered under the pile of cow dung. Promptly the bird was dug out and eaten.

    Morals of the story:
    (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy. Russian: Not everyone who puts you into a pile of ….is your enemy.
    (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
    (3) And when in deep shit keep your mouth shut! (Not in Russian version).

    Having the runs is no fun and what you have sounds like runs to a power of 10.
    Go easy and be good to yourself. You are precious to G-d. I wish you a rafuah shlema.
    BTW I thought the quote was Shit’s Creek.
    Have you been taking acidophalus for the gut?


    • Bless you, Ida. You gave me a smile, and reminded me of my Russian grandmother a”h, who used to get frustrated that Russian plays on words often don’t translate to English so well…


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