My toilet exploded and my house was destroyed

You all might be wondering what the hell happened to this site for three months… well, the title says it all. Allow me to explain. I drove to Anaheim, CA on the evening of the 2nd of August. This was a Thursday. I had an appointment with the US Passport Office in Los Angeles to fix some errors on my passport. Whichever idiot handled my passport had my last name spelt as “Faliath” and my date of birth as 1931. I should have held on to that passport. I could have received senior-citizen benefits. But I digress.

I drove to Palm Springs on Friday afternoon to meet up with my friends there, for the Salsa Congress. The congress was a whole lot of fun. I took a bunch of classes and also went to the social. On Saturday night, we went to another social and also got pretty drunk. We went to bed around 5:00 am. I was woken up by a phone call at around 6:00 am. I was rather annoyed and so I just ignored it. They called again in about 10 minutes. This time, I figured it might be important, so I picked it up. The conversation went as follows:

Me: <slightly drunk, sleepy, and groggy> Hello?
Cop: Hello, yeah, this is Chandler PD. We’re at your residence here.
Me: <thinking> Oh crap I hope I the house didn’t get burgled!
Cop: We got a call from your neighbours this morning; they said there was water coming out of your front door.
Me: <pause> What?
Cop: Yeah, we went in. It looks like your tub was overflowing.
Me: My tub?! That’s not possible… are you sure?
Cop: Well… that’s what it looks like. We’re still waiting for the fire department to get here. How soon can you get to your residence?
Me: I’m in Palm Springs.
Cop: Oh.
Me: <sighing> I’ll try and make it there. It might take me a while.
Cop: Sure, here’s my number if you have any questions. <gives me number>
Me: Thanks a bunch. <hangs up phone> Wow.

After that, I called Michael. He had left for Boston on the same morning I left. So if he had inadvertently (unlikely) left the tub open, I would have heard it. I didn’t hear a thing, ergo, the tub couldn’t have overflowed. Our next thought was vandalism. The cop had also mentioned that the front door was unlocked (also rather weird – Michael is pretty good about locking the front door, and I always leave through the garage). At any rate, we could theorize and hypothesize but I wouldn’t get any concrete answers until I went home. Michael said he would be flying back that very day.

So I drove back. On an hour and a half of sleep. I had to stop three times to take a nap. And that’s not the worst part. Ok, I will admit. I was going fast. I was talking to my sister on the phone while I was driving. No, I didn’t have it up on my ear, my car has Bluetooth so I can hear it over the audio system. I was trying to explain to her what was going on, so I really wasn’t paying attention to how fast I was going (105 mph). The car has a really smooth ride, so you can’t tell how fast you are going. Anyway, I look behind me and sure enough I see a cop car. At this point, I was in the town of Salome, Arizona. If you look it up, you will see that it is five miles from nowhere, and ten miles from BFE. Anyway so I knew he was going to pull me over. So me, being the law-abiding citizen that I am, pull over even before he turns his lights on. Anyway he walks up to my car, gives me the once over and asks me to step out of the car. I am like “OMGWTFBBQ”. So I take my stuff and get out of the car. Mr. Asshole Cop pulls out his cuffs. At this point I am like “WTF is going on here”. He’s like “Do you know how fast you were going?”. I say, “No Officer, I don’t. I just found out that my house was flooded and I was talking to my sister at the same time and so I wasn’t paying attention”. Mr. Asshole Cop proceeds to lecture me about the dangers of speeding. He then decides he doesn’t know whether he should take me to jail yet, and so he decides to detain me. Before he does that he sees my veteran’s plates. He asks me, “Are you a veteran?”. I say, “Yes, Officer. Iraq War Veteran. US Army. I got back in November of ’05”. He mulls this over and then asks me to sit in the back of his car anyway. At this point, life couldn’t be any better for me. I mean, here I am, in the middle of nowhere, my house is destroyed, and I’m going to jail.

I have been sitting in the car for a few minutes. Mr. Asshole Cop is on his walkie-talkie. I hear him look up my information. I don’t have anything on my record obviously. Then I catch a snippet… “No, he’s seems to be ok – just a little scared”. And I’m thinking “HELL YEAH I’M FREAKED OUT! WTF DO YOU THINK?!”. He comes back and asks me to get out. He says, “Alright, I’m going to cut you a deal. I’ll give you a ticket for going 30 over. I could take you to jail, but I’m not going to do that. You just have to pay the fine – it’s just a financial spanking (I’m serious, he actually said that). Make sure you drive safely from here on out.” Then Mr. Asshole Cop gets in his car and leaves. My “financial spanking” came out to $423.00. Awesome eh?

Anyway, I get to Chandler. I am starving, because I haven’t eaten all day. I spend 80 billion years trying to find a parking spot at the mall because stupid high-school kids with their parent-bought cars are taking up all the spots. I grab some food and then decide if I should go to my house. At this point I am physically, mentally, and emotionally drained (not to mention, I also have a bit of hangover). Looking at a destroyed house wasn’t really my thing. So I went over to my friend Suhrid’s house and crashed over there. Michael got in by about 9:00 pm.

The next morning, I call my insurance company, and Michael and I get to the house. We open the door. It smells pretty bad (like wet dog) and it’s twice as humid as Florida in the summer. It also sorta looked like this:


And my expression after seeing all that was like this:


The tarp that you can see in the picture was helpfully put there by the Fire department. They were also nice enough to move all the furniture into the center of the room. As you can see, the drywall has caved in everywhere. Everything downstairs was a total loss. All my electronic equipment downstairs was destroyed (especially my Wii). As far as the furniture… well, very little of it survived.

While waiting for the cleanup and recovery team to come over, Michael and I tried to figure out what happened. The tub was filled up, but that didn’t say anything. What was odd was that the towels and the toilet paper above the toilet in the master bedroom were completely soaked. There was also a spray pattern on the mirror. The paint on the wall above the window opposite the toilet was also damaged. This told us that there was something that must have burst. We couldn’t find any burst pipes. The cleanup guys came over and came upstairs to look at the damage. As he saw the tub, he said “If it’s your tub that overflowed, you’ll have a hard time getting this covered” As he said that, my heart was in my mouth. There was no way I’d have the money to fix the damage. Then the other guy looks behind the toilet and found the culprit. It was a burst supply-line to the toilet. It probably burst a little after I left, and flooded for about three days.

Michael and I grabbed everything we needed, out of there. The recovery team was going to come the next day and put everything in storage. It was a very long and hectic day. But once the insurance guys took over, everything became a whole lot better.

I was staying in an apartment not far from my house. It’s pretty sweet. Fully furnished, free cable and internet, and housekeeping service! Pretty neat, huh? So it wasn’t that bad of a deal. My house almost done. I’ve been able to change the flooring and upgrade stuff, so I’m actually able to remodel my home for a pretty good price. When I bought it, it was a spec home, so I wasn’t able to change some of the options.

Right now, I’ve moved over to my parents’ house. They don’t live here and so I’m basically looking after it. I’ve moved all my stuff over here and I’ll be renting my home out.

Anyway, so that’s the story of The Destruction of Vivin’s House. I actually tried to get this site back up when I was at the apartment. But for some reason, NAT on my router wasn’t working correctly and so I really couldn’t get it to work.