Harry came running home from the bus stop yesterday, a bit frantic. “There’s a fire truck and an ambulance outside Over-Sharing Neighbour’s house!” he said, panting to catch his breath. “I wonder if there was an accident or something?”
I reassured him that it was probably just another fender-bender on the road – there have been a lot of them lately, as the temperature hovers around the freezing point and people are scrambling to remember how to drive on slick pavement. Then, frankly, I forgot about it. The kids were crotchety, I had a dentist appointment, there was a storm coming… I just didn’t have time or mental energy to spend on it.
Then, this morning at the bus stop. “Good morning!” I said pleasantly. “Well, at least I didn’t have to take Husband to emerg,” she replied, laughing.
And thus I was told probably the greatest story in the history of ever. This may be the swan song for Over-Sharing Neighbour, folks. I just don’t see how I’ll be able to top this one.
I’ve mentioned before that we are on wells here, and that the water is very very hard. Fixtures are perma-stained with rust, and everyone in the area has their own pet method for removing the gross build-up. Yesterday afternoon, OSN’s husband suddenly decided that he’d spent enough time looking at a scungy rusty toilet, and bestirred himself to clean it.
The toilet had a 2000 Flushes cake in it already – chemical # 1. In a perfect orgy of stain-induced rage, he then added a generous squirt of bottled toilet bowl cleaner (chemical # 2), undiluted household bleach (chemical # 3), and half a jug of CLR (chemical # 4).
Apparently then everything in the bowl started to foam up, and a visible cloud of smoke rose up – which he then breathed in twice, because reasons. He nearly vomited, then collapsed. He crawled out of the bathroom on his hands and knees and announced “my lungs are burning… I don’t feel so good”.
Meanwhile, the poisonous fumes from the bathroom were now wafting through the house (because he’d been doing his little project with the window closed and the exhaust fan off). Over-Sharing Neighbour only finished covering the windows in plastic two days ago, so the airflow was basically nil.
In essence, he accidentally turned the family toilet into a meth lab and hot-boxed his entire house.
Over-Sharing Neighbour called 811 – our non-emergency tele-health service. They immediately transferred her to a 911 dispatcher, and thus the presence of six volunteer firefighters and three paramedics in their living room.
Diagnosis – chemical burns to his airway and upper lungs. Treatment – fresh air, rest, and a lock for the cabinet where the cleaning materials are kept.
“And you know the worst part?” said OSN, as the bus pulled over the hill. “He’ll never clean a toilet again after this.”