Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday Blowout.

I know that you guys are probably so over hearing about birthdays, but bear with me here because this is so going to be worth your while. Trust me!

This past weekend we drove down (across?) to Albany to see my mother and celebrate her 60th birthday. Earlier in the week, Mom had told me over the phone that all she wanted for her birthday, more than anything else in the entire history of the universe, was for her children to be together (insert waves of guilt oozing through the phone here).

Keep in mind, this conversation occurred right after I wrote the post making fun of the toy weapons ridiculous clothing weird hanging food gifts she brought back from her trip, so I really had no leg to stand on if I tried to refuse her request. Since she was visiting my brother only a short four-ish hour drive away from us, we decided to make Mom happy and go for it, especially after she said the following:

"I don't want or need anything for my birthday, Mahreen. Please don't be offended, but I don't need more stuff that will just hang on my walls like useless ceramic garlic bulbs that people will point and laugh at. Just come and see me, okay?"

Oh, yes she did. Well played, Fatima (and now you know where I get it from).

We left Rochester promptly after Inara's T-ball practice on Saturday morning, driving like the wind all the way to Albany (while obeying all traffic laws of course). Of course the whole way down, Nissa screamed like a banshee because she was constrained, while Inara peppered us with a barrage of repeated, "How much looooooonger until we're there? This is so BOOOOORING!"

It was a fun drive, to say the least.

Spending time with my brother is always interesting. I don't get to see him nearly as much as I would like, so whenever we do get together we make up for it by having a rockin' good time filled with the things that make me feel truly happy down to my squishy center. I am of course referring to inappropriate jokes and farting sounds. Ah, the immature joy of sibling relationships - there's nothing else like it in all the world!

Soon after arriving in Albany, we noticed something funny going on in the bathroom. Or rather, we heard something funny. You can imagine how after nearly four hours on the road, we were all eager to use my brother's facilities, and as we all filed in and out - one after the other - each of us commented on the burbling. Yes, burbling. It sounded like the tap was dripping, except it wasn't on...followed by a gurgling, burbling...pop! sound coming from deep down in the drains. After we flushed it sounded like a deeper, more resonant burble.

BURBLE! And maybe then some gluggging.

The bathroom sounded drunk.

At first, Inara was understandably scared. We actually had to convince her that there was nothing coming out of the drains and the potty. And sure enough, as we stood there and watched (and listened), nothing actually happened. But it was the weirdest thing to hear, and it just sounded so odd. After a little while, the kids quite enjoyed it, running in and out of the bathroom going, "It's making sounds again! The bathroom's FARTING!" Followed by:

- My mother frowning,
- My sister in-law ignoring,
- My husband shushing,
- My nephew could care less-ing,
- My dad smiling, and
- My brother and I convulsing into histrionics. And asking the girls to imitate the bathroom again. And then laughing some more.

I know that most people (my very proper mother included), would find all of this behavior to be inexcusable, but HELLO! Gurgling bathroom? COME ON. You can't make stuff like that up - it's just begging to be pointed at, snickered about, mocked in every way, shape, and form imaginable. It's like every teenage boy's joke fantasy scenario come true which meant that for my brother and I, we had died and gone to a fart-filled heaven.

All throughout the weekend's festivities, whenever someone would mention the farting bathroom, we'd snicker. And my mom silently seethed, which made it so much better. And this is how immature we really are, that neither my brother nor I even offered to fix it. We didn't really care how or why it was happening, only that it was so. flipping. funny.

Granted, the only time it got even slightly annoying was when the girls were getting ready for bed in the room adjacent to the gurgling bathroom. It was really noticeable, but when Yousuf wasn't looking I made some farty faces at the kids while lip-syncing to the sounds coming through the wall. It was all good after that. Nothing like some good flatulence humor to set the tone for a good night's rest, I always say (and yes, I fully understand how mentally ill-equipped I am to care for children, but kids love me, what can I say? The farts get them every time).

At one point, my dad got a bit fed up. He drove out to the local grocery store and brought back two bottles of drain unclogging stuff. He, my brother and Yousuf stood around in the bathroom scratching their heads because no matter what they did to those drains, the noise would not stop. We slept, and the bathroom burbled. We woke up and it gurgled. We brushed our teeth and it hissed. We sang Happy Birthday and it joined in gluggity blub blub pop! We did NOT open any presents (as per Fatima's direct orders) and the bathroom said tick ploosh blub. It was so fantastic. The farting bathroom was ALIVE!

And then, the day after my mom's birthday cake had been cut, the morning we were getting ready to leave...something happened.

I was getting our stuff together to head back home, Nissa was playing with my nephew (Where playing involved him chasing her while she ran away, screaming in terror, which was funny because usually it's Nissa causing hysterical screaming in our house. Karma in the form of a 10 month-old cousin. I love it.) and two things occurred simultaneously:

- Inara asked if she could play in the backyard.
- I felt a-rumblin' down below.

I don't usually like to engage in potty talk, but this is vital information, and it's crucial that I share it with you. Not only that, but I must add this very pertinent fact as well. Sometimes, after I've had too much dairy, say like after I've eaten too much ice cream birthday cake, maybe ...my innards start to feel a little...loose. Ish.

If you know what I mean.

Aren't you SO glad you know all this about me?

Yousuf decided to get Inara out of my way by taking her outside, and I proceeded to take care of business. In the burbling bathroom. If you know what I mean.

Afterward, I heard Yousuf come to the back door and go, "Ummm...is anyone there? I think you should come and take a look at this..."

I was going to go and see what it was, but I was having dairy issues. If you know what I mean.

Luckily, Yousuf was standing directly outside the bathroom window, so I could hear everything that was going on out there, even if I couldn't see it. My brother, mom and dad went out to the back porch and Nissa and Inara were inside with me (because Zod forbid I should have any privacy while I'm taking care of my dairy issues). I heard lots of muttering and I heard something like "water overflowing from that hole", but I was too preoccupied with other, ahem, matters.

There were a few more moments of muttering, but I was a little too busy to hear what was being said. I was curious though, and so after I de-dairied I straightened myself out, flushed, and washed my hands in the sink next to the window which I had just opened up. The room needed a bit of refreshing, if you know what I mean, and I also wanted to see whatever Yousuf had found in the ground right outside the bathroom.

Right then, as I was drying my hands off I heard the familiar burbling of the bathroom that we had all come to know and love, but it was followed by a very loud whooshing sound. I turned to look out of the window, because that was where the sound was coming from, and right there, with my parents and brother standing on the porch and at my husbands feet a huge gush of water, toilet paper, and other...stuff came hurtling out of a salad plate-sized hole in the ground. It seethed forth, spilling out, up, and over the hole, flooding the ground and spreading outward.

"WHOOOOAAAAAA!" everyone screamed.

"Is that POOPIES?" Inara yelled.

"TP AN' A POOPIE!", Nissa helpfully added.

My parents had turned a sickly shade of green, Yousuf was running away, dry heaving in the bushes, and my brother and I caught each others' expression.

Neither of us were horrified. Not even slightly disgusted - which is saying something, considering the abomination that was spilling out of the hole in the ground before us. As my poor husband retched and my parents covered their innocent grandson's eyes, my brother and I looked at each other, grinning. In one united, crazed, voice we shouted at the top of our lungs, fist-pumping the air as we bellowed,


We're calling it Fatima's Birthday Blowout, and it's going down in Mustafa Family Lore as the best birthday weekend EVER.

(Happy 60th, Mom. Sorry about the poop. Next time let's stay away from the ice cream cake, okay?)
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