I knew that, sooner or later, our septic system would have to be disconnected completely while the foundation was poured for our new addition. My worst fear was that the workmen would fail to tell me when they disconnected the septic, and one of us would try to use the bathroom and *head explodes*. I tried really hard not to think about what would happen at that point.
I made a point of talking to Head Foundation Guy and asking him to give me a head's up of, say, ten minutes before disconnecting.
He looked amused.
Dude. Women and children in the house. The potty is a pretty popular spot. A head's up is not just a courtesy; it's downright necessary.
An hour or so later, Head Foundation Guy came to the door, "Ma'am? We're getting ready to disconnect the septic, but we're going to route it temporarily to a fifty gallon drum, so you won't have to worry about it. Just, uh, do what you normally do. We'll be back tomorrow morning to hook it back up."
My first response was gratification that he took me seriously, and I was touched that he thought up a temporary solution for us.
Second response: Fifty gallon wha-? Musn't picture this...mustn't picture...*head explodes*
Then I obsessively Googled "toilet flushing" to see how many gallons of water the average toilet uses. Ours is circa Stone Age, so I went with one of the higher numbers - four gallons per flush. That would give us ... 12 or 13 flushes, if we were quick about the hand-washing and didn't shower.
I spent the rest of the day studiously avoiding both beverages and looking out the back windows all day for fear of seeing the drum. I took the kids swimming at a friend's for the afternoon and encouraged them to use her bathroom before going home.
When Tom got home, of course, the first thing he did was whip up the blinds and stick his head out to look at the drum.
Tom: Huh. It's not even covered.
Me: Lalalalala...not listening! Lalalalalala....
Tom: And it's almost full.
And that's why we wound up spending the night at a hotel in our own town. It also answers the question "How long can Jenn last without indoor plumbing?"
Answer: about half a day with no beverages.