Fact Check

Condom Plugged Toilet

Plumber discovers backed-up pipe is clogged with condoms, although the husband doesn't use them.

Published Feb 5, 2001

Legend:   A plumber called to fix a backed-up toilet finds that the pipe is clogged with used condoms, but the man of the house is shocked by the discovery because he doesn't use condoms.

Example:   [Brunvand, 1986]


Plumber repairing toilet

toilet kept backing up in someone's house, and no matter how hard the husband plied the plunger or how much drain opener he poured down it, the problem persisted. Finally he called a plumber to open up the line and free the obstruction for him.

The plumber soon solved the problem, but warned the guy that he shouldn't dispose of used condoms in the toilet or he'd continue to have struck drains. But the man was amazed; he never used condoms.

He confronted his wife with the mystery, and she confessed that she had been having an affair with the milkman. So the next day the husband stayed home, ambushed the milkman, and shot him. Or rather he killed the substitute milkman who was on duty that day.

Origins:   Another tale of the feckless adulterer found out (with a stock folkloric ending demonstrating the perils of seeking revenge), this legend has been circulating since at least the late 1950s.

One of our readers asserts he saw it happen around 1983 while supervising the pumping out of a septic tank:

On one occasion, the homeowners (husband & wife), the real estate agent, and the septic tank pumper met me on-site to perform this inspection. When the tank was exposed, and the concrete lid removed, the tank was brimming with dozens of floating condoms ("albino bottle-nosed dolphins" in HD vernacular!). The man and woman both gasped, the wife told her husband to step in to the house right away. We could hear a huge fight ensue indoors. The wife then slammed the door and sped off in the family car.

I later learned that the tank had been last pumped only two years prior to my inspection, and that the wife had had her "tubes tied" for at least several years prior to that. They were the only two people to have lived in the house during that time. You do the math!

This is a case of ostension, the "coming true" of a legend that existed prior to an occurrence of similar events.

Sightings:   This legend was used as a plot device in the 1959 novel The Devil in Bucks County.

Last updated:   1 July 2007

  Sources Sources:

    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   The Mexican Pet.

    New York: W. W. Norton, 1986.   ISBN 0-393-30542-2   (p. 132).

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