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The whole crazy experience began one summer day in 2003 when my wife and I were returning to San Diego from Vancouver, British Columbia. We had driven all the way to Vancouver from San Diego, with stops along the way in Seattle and near Fresno.

On the second to last day of the trip, our plan had been to take a ferry to Vancouver Island early in the morning, visit the city of Victoria, then catch a 2 p.m. ferry to Port Angeles, Washington, drive south for a few hours and stay overnight in a hotel.

Everything was going to plan until we we got in line for the ferry and were told that it was already full. But the next ferry didn't leave Victoria until 8, and we didn't arrive in Port Angeles until 11.

There is almost nothing on the western coast of the Puget Sound, so I drove south on the 101 through dark woodland forest until we reached a Best Western in Tumwater, WA, just south of Olympia. It was 2 a.m. and we were very tired. We only planned to sleep a few hours and leave the next morning at 6 to drive to San Diego. We checked into our room and I proceeded to jump into the shower for a quick rinse.

While I was in the shower, my wife came in to urinate. I heard her say, "Oh gross, gross, so gross!" and then she ran out of the bathroom. I had shampoo in my hair and soap on my face, but I peeked my head out from behind the shower curtain and to my horror saw the toilet erupting like Mount St. Helens.

Apparently, the guest before us had done something strange to the toilet, and it continued to spew disgusting smelly sewage into the bathroom. It was as if the main sewage line for the whole hotel was re-directed to that toilet.

I raced to wash the shampoo and soap off as the floor continued to fill with nasty brown water. I toweled off quicker than I ever had in my life, then with one foot did a quick double hop off the towel and out of the bathroom. 30 seconds later, the water began to seep into the carpet in the hallway of the room.

My wife was waiting outside, and I packed up our suitcases and literally threw them across the hallway over the dirty water and exited as quickly as possible. We went downstairs to the front desk to complain and were given another room, but not before the front desk clerk went up to inspect.

I was a bit peeved when he gave me a look like, "I can't believe you did this." I was too tired at that point to argue, but we finally got another room and slept for less than 3 hours.

Needless to say, we won't be staying at that hotel again.

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