After several days suffering from one of the worst stomach bugs ever to hit the family the worst is finally over. Tried writing something current but nothing is really working and my son Darth Spoilboy is absolutely dying to get to his MySpace account. So here is a recently discovered artifact from my last blog which was one of my first posts.
It started last night, "Honey", my wife called. Well, she didn't say honey but I prefer not to write the word she actually said. "You need to check the kid’s toilet, it’s stopped up again." What she really meant was for me to grab the plumber’s helper and go unblock the toilet that either my son or more than likely, in her eyes, I had messed up. She had been in a bad mood the last couple of days and I had got to the point where I felt it was best just to stay quiet and ride this hurricane out. So I grabbed the plumber’s friend and marched off to do my husbandly duty.
Details at this point are better left out but there was nothing I could do. The clog was not going anywhere and so I told my female Hitler, I mean my lovely bride, that this was not the usual situation and that I would have to go to the local Mega-Hardware store and buy a plumbing snake. My hunch was that our little girl had flushed one of her small toys down the toilet but it was Wednesday night and Lost was about to start and I did not want to talk about it anymore. Someone was supposed to get killed that night and I did not want to miss finding out who it was.
The next morning I was off to the local Mega-Hardware store to purchase a drain snake and a new wax ring for the toilet if it turned out that I would need a Plan B. The great thing about the mega stores is the choices you have. The bad thing is that no matter how much the commercials say that they have a knowledgeable staff I usually only meet those who were rejected for employment by fast food places. I walked to the row that held the plumbing supplies and found the section that held devices that I hoped would free up the blockage that I was fighting without me taking the entire throne apart. My issue was that several of the drain snakes were different sizes and appeared to be designed for different applications. Now according to my wife, during better days, and several girlfriends I had in the past I never ever had a size issue and I always have been good at different applications but that is a whole other subject. But since I did not want to cause a bigger problem I needed to know which one was right for home use. But the sales associate who worked in the plumbing section looked at me with the deer-in-headlights look when I asked which one of the drain snakes were right for a simple residential toilet. Well, when in doubt always punt, so she pulled out the fancy cell phone and called someone. After several minutes of saying a lot single word responses to apparent questions on the other end of the conversation she grabbed what looked to be a dildo off the shelf and handed it to me. She explained that one end of this device would be attached to a common water hose and then the device should be pushed down the toilet until it meets the blockage. Then, she continues to explain, you turn the water on and the device would expand and a high pressure water spray would come out from the opposite end of where you screwed on the water hose. Supposedly, this would be the most effective way of removing the blockage. I told her once again that the blockage was more than likely a child's toy but she assured me that the "plumbing expert" she talked with said this item was right for the job. I almost bought her advice and the item. But as she was walking away I happen to look on the back of the package and clearly saw the instructions that read that this item was not to be used on toilets. Visions of exploding toilets and the aftermath of such played out in my mind very clearly. I tossed the dildo looking item back on the shelf, grabbed my drain snake, and a new wax ring so I could move straight to Plan B if needed and paid for my stuff and left for home.
The drain snake is a fairly simple device, on one end is what looks to be a corkscrew for a wine bottle and on the other end is a piece that you turn to get the snake to expand down the hole basically, with it fully retracted you push it into the hole and start to turn. In theory at least at some point the corkscrew end should encounter the blockage and then, I guess, it either breaks up or as you turn it to retract again you will pull it out. My first attempt netted some...no let’s not go there. Let’s just say that after two attempts I pull out next to nothing and on the third I got the damn thing caught and for thirty minutes I could not pull it out. At that time I gave up and began working just to remove it from the toilet. About the time I started thinking of just buying and whole new toilet the snake broke free and I began preparing myself for Plan B.
Jumping ahead after removing the "water" from the toilet I removed the tank and carefully placed it inside the bathtub the base was removed and I moved it outside to begin the really disgusting part.
By this time of day the morning walkers were out. An older couple walked past my house as I was bringing the base out and could not help but to make a couple comments. Their comments were meant to be funny but I was not in the mood. The only reason it bothered me was by this time I was tired and slightly smelly. Knowing this prevented me from tossing water from the toilet on their cute, matching jogging suits. But getting back to business I figured whatever was jammed in the toilet was wedged very tightly so I took the water hose and pushed it up from the bottom with the water turned on. Right from the start I was able to push the water hose up to where I could feel the obstruction. The water hose was stiff enough that I could push it up but unlike the dildo that the Mega-Hardware store associate tried to sale me I did not have to worry about the damn toilet cracking. I finally felt that I was going to make some progress. So I started gently thrusting more and more with the water hose hoping that it would fall out. Ignoring the world around me I started saying things like "yeah baby" and "I know you’re ready". It was at this time that I looked up and saw the neighborhood divorcee walking past looking straight at me and laughing. This is a woman who any man would more than likely sell his soul to be with, she is that drop dead glorious. She has always been very friendly towards me but has never given me any hint that she might be interested in me but having her see me like that was very embarrassing. Maybe, you could say that I saw all my secret fantasies being flushed down the toilet.
Looking back on this whole event I realize that compared to other more serious problems this was very minor. But given that my wife had been on the warpath lately and she had been leaving very long "honey do" lists that had damn well better be finished when she returns home taking all day to fish out a child toy in a toilet that had just been installed three months ago was a major pain in the ass. But right after the divorcee walked by I looked down to find that my daughter's small Spongebob Squarepants toy had fallen out of the toilet. I cleaned up and reinstalled the toilet without any further adventures. I then called my bride at work to tell her about all this. My lovely wife's opinion of my handling of the situation was, as expected, full of criticisms of how I could have done everything quicker. But of course when she returned home and was talking on the phone, deep in conversation to one of her knitting class girlfriends, I laid the newly freed Spongebob close by and she quickly picked it up absent-mindedly playing with it. It actually took twenty seconds before she realized I hadn't cleaned it off. The reaction on her face when she realized why Spongebob was so sticky made up for the rest of the day. Now, a couple of weeks later and after we have made up I can laugh about the whole thing.