77: Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

77: Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.

~Cecil Baxter

Have you noticed when one thing breaks in your house, it’s as if an airborne virus slinks into everything breakable and infects them too?

The latest was the kitchen sink. It wasn’t draining. My husband, Bob, went to The Home Depot. (Trip #1.) He bought a plunger and unclogged the sink… he thought. After he washed the four cats’ bowls, containing majorly icky “by-product” of tuna, the sink was once again filled. Bob used his chainsaw, also broken but just repaired, and cut plywood to cover the sink so the swarming cats wouldn’t drink the putrid tuna-ish water.

Then he opened the cabinet underneath and removed the pipe, expecting that the clog would simply drop into his cute little bucket. He forgot the covered sink was full. What came out was a deluge of fluids that made a beeline to the living room. With no time to mop, we used every towel we had.

“Sweetheart?” I said, while he was under the sink putting the pipe back. “Let’s call a plumber.”

Smashing his head on the counter, he came out from under and snarled, “I can do it myself!” Drano was nixed because of chemicals. He got the garden hose, snaked it through a window, put it into the drain and turned it on. Not only did the pipe underneath burst, a geyser blasted from the sink.

“Sweetheart?” I said gently. “How about going back to The Home Depot and buying something that unclogs drains?”

He did. (Trip #2.) He bought a five-inch-long rubber balloon that’s flat. You connect it to your garden hose, insert it into the drain and turn on the water full force. Then the balloon expands. The description: “Powerful pulsating jets of water will loosen and flush blockage down the drain.”

It was such a “dirty” shame that Bob didn’t read the instructions. Had he read them, he would have known to insert it way down the drain — as in, near the clog. Instead, he stuck it in an inch. What do you think happened when he turned on the water full force? It backed up with amazing velocity and we had another ferocious geyser of water that rapidly proceeded on its already established route to the living room. In attempting to remove the now-damaged balloon, he broke the pipe under the sink again.

“Sweetheart?” I said, even gentler than before. “Why don’t you go back to The Home Depot, get another pipe and another sink unclogger?” He did. (Trip #3.)

Unfortunately, the night before we had pork chops. We had stored the dirty plates in the oven, which now emitted quite an aroma. Trust me. It wasn’t like the fragrantly rich autumn scent of smoke from wood-burning fires. It was more like summer-hot dead meat.

I felt sorry for him so I figured the least I could do was wash dishes. Would you have remembered there was nothing to hold water, like a pipe, under the sink? I didn’t. I was breathing through my mouth while rinsing the rancid roast pan when I felt my slippers getting drenched.

Bob came home with the pipe, but he was bowled over in hysterics. His laughter had such a maniacal tone, I was scared he had gone nuts. Trying to get the words out while gasping for breath, he said, “I left the thing that unclogs drains on the checkout counter!” Now we were both out of control attempting to catch our breath in side-splitting manic laughter.

(Trip #4.) I drove, as Bob sat next to me, trying to stop some weird gag reflex while laughing like a lunatic.

Here’s what I learned, and therefore suggest, when it comes to clogged sinks:

1. Don’t take a working sink for granted.

2. There are 100 more plumbers in the Yellow Pages than there are psychiatrists.

3. Call one.

4. If you’re married to someone like Bob, call both.

~Saralee Perel

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