free hit counter Snacks, please!: The Wench with a Wrench

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Wench with a Wrench

It's with great trepidation that David lets me go away on little trips, and vice versa. Because, like Auntie Pamela says, we have a Horde of Children -- and it's a bit much for one person to manage. So I was a little wistful when I bid adieu to my Easy Rider on Friday. He was off for 48 hours of motorcycle-riding and cow-tipping and I was waiting for Pamela to get OVER HERE ALREADY!!

No, no, no, it's all under control. Totally. I made Sloppy Joe's for dinner. Sang the Eensy-Weensy Spider...oh, about a hundred time. Everybody ate. Everybody's hands got washed. My! Things are going so well, I think I might just clean out the fridge! This fancy fusilli needs to go... right down the disposal.

Hm. That's interesting.

The water. is. not. moving.

Girls! Let's go to the park!

Back from the park, and still. The water. is. not. moving. It appears to be... what's that word? It's some technical plumbing word... Oh yes, it appears to be clogged like a kid who eats nothing but macaroni and cheese. We have a message on the phone. Is it from David? Saying he misses us too much to carry on? No. It's from Auntie Pamela. Should she bring anything over on Saturday?

I call back. Yes. Drano.

By Saturday morning, the water in the sink has decreased a few inches, but the saint for single parents and spontaneous flushing did not come to our house. No miracles here. We pour some Drano in. And we go to the park again.

Well, goddamnit. This Drano stuff isn't worth the money that I didn't pay for it. So, I could call a plumber... (On a Saturday?! I'd have to tap the 401K.) No, I can do this myself. I have changed tires. And I used to drink with a plumber. No problem. Pamela is very helpful. She points out that the pipes are full of acid now. You need goggles, she says. Hm. Probably. We march into the cellar and find all sorts of wrenches and whatnot in David's big red toolbox. Did this come with the house, Pamela asks. No! David fixes things, I say.

Where the hell is he, again??

Dressed for chemical warfare:

You might think it was overkill... But, as soon as I got one pipe loosened, I got hit by a spray of Poisonwood acid and I swear it ate through my favorite Georgetown sweatshirt. Aiieee! The pipe wrench is killing me. How the hell does this goddamn thing work? My back hurts. My back hurts, Pamela!! Plumbers lay on their backs, she advises me. Like hell, I'm going to lay prone under a half-gallon of acid-filled pipes. Aieee! It's off! The big pipe is off! Oh look! There's some fusilli!!

I put it all back together again. Wowee! I am a plumber! Turn on the water. And. Oh. My. God. It is. still. not. moving. Jesus Christ. I have to take it apart again! And now I'm in the mines. There's some black stuff in the pipe that goes into the wall that reminds me of digging for clams in Cape Cod Bay. It's disgusting. You know what? I need a snake.

First I need to play Scrabulous.

Okay, now I need to go to the hardware store and get a snake. And a little watermelon plant to cheer me up. At this point, it's 3 p.m. and our au pair appears for breakfast. What is going on? I can not begin to explain. The snake pulls out all sorts of crap. Hopefully not literally.

That's it!! I'm done. If there's more stuff in there, it's going to have to wait for that husband of mine, who is blithely tooling around the hills of West Virginia, eating pan-seared tuna and sharing a smoking room with his "riding partner."


But I don't care because it works! Our sink drains! Woohoo! And I can just put this handy gallon-sized Tupperware under the new leak that I've created and wait for David to come home...


Blogger Erin said...

Impressive. I just turned off the hot water to our leaky faucet this weekend. I probably shouldn't admit that.

June 23, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

You forget to say that when I pointed out the pipes were acid-filled, I pointed out the correct one!

And thank you for giving me more credit than just sitting there laughing really hard! Although it was my reading the on-line help guides that gave the idea of the boiling water which eventually cleared the pipes!

June 23, 2008 at 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Alain said...

It's "Itsy Bitsy," not "Eensy, Weensy," at least, up North it is.

And what's with boiling water? I never heard of that. Sounds promising. You should publish a Snacks, Please! Home Repair Book, complete with what to eat when repairs don't work.

June 23, 2008 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous shelly c said...

There are tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.
But I have to ask, was there no plunging involved?

June 23, 2008 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Daav said...

Did I sense in between the lines of self congratulation (congratulations, by the way) some wisp of genuine appreciation for my often unsung role as The Fixer of All Things Broken or Otherwise Too Disgusting to Touch?

June 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Mary Ellen said...

Erin -- You are the expectant mother of twins. That's like the biggest (no pun intended) excuse ever!

Pamela -- Aha! You're right. I forgot those details. I should have recom'd the This Old House video...

Alain -- Hm. I know this Itsy Bitsy that you speak of... But if you sing Eensy Weensy, you can sometimes change the words to, Eensy Weensy Josephinsy and make everybody laugh. And yes, boiling water does help.

Shelly C -- Of course! I did try the plunger. And then I left in the sink like a warning flag to anybody who might pass by. Look! This sink is a mess!

David -- Of course, my honey. And I still won't touch the Kitty kill in the backyard...

June 24, 2008 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

All the home improvement sites recommended hot water (I did web research on this issue when not laughing)

David- I think there was a "likes to think" in the description of the tools! It is a most impressive collection though. But no pipe wrnech which we needed!!!

June 26, 2008 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Althea Tumlin said...

Wow! Congratulations on getting that drain fixed all by yourself! Considering it was your first time handling a major plumbing issue, but you did really well. You kept your head (for the most part) and got it fixed! I’m sure you were only too proud to tell your husband about it. Great job with the drain!

November 22, 2012 at 4:34 AM  
Anonymous Carmella Vancil said...

Allow me to echo Althea here when I say, kudos on a job well done! A DIY drain job for a non-experienced person is no mean feat. Being able to stay calm through the process and get it fixed is a huge achievement indeed!

January 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Darryl Iorio said...

We may look at it as one of those easiest things you could do in your house. However, once you’re stuck, it becomes one of those hardest jobs you can ever imagine. Hahaha! It’s like a challenging game for most us. Yes, and for this reason, we really try our best and we wouldn’t want to stop until we’re finished with the work. Will you agree with me? Haha! Congrats!!! :D

January 22, 2013 at 9:27 AM  

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