Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why I didn't write today, by Susie

Warning: there is a certain ick factor in the following post. You've been warned.

In general "why I didn't write today" excuses are pretty much like "my dog ate my homework." Which is not to say I don't have tons of them. But there are days when, I swear, the universe conspires against me getting any work done.

First, you have to know that I am not a handy woman. Hanging wallpaper was as close to divorce and the dh and I ever got; an attempt to put up vertical blinds left a broken power drill and permanent holes in my wall. My skills in that regard are pretty much limited to 1) calling my daddy 2) calling Scottie, my cute young handyman, who has offered to move in because he's here so much.

And my husband has a knack for being out of town at crucial moments.

So last week, I had a whole day cleared out for writing, not one single thing I had to do. Except I woke up to a clogged toilet.

Now, this is usually not a big deal. I can plunge.

But I couldn't plunge this one. I decided it was equipment failure - my plunger was old and inadequate, and this was - sparing you the gross details - a particularly nasty clog. So I took the kid to school, stopped off at the hardware store, and bought a new one.

Except this one didn't work either. Hmm.

Another trip to the store. This time I bought a fancy one, with what looked like an accordian in the middle of it, for extra force.

Still no luck. And at this point I realize that we have a public health disaster in the making, and so I toss around some bleach, hoping to sanitize things before it is too late. And splash some on, and ruin, my favorite pair of chocolate brown, fits-me-perfectly, they-don't-make-them-anymore, cords.

I decided to let things sit for a while. Soften up, as it were. At this point, I tried to write, I really did. But as soon as I called up my book, my computer took it upon itself to shut itself off. Really, it did.

This, I decided was a sign. The battle was on.

Another trip to the store. I read every bottle of drain de-clogger there, only to discover that none of them are to be used in toilets. But ah . . . there's this fancy-dancy plunger, with an air canister attached, guaranteed to work.

Modern technology. Power assists. Must work. At this point, I've gotten smarter, and also bought some industrial-strength rubber gloves that come to my shoulders. I should have gotten some hip waders while I was there.

I used up the entire canister of air to no effect. So I turn to my last ditch resource for all things - google. There's this nice article about how to declog a toilet, with precise instructions for using a snake.

One more trip to the hardware store. Are you counting? This is four. The plumber would have been cheaper, but by now I'm ticked, and I'm getting this thing unclogged.

I dug out a hospital mask that my kid used to play with and strapped it on. Got down on my knees and started cranking. I swear that snake went halfway down the street.

It had to work. Because the next line of defense in that article was instructions about how to pull the entire toilet, and that just didn't sound good.

But I triumphed! Ten minutes before my kid came home from school. And I was left with an empty wallet, no pages written, a pile of really gross equipment to clean up, and - the bonus here - a story guaranteed to make my husband really, really guilty for not being here when I truly needed him, which is always a good thing.

I'm supposed to write all day today. I'm worried.

Are you all as hopeless at this as I am?



Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Susie! I commiserate with you on the wallpapering. I think the hubby and I were both thinking the D-word while we were attempting to work together on that project, as well. SIgh...

I do have a handy man hubby. And he is great at toilets. We once had the clog that fought back, such as yours, and finally had to remove the toilet. This was about two years after we'd moved in, and had experienced many overflows.

Well, we discovered why so many overflows. The previous residents, it seemed, had attempted to flush a rolled-up tv guide. The thing didn't go much farther than floor level. And the hubby drew out the calcified tv guide from the pipes with great triumph. No overflows since then.

So maybe you'll be wanting to pull that thing off completely if you have any more real bad ones any time soon. I'm just sayin'...

Cheers to you for showing that thing who was boss!

Cindy Gerard said...

Susie - your dilemma isn't funny - so why am I laughing?
I've got a handy man hubby and it's not all it's cracked up to be. Because HE can do it himself, sometimes HIMSELF doesn't get around to doing it until HE wants to - patience is not one of my virtues so for my money, I'd rather hire it done. At least I have an idea of when it will happen.

Debra Dixon said...

Susie! Susie! Susie!

I'm laughing with you. Really. Honestly.

My husband is like you. Five trips to the hardware store and we've spent enough money to hire a professional and then we end up hiring the professional anyway. LOL!

He is a demon with the wire shelving though. He can turn a corner and add support brackets like nobody's business. :)

I'm actually pretty good with the knowledge but not coordinated enough for most home repairs. I can tell you how to do it, what is wrong, how to fix it, but then it's best I step aside and let someone else run the drill.

Once I had the hubby cutting holes in sheetrock because I thought we had baby racoon trapped in the wall. Turns out that through a weird architectural feature that makes it seem like the sound is from inside the wall...the racoon baby was safely in an eave or something and not in the wall.

If you need to know how to patch large chunks of sheetrock...I can type you up some instructions.

Helen Brenna said...


I just want to know which bathroom is was, so I'll be sure not to use it the next time I'm visiting. LOL

Betina Krahn said...

Okay. . . years of widowhood and living by myself. . . I had to do stuff or die. So I can paint and hang curtain rods, wallpaper, toilet paper brackets, towel bars. . . pretty much anything to do with screws and a drill. I also changed the pigtail plug on my new dryer by myself. . . though I did close my eyes and pray when I turned the dryer on for the first time afterward. I've also changed the "flapper" in the toilet's water tank and installed hand held shower heads by the zillions.

But when it comes to the business end of the bowl. . . I give it two plunges and call a professional. I ain't messin' with that stuff. Suz-- you're a better woman than I am!