Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Post: Salman "Strib" Stribling, Esq.

I generally only allow guest posts under extreme duress. However, I believe the following email received from my good friend Salman "Strib" Stribling, Esq. is entirely worth your attention.

For the past 36 hours, we have had a clogged toilet. Not that big of a deal. When my lovely wife (henceforth referred to as MLW) begins by asking if we should "call a plumber," my wounded ego politely declined.

Heck no, we don't need a plumber. I can handle a clogged toilet!

I could not unclog it. I plunged and rooted and splashed until I had blisters on my hands - all for naught. Whatever unholy thing was lurking under that murky water had become firmly entrenched behind bulwarks of murky destruction.

Being a man of finer tastes as I'm sure you're aware; I did not want to risk putting my hands into a liquid smell of this magnitude; especially with no clear understanding of what may await my timid grasp.

It was bad enough to be in such close proximity to utter foulness; but the thought of actually immersing part of my body in sheol was entirely too taxing for my refined constitution. I tried to convince MLW that we needed her more delicate and sensitive hands to reach in and pull out whatever was in there. With four children I've seen her handle substances that would green the gills of the Roto Rooter man, but surprisingly, she preferred to call a plumber.

I, again, in my great wisdom and powerful man-knowledge of all things home-related, refused.

I stood poised over the bowl for what felt like hours as I slowly worked up the courage to do what must be done. Finally, I tore apart my own inner will and with a gasp and a plunge - reached into the depths. Much to my distress, I found nothing.

I decided to hold off and wait it out a little while because - you never know, sometimes these things fix themselves. My car has done that on numerous occasions. So, I left.

Imagine my consternation upon my return to find the toilet in the same sad state of disrepair. It had not magically fixed itself. I, a full-grown educated man with four children, actually believed that the clogged toilet would "be better" when I got home. I forgot that there is no such thing as magic.

As the matter had grown somewhat more serious, I made a quick trip to the Home Depot in search of a tool. Buying a tool is a sheer-intimidation-offfense move. Sometimes just the act of buying the tool fixes things.

Returning with what I thought was going to be the final solution in my hands, I knew the end was in sight. I am sure it has a technical name.

I simply called it the $8 toilet unclogger.

I jammed this puppy in there and started twisting and tugging and shoving and pulling. Nothing. I plunged some more. Nothing. Finally, I had MLW go out to the garage to retrieve some vice grips so that I could take the toilet off its moorings and really get to the root of the issue, but before I could do that, I had to empty the bowl.

It was awful. I mean it was like something out of Trainspotting.

I am still trying to block out certain scarring images.

MLW had to go to the sand box in the back and bring back a couple of buckets so that I could begin scooping the mess out, filling said buckets, and dumping them in what must now be a toxic swamp on the other side of the fence. The plan was simple - I would fill a bucket and either hand it to her or bring it outside myself.

The plan was working smoothly. I handed the first bucket to MLW who, complaining bitterly, hauled it out. The second bucket was far larger, probably holding about 4 gallons of sand in its heyday. I filled it with at least 3 gallons of toxic childsludge. I then gingerly picked it up by the sides, gently laughing to myself, "Wouldn't it be funny if I dropped this?"

Want to know what is even funnier? When the bucket you are holding with 3 gallons of stuff that you did not know your children could generate, breaks. The rim to which I had attached my ninja death grip snapped off with a loud CRAAACK like the snapping of an angel's wing. The bucket hit the floor from a height of about 3 feet and cracked right in the middle.

Imagine if you will - me, standing there with two pieces of plastic bucket in my hands, mouth open wide, eyes the size of dinner plates and the sense of impending doom.

When I say it was terrible, I am doing it a disservice. It hit the floor with a loud splash and before I knew it, had successfully sheeted everything in a light brown liquid wash of filth. It was on the walls, cabinets, filled my shoes - everything. Before I even had time to cuss good I watched a slow-motion tsunami of sewage go out the door, into the hallway, and quickly work its way into the playroom which, incidentally, was filled lots of lovely things Little Win likes to shove in his mouth. I was powerless to stop it.

I heard the unmistakable sound of ultimate human suffering emanate from MLW's mouth as she nimbly blazed through the room picking things up before they could get wet - including the hallway carpeting. I just stood there. I earned it.

This woman is quick. If I am ever in a fire I want her to come and get me out.

Finally, after cleaning up the hazmat tidal wave, I was able to take the toilet off its moorings, run the $8 toilet unclogger in reverse, and pull out a child's building block that my wonderful 4th child shoved in, probably at the urging of the devil. He gets that attribute from MLW's side of the family.

I then burned my clothes, showered in the hottest water I could stand, and have not returned to the scene of the crime. I don't need to - the memories of that wave of sewage will haunt me forever.

In the future, when MLW asks if we should call the plumber, I will humbly, and with a shiver, say "Yes".

Editor's Note: Perhaps this fact has escaped your attention, but as I myself am schooled in the ways of Toilet Scuba, it hasn't escaped mine: Strib, in his total ingorance and obvious innner turmoil - dove in bareback. Skin-on-toiletwater. That is totally unnecessary. Friends: two hefty sacks double-bagging that arm will save you much of young Strib's turmoil and distress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I am amazed that he went to Home Depot and actually got something that was the correct tool...
I see that it was not successful in fixing the clogged toilet though...
It took brute strength and a lot of
unmentionable work.