No, this is not a story of lusty moments in a steamy bubble bath. It’s a story about my adventures in plugged up drains.
When I was still a renter, I hated calling my landlord for anything (obviously…because you know, that’s what they are there for) and the bathtub drain had been plugged for at least a week. The water would go down, but it was SO SLOW. I’d had slow drain problems before, but usually the problem was solved with a simple sweep of the drain for my special drain tweezers (the cheap ones, NOT the Tweezerman!) to pull the hair out. Imagine my surprise when there was no damn hair in there! So, at a loss for what to do, for a week-plus I took showers with water slowly rising up to my ankles before I decided to do something about it. My first thought was Drano but when I mentioned it to a friend, he put the fear of exploding pipes in me by saying, “Oh no! You shouldn’t use that for old pipes! Call your landlord!!” Well, as you know, I hate asking for help even when it’s what I’m supposed to do and quite frankly, I didn’t want my poor sweet old landlord to have to deal with the big-ass clump of hair and who-knows-what-else that was obviously jammed somewhere far down the tubpipesystemthingie or whatever it’s called.
I decided to turn to my homeowner friend, Kath, who is known for trying cheap home remedies and generally being a great resource for how to do things. She said to me, “How about a plunger?” Oh my god. Fucking brilliant! Why the hell didn’t I think of a plunger? She also suggested baking soda and vinegar or Drano (Ack! No! Pipe explosions!!). Since I actually had a plunger I decided to try that first.
I let the water fill up an inch or two (you’re supposed to do that, according to Kath) and started to plunge away. Mind you, my plunger hadn’t been used in a couple of years – not since the great toilet paper famine of 2006 when I decided to try to use a stolen movie theatre napkin when I ran out of toilet paper. Yes folks, just one movie theatre napkin will fuck up your toilet. Anyway… I started plunging like crazy. the plunger was dusty from lack of use, so once it got wet…ick. Also, some sort of sediment came from somewhere – not sure where and did NOT want to know, but I certainly did not want that crap going back down the drain! That is when I realized I’d need rubber gloves which I totally forgot I even had since I’m sort of pathetic when it comes to keeping “normal supplies” around. I put those bad boys on and then realized that chasing disgusting flakes of mystery around the tub wasn’t really working so I just started plunging again. Every time I plunged down, water would come out of the overflow thingie, but I didn’t think much of it and just kept going even though the plunging didn’t seem to be working too well.
Because I was getting frustrated and in general, and am a total idiot, I decided to plunge as hard as I could, thinking my hulk-like strength would somehow cause a miracle. I plunged down with maximum force and water flew out of that intake thingie like a drunk’s projectile vomit and hit me square in the g.d. face! Disgusting!!! I got intake slime water in my hair and eyes. All I could think was, “Jesus Christ! I’m going to get a goddamned eye disease and go goddamned blind!!!” I jumped up to look in the mirror to make sure my eyes weren’t turning black and falling out and in the process, knocked my contact lens case in the toilet. Awesome. I had intake slime on my face and forehead. That was it! I had to call in the experts: The Internets. Yes.
Google: How do I unclog my tub?
- Baking soda + vinegar (Kath is smart!)
- Pull hair out with tweezers (I am smart!)
- Fashion drain snake from a wire hanger (Because of Mummy Dearest I have no wire hangers!)
- Drano (Ack!! Exploding pipes!!)
- Plunger (instruction #1: “Cover intake vent for suction.” Oh shit. Duh.)
Now, I am a fairly intelligent person. I do not know why I chose to grab a paper towel to cover the intake vent for this particular job other than it could have been the first thing I happened upon during my search. Yes, a porous paper towel. I folded it into fourths and put it over the vent with my left hand over it and prepared to plunge with my right hand. Just so you all know, that doesn’t work. The paper towel just got all wet. Next try: I placed a plastic grocery store bag over the vent. Annnnddd? Victory! One big plunge and all the water went down! YES! After two hours of effing around, that bathtub became my bitch AND my eyeballs were still intact. I flushed them out with saline solution anyway.