Wednesday, July 1, 2009

And The Kitchen Sink, Too!

When I walked in the door late Sunday night after driving all day from Indiana, the Boss casually mentioned, "the kitchen sink is clogged." If she had not shared that fact I would have discovered it while trying to scale Mount Dishmore in a quest for a glass of water. I filled the sink with water and watched it. It drained slooooooowly. Monday's to-do list was instantly filled.

The house was still under warranty from the previous owners the last time this sink line clogged. It took a plumber and fifty feet of electric snake connected to a generator that could have jump started the space shuttle to clear that blockage. That and a check for $60. The warranty has long since expired. I wouldn't renew it after the warranty company informed me that they would not repair the two ungrounded basement outlets that had been connected using lamp wire by the electrical genius who converted the basement into two bedrooms, because that repair was "cosmetic." You would think that "cosmetic" repairs would be something like changing the color of the outlets, switches, or faceplates. I discovered that a "cosmetic" repair is any repair that the warranty company does not want to pay for because the repair is expensive. But I digress. I do not own fifty feet of electric snake or a space ship jumping generator or dilithium crystals to power the damn thing, and I really did not want to open the drain line downstairs.

Monday afternoon found me in the plumbing section of the local Home Depot after plunging until my arms cramped did nothing but shoot a rather spectacular fountain of dirty dish water six feet in the air out of the garbage disposal in the sink basin next to me. The kids stood behind me squealing, "Do it again, daddy! Do it again!" I purchased a quart bottle of drain acid, the stuff that comes in a plastic bottle wrapped in a plastic bag covered by sixteen skulls and cross bones. I poured the guaranteed drain opener down the drain and waited. The fifteen minute mark that the directions said would open the drain passed. I waited. Thirty minutes lapsed. I waited. An hour later I passed the "I'm really disgusted" mark, because the drain was not open and I knew that I not only had to crack the basement drain access but I had to drain water and acid from that access before I could address the clog. This is the risk when deciding whether or not to use chemicals in the drain line.

Two hours later, after waiting for no rational reason for the drain to magically unclog itself, the unthinkable happened. I walked by the kitchen sink on my way to the refrigerator and noticed that the sink was empty of all standing water. It took three hours, but the drain cleaner actually worked! I ran water through the drain for a few minutes just to make certain. Sure enough, the drain was clear!

I was running my second load of dishes through the dishwasher, having hand washed all the pots and pans that did not fit inside, when the Boss returned home from work. She entered the kitchen and cheerily observed, "Hey! I see that you got the drain open!"

That's when she casually mentioned, "I think I might have caused this one." She explained that she had cooked a large batch of brats in beer for a picnic last Saturday. When she was finished she dumped the fatty beer down the kitchen sink drain. Presto! Instant clog. That's why I dump brat beer and other fatty cooking liquids down the toilet, a clever little device in the bathroom that is designed to pass much larger objects. My five year old proves that regularly. But, the Boss casually forgot to mention that pesky brat thing Sunday night, when I returned home to the clog, or on Monday, when we spoke on the phone and she heard the frustration in my voice after I couldn't get the drain open.

The delightful little imp!

Ain't married life grand?


Kathleen said...

"I discovered that a "cosmetic" repair is any repair that the warranty company does not want to pay for because the repair is expensive. But I digress."


Yes, the breakdown in the Marriage Communication Pipeline. Makes you sometimes feel like downing some serious chemicals to unclog it, don't it?

(I feel compelled to explain that I used the grammatically incorrect "don't it" there just for emphasis, not because I think it's grammatically correct. And I should also note that I'm completely aware that my compulsion totally takes away from any grand emphasis I intended in the first place. OK. Stopping now.)

CrossView said...

What a great reminder that wives just make life intersting. I mean, what else would you have done after a long road trip? Relax, have a beer? That's just mind-numbing. She gave you a problem to solve. Got that brain working. You did tell her "thank you", right?

I could tell you the about the time I accidentally flushed a cleaning rag and Guy had to change the wax seal after removing the toilet. But I won't.