Coffee Stains: Gunk in the drain

Salvete, discipulae et discipuli!

Sometimes I find myself wondering how I got here. This was exactly what was going through my mind last weekend when I was unclogging the upstairs bathroom sink.

I didn’t grow up with any special knowledge of plumbing, but when something is overflowing or making gross noises, I get the nod. Perhaps it’s by proxy or process of elimination, either way it’s the expectation and I was pondering that all-important existential question as I looked down the drain and my suspicions were confirmed: months of hair and body stuff stopping the flow of water.

Most people will go with a liquid drain opener and so I did the same: poured the stuff down and waited the 15 minutes and then “flushed” with hot water. It almost never works. It amazes me that during times such as these, that I really pay attention to the details and sequence of the directions. It is as if I think that the mighty Genie of Unobstructed Drains will grant my wish and do the thing that I don’t want to do.

And it almost never works the way it is promised.

So, like millions of other folks with clogged drains, we eventually surrender to the reality of the situation and get the hands dirty. And by dirty, we’re talking about the greasegrime that stains–even tattoos–the occasion for weeks to follow. Still, the foolish ones, will get yet another brand of liquid drain opener from another store just to make sure (this, my friends, is called desperation and good marketing).

And it will not work and I speak from experience on this.

After removing the J-trap (yes, that is the term) from the sink (take a look at what’s hidden in underneath the sink sometime…it’s actual a simple contraption and is pretty cool) and the excess water will spill out (yes, you have to put a bucket under it: plumbing is all about puddles of water). Using my powers of reasoning, I deduced that the 11-month hair-skin-gunk traffic jam is between the stopper and the now-open pipe. Enter in a wire hanger: very handy for poking and grabbing things at distances and various angles.

The evolving blob got stuck on the natural hook on the end of the hanger which meant that I had to physically touch the toxic matter. (And, yes, I actually said “Ewww”).

I’m pretty good at putting things back together and cleaning up the area for normal traffic flow. And so I did and I couldn’t help but smile at a “job well done!” from the plumbing gods who were really messing with me because of the apparent “ease” of the previous week’s replacing of the seal on the toilet.

The expectation at this point is to make some connection with my little ditty about plumbing (and all of it’s ickiness) and life, but I’m not. Perhaps you’re thinking that I’m trying to point out to you that when you procrastinate, it’ll only make things worse. Maybe, I could say that after you do a task that you really don’t want to do, but know you have to do, that you actually have a good feeling about yourself and perhaps, even get a bit giddy.

Or, and probably more likely, I just want you to take a look at what the plumbing looks like under your sink.

Valete,

Magister Judson

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Explore posts in the same categories: Belief, Coffee Stains, education, Writing

One Comment on “Coffee Stains: Gunk in the drain”


  1. […] how sometimes students’ papers are much like “flaming bags of poop”; partly because my last “Coffee Stain” was about plumbing, but mostly because it’s really humor that my sons really […]


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