“I tired of these mother lovin’ snakes in this mother lovin’ drain!”
Well, not exactly. Today involved a long overdue plumbing project that I just haven’t been equipped to tackle. For the past few weeks our household has been plagued by a clogged bathtub drain. We tried every method available to us to remedy the situation but nothing ever worked. Liquid pipe cleaner didn’t work. Eco-friendly Bioclean didn’t work (but I love it for regular maintenance on sinks and drains). We even tried a home-cooked baking soda and vinegar concoction. (It is amazing what baking soda and vinegar can accomplish around the house individually. Put together, they make a dynamic duo of do-it-yourself cleaning.) That worked for a little while, but it still wasn’t enough. The drain just wouldn’t -for lack of a better word- Drain!
I finally called up our beloved Uncle Jon and asked to borrow his drain cleaner. These tools aren’t too costly (around $30), but I just needed it for a simple one-time project and didn’t want to spend the money on it. His pipe cleaner, or “pipe snake” as we called it, has a handy power drill attachment which made running it down the pipe that much easier than rotating it by hand.
Keep in mind that I had never done this before so my technique was all off at first. After a while I learned some important lessons, like you only want a few inches of slack when feeding the snake down the drain. Let that little bit move down and give a little more slack. If you leave too much of the snake out between you and the pipe you’re feeding into you end up with wildly flailing metal coils nearly taking your eyes out.
The other lesson was not to do this with your pregnant wife around talking about how hungry she is and what should be done about lunch. At that moment you pull out a few years worth of your, and possibly the home’s previous owner’s hair, you don’t want to be thinking about chicken sandwiches and tater-tots. (You really don’t want to think about that spaghetti dinner you plan to have, when those greasy, long hairs come out of that clog.)
That was the really fun part. If you have ever been fishing and got that strong bite on the line there is a bit of anticipation to see what you have on the other end. You hope for a nice bass, but every once in a while you get a branch. This was nothing like that. Being my first time at attempting any plumbing work, there was no way to prepare for what was to come. The smell of degrading human hair and all the scum that managed to stick to that dripping wet wad of Wookie filth would be enough to make maggots flee. The only question I really had about the process was, “What is the black liquid dripping from this hairball?”
It was disgusting! Oh, you want a taste? Here you go!
And yes, I did smell it. It smelled wonderful, too!
Just one more for you kids.