I would like to know how plumbing at the soul’s journey are connected. I’m not talking about internal plumbing. I’m talking about home plumbing. Since we moved into our new home, we had a plumber to our house no fewer than 6 times. We’ve lived here 6 months. (I offered them a cot on the back porch last time they were here so I didn’t have to put in anymore service calls…) Now, there’s nothing wrong with our house other than it being old, recently remodeled, and that it sat empty for 6 months prior to us purchasing it; things are bound to back up. But one day recently…I got fed up with calling plumbers and plunking down a check everytime they pulled out of the driveway.
Our new kitchen didn’t have a disposal when we moved in. Now, I’ve lived with and without disposals and let me tell you, I prefer “with.” So we purchased one from our local hardware store and installed it shortly after moving in. But one night when I had the house to myself (which meant I could clean it without it becoming IMMEDIATELY messy again), I did the dishes and suddenly, the water wasn’t draining in the kitchen sink. No. No no no no, I thought. This is not happening. I tried the old stanbys: hot water, vinegar and baking soda, plunger…nothing was working. I stared at the dirty water just standing in my sink, chuckling at me. “Plumb again, eh Salem?”
Shut up, water.
I went to Google. I learned that it could be anything from food stuck in the disposal to a clog deep in the ground that would require digging up half the house. I had a mild pity party and went to bed leaving a big, red sign on the sink. SINK IS CLOGGED. DO NOT USE SINK. I live with boys, you know, and they probably wouldn’t have thought twice about continuing to run the water despite the obvious signs of a clog…
The next morning I woke up and said to myself, “Not today, Satan. Not today.” I Googled a video about how to take the elbow pipe off the disposal. I cleared out all the cleaning products from under the sink, got a bucket, some kind of a grippy tool that looked similar to the one in the video, and went to work. The water immediately all drained out of the sink and into the bucket.
AH HA! The clog in further down the pipe! I’m like a Plumber Einstein!
Shit. The clog is further down the pipe. That means I have to dig up half my house…
“Not today, Satan.”
I Googled more. Try a Zip-It. Have you ever seen one of these?
They’re $2 and you shove this long piece of serrated plastic into your pipe and it grabs anything in its way. Seeing as how we’ve had 900 clogs before this one, we had one so I grabbed it. I shoved. It went into the pipe in the wall under the sink for about 6 inches. I tried pushing harder and then I imagined it breaking off inside the pipe and decided this would be worse…
I Googled more.
Pipe snake. Seeing as how we’ve had 900 clogs before this one, we had one so I grabbed it. I started trying to fish it into the pipe and I still only made it about 9 inches. Obviously snaking this pipe was not going to work. I sat quiet on the kitchen floor amidst the mess and continued Googling.
Finally, I found a suggestion: use a shop vac. Hmmm. A shop vac. We have one of those. I rolled it in from the garage and wrapped a towel around it and the pipe to get good suction. Then, I prayed.
Dear God, please let whatever is in this pipe come out so that my sink drains properly so that I don’t have to begin dipping into my retirement account (just kidding, you know I don’t have one of those) just to do the dishes. Thanks. Erin.
I clicked the shop vac on. I heard a quick whoosh and then a POP.
Shit. A pop seems bad.
I turned it off and stared at the shop vac and the pipe. Did something come out? Did I just ruin the pipe? AM I GOING TO HAVE TO CALL OFF THE WEDDING AND MARRY A PLUMBER?!
I opened the shop vac and…there it was. A piece of saran wrap. A bunch of food and a piece of saran wrap. That could have been it, right? That could have been blocking the pipe, right?!
Only one way to find out…
I put the elbow pipe back in it’s place and tightened it using my grippy tool. I took a deep breath, and turned on the water.
Swoosh. Straight down the sink it flowed. I watched it for probably 8 minutes flow into the sink, continuously, with no back up…
I AM VICTORIOUS. I raised my arms and paraded the kitchen. I AM VICTORIOUS. I HAVE BEATEN THE CLOG. I NEED NO PLUMBER. I AM VICTORIOUS.
“What does victorious mean, Mommy?” Abe asked.
“It means I win. I win at life today, Abe.”
I don’t know if perhaps plumbing is a metaphor for life. I Googled that phrase and nothing of significance came up, so maybe it’s just that we got super unlucky with the old pipes. But whether it does or doesn’t mean I’ve got some sort of deep-rooted issue with things flowing or with the direction of life being clear, I know one thing: I won that battle, and I will win the war.