pop king shell cage

That’s what John said in his sleep the other night when I asked him why he was laughing.  He thinks it has to do with the king snake somehow.  I think that he was dreaming about the Mkl Jksen trial and that he was put in some kind of shell cage.  I’m sure he’ll deny that one, though.

So, my repair skills are growing, thanks in large part to my accomplice brother who gets things from home depot and does all the extra muscle required work.  So far I’ve fixed the fridge door and replaced the water pump in the washing machine by myself, and together we have replaced the serpentine belt in the van (okay, I think I really just mostly watched, but it was COLD and RAINING) and now we have plumbed.  My dad’s first cousin’s husband (I just call him Phil) says that the eleventh commandment is Thou shalt not plumb.  He’s onto something.  Here’s my semi-humorous story.  Laugh at me, not with me. . . I don’t care.

A few weeks back I sat Willow on the bathroom counter top so I could brush her hair and her teeth and wash her face.  That is to keep her from running away, by the way.  The boys had been playing in the sink, defrosting the Juni doll from a frozen sippy cup, or something, and had removed the drain plunger dealie so that the drain was exposed.  Willow saw a good target and lobbed a little-sized terrycloth hair tie right down the hole.  She has excellent aim, and if there had been a net, it would have been nothing but. 

I got a metal hanger and bent it about to fish out the hair tie, but I had no luck.  A couple of days later, I bought one of those zip drain cleaners, which looks like a cartoon fish skeleton (ohhh, look, I think I can make it using just keyboard components! —->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>—-  )  You put it down the drain, snag all the horrendous crap, and zip it back out.  Then you barf in the sink and undo all your work, but they don’t put that in the directions.  Still, no hair tie. 

A few weeks go by.  The drain gets more and more sluggish.  Finally, the standing water takes too long to drain and I go by the hardware store (***swoon*** I love the hardware store!) to get a plumber’s snake.  I get some alone time, finally, with my new snake, and get to work.  It’s kind of rough going at first, but I manage to get all ten feet in the drain without getting totally blocked, so I figure I’ve pushed the stuff into the main line.  I take out the snake (uhhh, yick) and try not to let it whip around and take out my eye with the stupidly sharp coil on the business end.  I turn on the water and HOORAY! drainage!  I let the water run, just to be sure.  And then as I’m congratulating myself, I notice that I’m standing in a PUDDLE.  UH OH. 

I open the cupboard and notice that I have punched a hole in the very old galvanized steel U-bend trap thingie.  Well, crap.  I call my brother and he stops at home depot (the kids insist that the home depot has changed their name to the Home Depot, T pronounced in the new version.  I’d straighten them out, but they are too sure to listen.) and comes over with a pipe wrench and some new U-bends.  No, make that J-bends.  Anyway, neither one will work, because the new pieces (I swear they are plastic and not metal and they just put shiny on to make you think it’s metal.) are uniform either 1 and a half or 1 and a quarter inch across and the pipes are sorta old and the opening at the wall (what a frightening place.  don’t look into that darkness, s c a r y) is 1 and a half, while the one coming from the new drain assembly that my brother had to go back out for when the other old pipe broke off in his hand quite cleanly is 1 and a quarter.  This finds me back later that night at the home depot.  I returned the faux metal J-bends and went in search of my parts.  I’ll skip here, cause I’m boring even my own self. 

Finally, I came home, installed the new rubber J-bend trap and turned on the sink.  Still clogged.  Sigh.  Go drink a beer.  Cause, you know, I’m a plumber now.  Although the only plumber I knew well was my friend Melissa’s dad in jr high.  I used to make White Russians for him.  I only just now realized how very wrong that is.  Very bad.  I never snuck any, though later on in high school my friend Shona and I did raid her mom’s extracts and try to get drunk off those.  Didn’t work, made us ill, and now that I am grown and buy extracts, COST A FORTUNE.  Her mom should have killed us. 

So, after a beer, I took off the J-trap and snaked out the drain pipe by going in through the wall.  I pulled out the hair tie and it’s friend the q-tip.  I imagined them saying, "Wonder Twin Powers, ACTIVATE, form of a q-tip, shape of a hair tie, Let’s clog some drains!  Whoo hoo!"  I think I’m getting too weird for my own good.)  Now everything is back together, and although the new, factory-assembled pipe from the drain does leak a bit (cheap bastards), I’m done for now.  At least until I get under there with some putty. 

I think I’ll become a handywoman.  Didn’t Bust magazine have some stylish, girly tool belts?

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