Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Smoking Loo

or gee, my kids eat enough fiber...

No one knows what upset it, but the brand new loo, the pretty little sanitary white dispenser of our digestive by-production is on strike. At the beginning (a couple of days ago) the problem was a suspiciously familiar veeeeerrrrrryyyyyyy slow to respond to commands, with a few extra pushes (plunges) effectively convinced it to cooperate. But quickly the resistance escalated into all-out stubbornness. So, a new, heftier plunger was procured and a short round of calls to collect the access number to the only plumber I feel confident in doing the job well for a somewhat reasonable price - a friend of a friend whom I haven't seen in years.

The number is a private one, and I felt the need to be patient. In the meantime life continues, work must be accomplished, errands must be run and by the end of it, I discover that no I have not had a professional visit and yes, the porcelain princess has folded her hands and completely turned her back with deaf ears to our pleas. I made a convenient trip or two to local establishments later at night, giving more business to my community than I had planned but successfully avoiding adding pressure to the problem, if you know what I mean.

As a single parent, I am busy. As a single parent of mostly teenagers, I am not as anchored to the home as I have been in the past, and we do the fair amount of communicating in passing that many families with teenagers do. It seems that they did not catch on to my overnight emergency plan to demand less while strategizing the next move. In retrospect, I should have posted a sign at the least. "Please Unload Your Insoluble Fiber Elsewhere" may have been expedient. Unfortunately, they did not read my mind nor imitate it with their own logic, and I discovered a quite loaded bowl this morning, just prior to showers for church, the planned tour of the city festival, etc.

Now, I like this plumber I called. I would like to gift him with business from a home that he would not mind returning to if necessary. Hence, respect for his bowels, particularly when the proper receptacle for an unhappily queasy stomach's contents would be out of order is certainly central to my self-respect.

Enter quiet panic. It is Sunday, and an emergency call to any available service would be quite expensive. I am scheduled to the hilt already, and my kids aren't clean enough nor willing to assume cleanliness in the presence of such an unwelcoming entity. Everybody knows we need Lowes.... I consulted with my father, whose vague experience of similar battles has surfaced from my memory, and I ignored his advice: muck it out with good gloves, a bucket, and bleach. LOL. I went to Lowes, thinking that if I can get anything that will dissolve said sewer substances, I will be able to: 1. Buy time until tomorrow. 2. Greet the plumber with a genuine smile of relief rather than the one of nervous apology. At Lowes I met a $10 special forces unit: sulfuric acid with 12 buffers, safe for all plumbing including loos.

"Dear Fallen White Angel, some medicine just does not taste good. You will have to swallow it anyway." I'm going to nickname this stuff Hell. Hell in a Bottle. It rivals India in smell, It is of a more intense murky brown (gross), it contains important warnings about how quickly it burns, burns right through organic things (me, you, my darling offspring plus some plastics and paper, cotton, other common things that put delicate loos in fits) and, to great affect, it smokes and bubbles.

I have thrown hell into my fallen angel -for really she was a true angel when she first arrived with the light of rescue. Presently what I have to show for it is a smoking, bubbling, dangerously burning toilet.

A smoking Loo, and still no direct evidence for whom to blame.

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