Sunday, January 4, 2015

Plunger Planning 101: Do Some Push-Ups First

My husband (who I will from here on refer to as Mr. T for identity protection reasons) is trying to find a real grown up, professional job.

The other day he had his "job market talk" where he presented his favorite research paper in front of his whole department.   Mr. T has been up late all week in preparation for this presentation.  He has been staying at work past midnight, he has pulled a few all night-ers, he has not been living the most relaxed lifestyle.

As you may recall from a previous post, we live in a very old apartment with very old plumbing.  Just as a hair nest from an apartment above can block a drain in the tub below us and flood all the floors underneath, the same situation can occur with the toilet.   The morning of the presentation Mr. T uses the bathroom uneventfully.  He leaves the bathroom, continues to work on his presentation at his desk, then returns to the bathroom an hour or so later and well...  I realized something was up when I heard a sincere "oh sh*t!"

I, the good wife knowing he still needs to shave, finish up his work, and get himself to campus in the next 20 minutes, tell him not to worry about it, to sit back down, and to finish his presentation.  I then head to the bathroom to take control of the situation.   The water in the toilet is full to the brim (thankfully the water is clear).  There is a good amount of water on the floor already as well....

Hmmm where do I begin?  Should I start plunging the toilet?  Or begin with drying up the floor? I decide that if I start plunging the toilet, I will make more of a mess and the floor will get even wetter.   There is no point in drying the floor until the toilet has been cleared.   I mash the plunger into the toilet bowl and a niagra falls of water splashes out.  Soaked and startled, I pause my plunging attempt and reassess whether or not this was a good idea.  A good inch or two of water had overflowed out of the bowl.   I stand and ponder how to make my next move without making more of a mess.  I then watch in horror as the toilet refills and starts spilling over the edge once again.  The water will not stop running!

Not knowing how to shut the water off and not wanting to bother Mr. T, I quickly hit panic mode.  I scramble for the nearest bucket I can find and start scooping the toilet water out of the toilet an throw it in the sink.*  I work fast enough where I can get the level down far enough in time so I can repeat my plunging efforts without overflowing.  I grab the plunger again, but it is made out of such a thick and sturdy rubber that I cannot even get the darn thing to push down.  Am I too weak to plunge a toilet?!

The toilet water reaches the brim yet again.  It is at this point,  as the water begins to flow like niagra falls again, that I realize my approach of "oh-don't-worry-let-the-big-strong-wifey-take-care-of-the-toilet" has embarrassingly back-fired.  I return to my bucket approach as I curse myself for not being strong enough to plunge a toilet.  Maybe if I get mad enough about that fact, I could acquire some sort of enraged, feminist she-hulk strength...  Nope.... I pause to think of other options.  I could feasibly:

1 - scoop all the water out of the toilet then
2- put on my shoes, grab my keys and coat then
3 - scoop all the remaining water out of the toilet again and then
4 - quickly run to the convenient store next door and buy a new plunger and
5 - run back home and fix this thing...

But could I do that without Trevor knowing? .... And as I think of the logistics of this plan, the water overflows again and I snap...


*Side note: I read this blog post aloud to Trevor and when I got to this part about me scooping water out of the toilet and throwing it down the sink, he was thoroughly shocked and horrified.


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