A year later…nothing doing

Hello? How are you? I’m…fine. Occasionally, I forget that I actually have this thing here…this web log of sorts. I get too wrapped up in teaching children, completing (honestly) bull shit paperwork the state requires me to submit to enforce some arbitrary ideals about what makes a “good” teacher in order to clear my credential, and you know…television and drowning my sorrows with whatever month-old bottle of wine that may as well be on a salad for all its flavor and present alcohol content.

I forget…then, one day, during winter break, say–my toilet backs up and I have to spend most of my afternoon trying all kinds of weird recipes and experiments involving vinegar and dish soap (I shit you not). This is when I have time to kill because I really don’t want to have to fill out little boxes that I couldn’t, honestly, care less about. 

Funny thing is– I achieve this weird kind of zen about plunging toilets and using home remedies that “work like a charm the first time, without a plunger.” My grandfather on my father’s side was a plumber for many years. My grandfather on my mom’s side was an electrician and skilled home repair guru. He was also a chicken farmer for a portion of my mother’s childhood–but, that’s neither here nor there.

So– a generation of blue collar skill and now it’s my turn to (yet again) vanquish that porcelain foe that time and time again tests are patience but has become so much a staple in civilized society that anything less might destroy the less strong among us. This is a role I was born to play. I confront the steaming beast with all the courage and will I can muster. This will be the most important thing I will do today. It gurgles a little and a pocket of air rises to the top as I insert my sword (read: plunger) into it’s lair and jab it straight for the monster’s heart. Nothing doing.

Nothing doing because this is a beast with a heart of steal and porcelain. I must get this exactly right. I recalibrate my blade and go in again, this time striking a nerve just so and the water eases down a couple inches. It is a small victory, but I know this may give way to an even greater reward in the not too-distant future. I jab again. The water creeps down enough to weaken the beast.

This is when I switch to chemical warfare. I tie the beast back and force-feed him all amounts of baking soda and vinegar and hot water and dish soap. I consult the electronic oracle. She says I must wait for a time. Wait for the dish soap to slide down the drain in a sludge of clog-defeating poison.

I wait–wondering why we ever had to incorporate indoor plumbing into the evolution of the modern household. Why did we ever discard the outhouse?  

I don’t know what to expect when I encroach on the beast’s layer once more. I hope the beast is dead and I have some happy news to report to the village. Unfortunately–all my efforts result in nothing but sudsy water and a happily clogged toilet.

I call a plumber. My grandfathers turn over in their graves…er…um…urns.

I would say more on this as the saga continues. But, honestly, I’m surprised you have read this far. This and the pair of jeans I’ve torn in the process are literally the most action-packed events in the last few months…

Anyone have a how to on diy cut-off jean shorts?

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