I had to come up with something quick and easy to serve for guy night because I had to have plenty of time to perform a minor plumbing unblockage on the pipe that the kitchen sink drains into. When it’s blocked all the goop backs up and pools in the basement sink. It’s pretty gross.
So we stopped at the co-op on the way home to buy some sliced ham and some cheese and I pan-fried some ham & cheese sandwiches. Voila! Dinner! We even splurged and I served them with Tater Tots because we called Tim on the way home to invite him over for ham and cheese and plumbing fun, but he didn’t answer his phone and apparently doesn’t check his messages, so we had the Tater Tots all to ourselves.
We also picked up copies of the Isthmus, a weekly advertising tabloid that just printed the schedule for the Wisconsin Film Festival that My Darling B and I started going to last year and will now go to each year until we’re too decrepit to move under our own power because it’s that much fun. We even asked for several days off from work so we could see more films this year. After our delicious, nutritious dinner we sat reading the film schedule for almost an hour, ticking off the films that interested us. We haven’t compared notes yet so I don’t even know whether or not B got through the whole schedule yet. I didn’t.
Then it was on to plumbing fun! I’ve carried out this particular operation before so I knew just what to do, and exactly how much I didn’t like to do it. First thing was to take apart the p-trap under the kitchen sink and the basement sink. Pretty straightforward, smells a bit, gets the hands very dirty. Next step: Bring in a garden hose, hook it up to the spigot in the laundry. That part really sucks because I have to either move the wash machine out of the way, which I’m not going to do unless I have all afternoon or a trained gorilla to move it, or I can work in the four-inch space between the machine and the wall. Takes forever to work a wrench in that four-inch space and I usually bark my knuckles bloody.
I hooked up another hose downstairs for the basement sink. To the end of each hose I attached a black rubber bulb. The bulb goes in the drain pipe and fills with water when the hose is turned on so that the bulb blocks the pipe and forms a plug from which, theoretically, no water can escape. A small hole in the end of the bulb shoots a jet of water down the drain. Turn both hoses on, let the water run for a while and, theoretically again, the water will push the blockage down the pipe and into the sewer. Worked last time I tried it. And worked again this time.
It’s a pretty simple, cheap fix, really. We already have garden hose, and the little black rubber bulbs cost about a buck fifty each at the hardware store. Saved us a couple hundred dollars getting a plumber out here, who would probably have done what I did.
The part I really hate is the clean-up. The hoses always dribble all over the floor no matter how care I am while I unhook them. I have to drag the long hose outside to drain it, and it weighs something like a thousand pounds when it’s full of water. The rubber bulbs get covered with nasty sewer pipe gunk that has to be washed off because it smells like Satan’s farts. I’d be tempted to just throw them away and get new ones if I didn’t use them so often. And finally, I have to put the p-traps back together. My fingernails are gray for a week after all this.
But the drains work and we can wash clothes again, yay.