Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The FooDaddy's Adventures in Pipe Land

No, not that kind of pipe. Or that one. Or...eeew. What's wrong with you people?

It's a plumbing mishap, you sickos. Or, rather, it turned into a plumbing mishap. It started out really really fun. But in order to pad this thing out and make a story about plumbing even remotely interesting, we're going to have to go back in time about eight years.

Wheeee! Wasn't that fun? Now, let's fast forward six years. We didn't need to go back eight. We just did that because we could. Wave a big middle finger at time-space and its stupid continuum.

When I moved into the house I'm in now, it was full of stuff left behind by its previous occupant, my grandmother. This meant that in addition to entire drawers full of unopened toothbrushes, lipsticks or hair curlers, there was enough food stashed around the place to feed a man with an undiscerning palate for years.

As a side note, I would just like to mention that my grandma was awesome. Sure, when I was little she scared me, but when I got older I learned to appreciate people who scare little kids. She also blamed my dad for any and all of his children's deficiencies, which was handy, since I am quite deficient and the last thing I need is to feel guilty about it.

But she was a homeowner and parent during World War II and the Vietnam war. Living through this taught her two things: never throw any food away because you never know when it might be rationed, and that her government was comprised of thousands of dopes galumphing around inside big marble buildings and making moron decisions.

Combine the two, and you get a government that may, without warning, start rationing nonsense food. Like Jell-O or cupcake sprinkles. Her strategy to out-maneuver the dopes was to stockpile these items so that when the inevitable rationing reared its crosseyed head, she'd be ready.

This is what I found when I moved into the house after my grandmother decided that she'd had enough of her deficient grandkids and stupid leaders and went to hang out with Jesus instead; a house full of Jell-O and lipstick and sprinkles. If you want to find out what I did about it, you're going to have to get back into your time machine and fast forward to yesterday. Because it took me two years to finally get around to tossing this stuff out.

To be fair to myself, it wasn't just laziness. Part of it was an ingrained reluctance to throw out anything that might conceivably be useful to someone someday, maybe, possibly, on the offchance. "You kiddin'? This Jell-O still works! I ain't gonna just throw it away!"

Evidently, two years is my limit. If you didn't come to me with your five-pounds-of-ancient-Jell-O needs during that time--whoop! You had your chance. It's gone now.

It was kind of fun, this little cleaning spree I went on. It was equal parts archaeology, accidental cat punting and garbage disposal use. I would open a cabinet whose contents I'd been frowning at for two years, marvel at the 1980s-era packaging, accidentally kick a cat that had wandered over for a marvel of its own, and then dump the contents down the garbage disposal. If I haven't mentioned it before (I have) I love garbage disposals. They're the funnest holes in your house.

All was going smoothly down the drain (even the entire drum of Quaker Oats) until I got to the box of instant mashed potatoes. It was unique in being the only thing in the house (besides me) that was an affront to both God and nature. Potatoes don't come in a box. They come in a bag. A bag that you leave in a dark cupboard until the potatoes get all rooty and sprouty and creepy and then you stuff them, one by one, down the garbage disposal being very careful to not touch them with your skin.

Never in a box.

So after I wrestled the box of abominations out of Satan's grasp, I dumped the contents into the sink where they formed a deceptively innocent-looking heap. Like a child's sandbox filled with asbestos, they were trouble in jaunty clothing. I turned on the water and the disposal and began shoveling the demon flakes into the grindhole.

They waited until the last of their number disappeared down the drain before springing their trap. I heard them laugh, then the drain went "blorp," and stopped being a drain. Water started to pool in the sink, and the disposal's merry whir became a desperate growl. When the whole counter started to shudder, I powered the disposal down.

"Fuck," I said. Don't worry, I was by myself. I was also in my my boxer shorts. Which was awesome.

Repeated utterances of the fuckword did little to remove the diabolical potato flakes from the plumbing, so I fetched a plunger. I hate plungers. They linger in your bathroom, next to the toilet, signaling to guests that you are prone to problems in that area. Nothing says "um, why don't we have the party at YOUR house, Cloggy Flushmaster?" like a prominently visible plunger.

And you can't put them in your closet, because they might touch your towels. Ugh.

I brought the plunger to bear. All this did was amuse the potatoes and splash water all over the counter and floor. "It's like a water park up in this piece!" I could hear them yelling from way down in the pipes. "Like a wave pool!"

I needed more leverage and another plunger. You see, this is one of those double sinks with two drains that meet up downstream. You can plunge one drain all you want, and it's just going to make fart noises come out of the other one. That kind of thing is only amusing for about twenty minutes.

I took off my soggy, potato-scented shirt, and climbed, with a plunger in each hand, atop the counter. The light from an overhead reflector flood glistened on my chest, and I might have appeared for a moment like the god Zeus, astride mount Olympus. If Zeus was a pale, angry man waving two of the most retarded lightning bolts ever.

I prepared to cast down the lightning. Perched on the edge of the sink, bent at the knees and using my entire body as leverage, I basically plunge-humped my plumbing until absolutely nothing changed. The sludgy mess in the sink made the plungers slide all over the place and I could hear the potatoes laughing derisively the whole time.

Then I noticed that the window above the sink was open, and that anyone who happened by would see a sweaty man in his underwear standing on his counter and performing the world's plungiest and angriest rain dance.

I immediately abandoned this approach, and decided to escalate the fight with chemical warfare.

...to be continued!


  1. Hellooooooooo! Kiddie pool... Jelloooo... Are you KIDDING me you got rid of that stockpile?! That was the fixings for one FUN party!!!

    Paul, what good is it to shun pants if you don't know about the 'food is fun' rule?

    But lack of comprehension on the Jello-front... I STILL loved this little tale... Particularly the part where the disposal said, 'blorp' *snort*

  2. I laughed, and I laughed, and I was a little concerned, but then I laughed some more, and then I wondered if you might need some sort of plunger disguise device, possibly shaped like a freaky animal like the armadillo, and then I laughed again.

    I think I may have missed you!

  3. I'm glad to hear that you both enjoyed this! It was FAR more fun to write about it after the fact than it was to experience it. Also, I may have taken a few liberties.

    The "blorp" and sink-climbing pantslessness were not among them.

    Also, I plan on banishing the unhelpful plungers to the basement. Both of them. May the spiders crap on them both.

    Thanks for sticking with me through the months and months of no new content! I would hug you if I weren't so far away or made of awkward.

  4. It is what my Google Reader is for, isn't it? Telling me when good stuff reappears after months of nothingness (kind of like the reverse of your potato adventure).

  5. Pain is always more fun when they give you the medication afterward... that is one of the rules. I have several home projects I could STILL never be this amusing on.

    and yes... you are in my sidebar. Some people who don't blog for a long time get removed, but you have declared a war on pants. You are my people.

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