It’s the time of the year for family gatherings and as usual when our clan gathers, there’s been a toilet crisis. My sister, Linda, her husband, Steve, their daughters, Tori and Gina, plus Gina’s fiance, Tony, are here at Dad’s house. The bunch arrived at noon and within the hour Dad’s toilet was plugged up. This is not uncommon in our family; the last time Steve and Linda visited me in the Outer Banks, MY toilets stopped working. I never had a problem with my plumbing until Steve arrived. But apparently, this is something that has happened before because he was able to fix the problem in no time. A week later, as they were departing, Steve handed me a large gift-wrapped package: a plunger. Hmmmm.
No one is taking responsibility for Dad’s plumbing woes today but there is a lot of finger-pointing going on.
“It wasn’t me,” said Linda, “I purposely used VERY little paper, probably 4 squares.”
“Not me”, added Steve. “I only went number one.”
“Well, who else was in there?” I asked.
“Gina was in there right after me,” said Steve.
…frantic search for Gina…finally found her in the upstairs bedroom…confrontation about her recent bathroom use…
“Did you use the downstairs bathroom?” Steve asked.
“Yeah, what’s the problem?”
“Well, Grandpa’s toilet is plugged up again. You didn’t put anything in it you shouldn’t have, did you?”
“Of course not, I know better than that. Grandpa’s toilet is always getting plugged up.”
Seems this is not the first time this week that Steve has been dealing with stopped up plumbing. A couple of days ago Tori flushed a feminine product down the toilet at home. When she realized that the toilet was plugged she told no one, figuring if she just waited a while it would dissolve and go down of it’s own accord. Several hours later, when Steve tried to use the toilet he discovered the problem and ended up having to remove the stool completely.
Since he’s an old hand at this, Steve got the plunger and began banging away at Dad’s toilet but the plunger was so old it couldn’t get a good suction going. Steve and Dad decided to try the power rodder but that didn’t work either, so now Dad is knocking on neighbors’ doors on Christmas Eve, looking for help. I can just hear it:
“Hi there, Joe and Sally – Merry Christmas – uh, you wouldn’t happen to have a plunger I can borrow, would you?”
I’m glad to report that the problem is finally fixed. Steve explained what caused the problem, “Somebody pinched off a big loaf, it got caught in the P-trap of the toilet and that horseshit plunger Grandpa had wouldn’t push it through.”
Linda and Steve are getting ready to leave now, because it’s a couple of hours past our big Christmas Eve dinner and as Steve just said to Linda, “I’m gonna have to go to the bathroom soon and I’m certainly not gonna pinch off a big one in this toilet.”