Tonight I had the privilege of cleaning out a shower drain with both of my daughters. It was a marvelous time of bonding.
The girls had been complaining that their shower was draining extra slowly for the last few weeks so, finally tonight, we decided to take action. My first step was one of avoidance of the grossness; I put baking soda and vinegar down the drain and hoped for a cleansing explosion of the clog. Bubbles formed, but it was kind of like one of those volcanoes that percolates for years but never actually does anything. And the water didn’t go down. Then Shay had the bright idea of sticking a stretched out metal hanger down the part of the drain we could reach—you see, it was one of those plunger type drains and we didn’t think we were able to remove it—and she was unsuccessful at bringing up anything of value. But, while Shay was digging, I ran and typed “how to unclog tub drains” into Google, and wala!, a you-tube video popped right up and told me how to become an instant plumber (minus the crack). So, feeling very proficient, I went to the garage and procured the correct tools and successfully loosened the top of the drain—thus allowing us all to peer down into the abyss. Notice that I haven’t mentioned my other daughter yet; that’s because while Shay and I were busy beavers, being home-improvers, Tess was sitting on the (closed!) toilet gagging and saying things like, “You’re doing fine” in the stupid Barbie voice from an old Barbie Riding Club computer game she used to play. Oh, and she was also holding a plastic grocery bag—far away from herself—so that she could catch whatever we found down there. She felt like she was really extending herself in this role, even though Shay and I were both already covered in sludge (Tess also gags on things like bananas, and upon hearing any type of disgusting story that involves people eating insects or sheep eyes or things like that). When the drain was unfettered by the closer, Shay first reached her rubber-gloved hand down there to try to remove the unknown (she was going to use her bare hand because her jerry-rigged hanger contraption wasn’t working, but I stopped her), but then found it was deeper than she could reach, so, after I passed a screwdriver over Tess’ head—she didn’t even know this because her eyes were closed—Shay pulled an Absalom-worthy chunk of hair from the drain. It was not pretty. But Tess held her breath and held the Fareway bag out so Shay could drop it in. Then Tess promptly ran off and disposed of it elsewhere. She was proud of her involvement in this successful venture. When the older daughter returned, we again, tried the vinegar and soda experiment and got more impressive results. But the best part of all…the water drained out the tub and the grossness was far, far away!
Shay and I are now feeling pretty confident, like we saved ourselves tons of money because we neither purchased Drano nor called the plumber. And we went beyond our disgustedness to better the world around us. Tess is also feeling very good about herself because she didn’t throw up—not even a little bit--and she thinks she’s super funny when she talks like Barbie.
I think Mattel needs to create something called “Barbie Home Improvement Club” to inspire the next generation of girls to clean their drains themselves—and not just be stuck holding the bag.
Just think of the possibilities!
And by way, even though our fame will spread far and wide because of my massive blog readership, Shay and I are not up for hire, but Tess, aka Barbie, might be able to encourage you over the phone as you tackle your own creature from the black lagoon.