Monday, August 13, 2007

An Evening in the Toilet

Saturday night was crazy; here's what happened.

11:38 pm
- The wife and I get home from playing at a long festival at the Apostle Credo. It's common courtesy to stay for every band so we were there until the very end. The first thing we noticed as we walked into our apartment was that the toilet was stopped. Great. Having no idea what to do next, I try to flush.

11:43 pm - Flushing didn't help. Now it's overflowing (there's a problem in the pipes, so much more than an tankful of water flows into and over the bowl) and I'm going to need a canoe to get out pretty soon. I instinctively reach for the water valve to turn it off, but it doesn't matter, it keeps draining for quite a while before stopping.

11:46 pm - I put a plastic garbage bag over my arm to reach into the toilet to remove the obstruction (I don't have a plunger, they're hard to keep in apartments) but I find nothing. Nothing! I realize at this point that I lack some fundamental understanding of the toilet. Why can't I feel around for the thing that causing the clog? I don't get it.

11:58 pm - I place a call to the apartment complex emergency number and they say they will bring someone out. The wife and I begin to wait...

12:22 am - Christine reminds me that there are public restrooms by the pool. I dash over there to relieve myself (long time coming) and return. And wait.

12:45 am - There is nothing to do but sit by the phone. We pass the time by watching Puma Man (pictured above.)

1:11 am - The maintenance man calls to say he is on the way. He arrives very quickly and shows us a neat trick. He fills a small tub with very hot water and pours it into the now empty commode, twice. He says the hot water acts on the cold water and cold plumbing to break up the clog. It was actually a cool use of physics. He used a plunger, too, but the hot water was the real trick, he said.

Now, watch a clip from Puma Man. (This is actually an MST3K film, which means that three guys watch the movie and make fun of it, providing the real entertainment. The film itself is pretty lame.)

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