Friday, August 05, 2005

I need an auger.

In my last post, there was brief mention of the "broken toilet" fiasco, which has now evolved into the "broken everything" fiasco, in which our plumbing, dear friend though it once was, has decided to leave us in a twitchy, cross-legged, holding-it-in-because-there's-no-where-for-it-to-go, toilet-won't-drain, washer-machine-drains-into-bathtub, can't-do-dishes-or-wash-hair mess. And I do mean "mess", though at least now we have an excuse for our humble abode to look and smell as it does, so that's something of a relief.

I think we're six (seven?) bottles of various chemical drain cleaners (used, at certain desperate points, in conjunction with one another, despite the silly little obstacle of possible noxious fumes.) and I'm just now consulting the do-it-yourself-because-you-have-no-money-and-thusly-no-friggin'-choice manual, a little thing that I like to call the internet. My virtual plumber tells me that, used incorrectly, chemical drain cleaners can make the problem worse, and should only be used after the use of an auger, or "sewer snake".

If you look up "auger" on google, the most common result is something used to bore holes, a scary spirally tool that looks like it belongs to a dentist from hell, but if you update this to "plumbing auger", there's a much more friendly-seeming instrument that Zack and I saw at Wal*Mart a few nights ago (opted for the chemicals that time, but put it on our mental list of possible future attacks).

I know nothing about auging or snaking, even less about removing these "traps" that my internet plumper tell me that I have, (poor, naive virtual plumper. Has never lived in a '73 trailer.) but I will do my best, and, if that doesn't work, well, the drain cleaner seems to work for about 12 hours at a time. At 10 dollars a bottle for the heavy-duty main line stuff, I could subscribe to indoor plumping for the bargain price of 70-140 dollars a week! Funny how suddenly clean clothes and bowel movements don't seem so important anymore.

This whole experience has illuminated to me an important theme of my life: seems that everything in my world is a makeshift solution for something. My existence is a furious, chaotic ball of duct tape and super glue, a half-dilapidated shack where every picture's covering a hole in the wall, every inspection sticker drastically expired. Everything I do is intended to put off a little longer the chain of relatively simple misfirings that will be my armageddon. Just call me Jimmy. Jimmy Rig.

Maybe if I sell tickets when it all comes falling down, I'll be able to afford to live a week or so longer.

On with it.