The Time My Toilet Almost Died

Monday afternoon, the teenager came home from school and promptly broke the toilet. She has this tendency to poop for 10 minutes, and though I have told her about the merits of the “courtesy flush”, she doesn’t seem to have gotten it quite yet.

She called out from the toilet to tell me it wouldn’t flush, and the plunger wouldn’t work. I tried the plunger. No dice. I knew I only had $17 in my bank account, so I called the Dollar Tree to see if they had any Drano. They said they do, but that it wouldn’t work on a clogged toilet. The man who answered had been a plumber for 20 years. He advised that I would need either an auger snake or a bellows plunger. The plunger was within my budget, so I went to get one, then I took the girls to kung fu for a couple hours.

We came home to see that the toilet water had drained. I flushed, which poured water into it again, then started plunging. And plunging, and plunging. For a minute, I thought it had worked, but no. I looked up easy ways to unclog a toilet on the internet. I kept using the new plunger, which, at least, didn’t flip inside out every time I tried to use it, so there is that. My back, arms and (strangely) legs gave out from exhaustion before I gave up trying and finally went to bed.

Tuesday morning, I again consulted Google, which told me to throw a shit ton of shampoo into the toilet, followed by a bunch of really hot – but not boiling – water into the toilet, wait until it drains, and repeat. I didn’t think it would work, but I figured I may as well give it a shot. At least the toilet is clean, now.

I went to the Dollar Tree for the Drano. I could have called the landlord, really, but I feel like unclogging my toilet is something I ought to be able to do for myself. As I had about $9 in the bank, this was my last hope. I walked to the back, grabbed the Drano, some dish soap (because I needed some), and looked for a wire hanger, because the interwebz said it might work to force the blockage down the pipe. I found this fucker instead.

It looked like it was more for sinks and bathtubs, but, really, what had I to lose at this point? I checked out, and I spotted the man I had spoken to on the phone. I showed him the dohickey, and asked his opinion, and he told me it wouldn’t work. I explained I didn’t have another option, and he told me that if I couldn’t get it fixed, and I needed the toilet pulled, he would come do it for me free of charge. I thanked him profusely, and went home to do my work.

I pulled a chair up to the toilet, which was now almost completely drained, with a few soap bubbles floating on top. I jammed my fingers into the two holes, took a deep breath, and forced that thing ad far into the pipe as I could get it. Probably five or so times. To no avail. Then, some kind of sheer madness intervened.

I grabbed the pink hair tie from the four year old’s braid, took a sock that I was throwing out anyway, and fenangled them onto the end of the thingamajig so it wouldn’t fall off into the toilet. Then, I pushed that sucker down in there, sock and hair tie and all, three times, grabbed the new plunger, plunged twice, and voila! Working toilet.

Then, I used the Drano on the bathtub, because it needed it anyway.

The end.

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