Thursday, February 4, 2010

Too good to keep quiet...

February 4, 2010

In life, one occasionally encounters things that are just too good to keep to themselves. This is one of those. Anybody who owns or rents a toilet will be familiar with the daunting nature of clearing a clogged bowl. With the traditional big red suction-cup on the end of a wooden dowel handle—or the evolution of this that has a reverse cone on the opening—the most likely result is that you are going to take a hit from some jet of sewage as it back-splashes. You need to pump vigorously in order to clear the ‘log-jam’, but a good sharp shove is going to inevitably send a jet of brown water directly into your face. I would have to sit down and think for a while to come up with anything grosser than this experience. And, yet, it was just an inevitable part of an inevitable event: a clogged toilet.

UNTIL NOW…..dear friends.

In an effort to un-clog a really stubborn log-jam, I headed to the local hardware store one fine afternoon. I supposed I would need a wire ‘snake’ of some kind, and I was mildly hopeful that there was something better on the market than ol’ Shit-in-your face plungers. What I found is the very cheaply molded polyethylene bellows device pictured above. On the top of the bellows it says: “Master Plunger”, and the manufacturer is listed as G-T Water Products, Moorpark CA. The handle is crudely threaded onto the bellows and the price was 8 bucks and change. I was skeptical, but for that much money and an undying dread of getting hit in the face with sewage once again, I was willing to gamble. I jokingly asked if I could bring it back if it didn’t work. The clerk, a middle-aged woman, just glanced at me with a look that said, “Once you put it in your g-d toilet, you own it, pal.” Still, I was willing to give it a whirl….or to, uh, take the plunge. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

So, I even sped past Dunkin’ Donuts to get this odd-looking contraption home. There, waiting sullenly, was the nearly overflowing bowl of disgust. I gingerly pushed the funnel of the bellows through the muck and plugged the bottom of the bowl. I knew I had to collapse it and fill the bellows in order to have any ‘authority’ in what I was about to attempt. So, I slowly pushed it down, and its own elasticity pushed it back up…full of dreck. I closed my eyes and gave it a good stroke, wincing as I did. Nothing wet hit me. I opened my eyes and gave it another, firmer, push. And, I could feel the focused jet of nastiness going down the hole….where it should go. Once more, and suddenly the contents of the bowl started to swirl down the hole. I was so pleased that I believe I did a little happy dance right there.

The bellows has the ability to withdraw and store fluid—ain’t gonna call that stuff ‘water’, un-uh—until the operator applies force and then the stored fluid is focused and delivered with power, right where it needs to go…down the hatch….and without any back-splash at all. How absolutely, fantastically, freakin’ MARVELOUS is that?

What I love is that somebody took the time to identify a genuine and egregious problem. I mean, how long have we had flush-toilets, right? And, FINALLY, some clever soul realized that un-clogging a bowl full of sewage needed to be done without the person doing it receiving a face-full of same. And, not only did this blessed soul know this, they applied creative, outside-the-box thinking and came up with a perfect solution. Then they conceived a means of manufacturing it that is cost efficient and eminently affordable.

YAY, HURRAH……Eeeeeeeeeehaaaa.


Teresa Evangeline said...

I love stories that include a "happy dance." :) I just bought a plunger yesterday. No kiddin'. But I did not see this modern marvel as an option. Thanks for an ever-so-valuable piece of information. And thanks for making me laugh.
A lot.

Lorena said...

I was hoping that the plunger story somehow would tie into the political one!