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.