I thought we've have a bit of fun today, amidst all this serious pondering.
Four years back, when we had first moved from Washington, DC to Oregon, it was *quite* the ordeal, on many levels. It's all summed up in this Saga of the Evil Plunger. This is how I learned the value of laughing hysterically, rather than screaming thusly.
You'll understand better, once you've read this. I know I've never been the same.
After my run-in with this evil monstrosity, I knew I had to get it OUT of the house ... and so I offered it to my local Freecycle group (for those who don't know, it's an online give-away group - designed to keep unwanted items out of the landfill). Not terribly surprising, I didn't get any responses. I came across this today, and thought I'd share the laugh ... enjoy! And learn from my experience! (We'll get back to pondering the unfathomables tomorrow, I promise!)
A toilet plunger?!?
Who'd want a used toilet plunger?!?
Ahhhh, but this is no ordinary toilet plunger - no! - this one has a story behind it... curl up and prepare to hear the epic of the ORANGE ACCORDION STYLE TOILET PLUNGER (but, ahem, forego any sort of snack whilst reading... just trust me on that!).
We moved here last August, during that hot, horrible couple of weeks out here that make everyone scream in unison, "my kingdom for an air-conditioner!!!" And, naturally, having just purchased a 1900 Victorian, we had NO air conditioning. And NO ONE told us ('til about October) that Oregonians leave their windows open all night, and then CLOSE them in the morning, and pull the shades, so as to keep in that "Oregon air-conditioning"... we found out, the hard way, how miserable it is on the second story, 'round 'bout bedtime, when one keeps the windows open all day.
That's the setting... and the plot is thickened with the many SNAFU's that accompanied our move from 3,000 miles away: our vehicles took 13 weeks to get here (had a rendesvoux with hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, en route...). I was pregnant (& didn't know it, and later miscarried), resulting in me having vertigo in my non-plumb, non-square, non-level house. We're talking seaSICK! And all (no jokin', ALL) of our appliances broke down, i.e., dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer, oven... well, the oven didn't technically "break", so much as got stuck on the "clean" cycle, and couldn't be opened... and the repair man broke the lever off, and the part was naturally only found in (you guessed it) New Orleans, and so we couldn't use the oven for 6 weeks (can anyone say, "I'm so sick of microwaved dinners I could holler!"?).
We had boxes, upon boxes spilling out of our house, onto the porches, into the yard (as if our house had thrown up), couldn't find ANYTHING, and couldn't unload until the basement was remodeled (which took 8 months, but I was mercifully in the dark about that at the time). We had truck-loads of JUNK to haul off of the property... ugh (& expensive!). My husband was traveling, taking the only rental vehicle (a Ford Focus for 9 people... take a moment to envision that). AND, due to the new-to-our-immune-systems bacteria in the region, we all had to get sick, repeatedly, in an attempt to get our bodies used to this side of the country.
Nowwwww, you're ready for "the rest of the story..."!
So, we were on our third bout with the dreaded stomach virus (what IS it with that stomach virus out here??? We got it 3 times in a month!)... envision 9 people, all with both ends purging, contending with merely 2 toilets, standing in line with all my mixing bowls in hand... saying, "please hurry up in there"! NOT a pretty sight.
So, one morning, I take traveling-husband to the shuttle in Salem, and then head back home (hoping to lie around and feel sorry for myself for the day), only to discover that THAT DAY was the LAST DAY to register my kids for homeschool... and I had to go back to Salem to do so. Sigh... So, I left my puking kids at home with their oldest sister, and went to Salem, hoping that my own stomach would keep calm... returning hours later... to find...
Apparently, my 7 year old had had to relieve himself in the toilet, we're talking about what boys do whilst sitting down on the toilet, and was apparently going through an aversion to touching himself "down there", and believed that using an entire roll of toilet paper, wadded up in a ball, between his hand and his nether-regions, would protect him from whatever was striking terror into his little heart...
... and so, he did just that. My daughter swears it was TWO entire rolls, but I'll err on the conservative side for now...
Now, this is the same kid who "forgets" to flush.
And, close on his tail (ha! so to speak!), were at least 3 puking children, who didn't have the time, nor the inclination, to flush in between each other, creating a mess of great magnitude and unparalleled disgustingness.
That would have been fine and good and contendable, however...
...SOMEONE (who remains nameless as no one would confess, to this day), had the "brilliant" notion to (you guessed it)... FLUSH!
Up, and over, and all over, came the aforementioned mess of great magnitude and unparalleled disgustingness ... across the bathroom floor, and down the open hole that was meant for the (as then yet to be hooked up) radiator pipe. Into the (still unfinished, praise God) basement. My enterprising children took it upon themselves to fetch every stinkin' clean towel and put them on the bathroom floor, as
well as on the basement floor, to make the mess of great magnitude and unparalleled disgustingness "go away" -- at least, they could no longer see it. Three cans of air freshener were then dispensed in an effort to make the air breathable again.
I came home to this... hot, tired, nauseated, racked with vertigo, and was about knocked out by the sight, smell and reality of what I had to face. Sigh... sometimes, no one wants to be the mommy!
I dealt with the towels (bearing in mind, this was between the era of "all appliances have broken" and the great appliance-shopping-fest, so this meant getting things gathered up for a trip to the laundromat), and then pondered how to deal with the toilet (you should be really glad I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo, to post here... this is a story best left to the imagination,
rather than to the harsh realities of digital illustration!).
I called my husband, blessedly unaware of what was going on back home, safely away on a business trip, and asked him with as much calmness I could muster, "Where is a plunger?" He told me he'd seen on in the garage, and I sent an offspring to fetch it. Said offspring came back with something I'd only seen, and eyed with cynicism, in Home Depot... a day-glo orange, plastic, accordion-pleated thingy... masquerading as a toilet plunger. It was my only option.
Now, bear in mind, that I'd previously only been acquainted with the "normal" type of plunger... the wooden-handled, bell-bottomed, suction-cup-thingy type of plunger. I KNEW how to use those babies... I knew that you stuck the thing over the hole (in this case I couldn't exactly SEE the hole, but I knew, by faith, remotely where it was, lurking under the aforementioned mess), and then you pumped with a vengeance, successfully releasing the clog, and causing the mess to go bye-bye. I had done this before -- I knew how it was supposed to work ... with a *normal* plunger.
I did not yet know that this was no normal plunger, but an evil, diabolical, beastly plunger!
So... I did what any other reasonable, rational-minded human being would do, with having no experience with the day-glo orange, plastic accordion-pleated plunger -- I put the thing down there, and pumped with a vengeance!
Now, for those of you who ARE familiar and experienced with these things, you KNOW what happened next, and you can stop laughing now. For those who aren't familiar with them, read this story with solemnity, and REAP FROM MY EXPERIENCE, lest you fall into the same fate! (If I cannot be a good example, at least let me be a horrible warning!)
You see, these things are designed NOT to push water down the drain, so much as to *displace* the water, by use of forced air, from the bottom of the plunger. And, when the toilet bowl is full (of you know what), that force of air causes the water (& mess) to go in one direction only: STRAIGHT UP!
Yeppers, I found myself being geysered, smack-dab in the face, with a whoosh of mess of great magnitude and unparalleled disgustingness...! I was so stunned, that I just stood there, dripping. Gasping. Gagging. I believe I used an entire box of baby
wipes to get cleaned up enough to call my husband back...
I asked him, "have you used these day-glo orange accordion plunger-thingies before??" He answered to the affirmative. I responded (having lost all veneer of calmness), "Then why didn't you TELL me that you can't plunge with a vengeance?!?" He said, "I detect a bit of self-pity in your voice, dear." I came back with, "YOU'RE DARNED TOOTIN', BUDDY, BECAUSE I'M FILLED WITH A BOATLOAD OF SELF-PITY RIGHT NOW!!!"
I've long-since forgiven him, long-since cleaned up the bathroom, and we have a bunch of new appliances (&, in case you ever eat at my house, I've thoroughly sanitized all of my mixing bowls...!).
However, that dang day-glo orange, accordion pleated plunger-thingy is STILL lurking in my bathroom...!
Have I mentioned how much I HATE that plunger...?
Does anyone DARE to adopt that plunger...? (I'll get some offspring to hose it off outdoors, before it leaves).
I recommend you put a BIG ol' hairy warning label right on the sucker, before someone else falls prey to its evil shenanigans!
After getting zero responses (beyond the folks who let me know they were laughing, and gagging), I listed the plunger on eBay, along with this story. A brave (& odd?) man in California actually bought the plunger from me, and asked that I print out & ship the story as well ... which he framed, and put on the wall above the plunger, in a place of honor in his house.
And NOW, you have had fun with an evil plunger ...!