There comes a time in every person's life when you go to flush the toilet and amidst the rhythmic swish and swirl of water and debris you hear it: glug, glug. It seems a harmless enough sound, but it stops me dead in my tracks. I wince and turn slowly dreading what I might find . . . and after a mere second of casual observation my deepest fears are confirmed: my toilet is clogged and upon depressing the lever I have unwittingly executed the "backwards flush."
Years of training and experience from living in shoddy apartment dwellings and a deep regard for Mexican food have prepared me for this moment. I spring into action leaping toward the wall, reaching behind the toilet, awkwardly placing my face close to the rapidly filling toilet and I manage to suck it up and cut off the water. Whew. That was a close one.
So, first things first: I try the plunger. After a few hefty plunges the water appears to have gone down a bit: gurgle, gurgle. Whipping my head to the right looking in the direction of the sound I spy dirty water gurgling up the bathtub drain. Not only is this gross, but it, apparently, is also not a good sign. So, having exhausted my vast surplus of plumbing knowledge, I do what every girl does in this situation: I call my father. That's right: I'm breakin out the big guns.
He instructs me via speaker phone to open some pipe in my backyard where raw sewage is puddling. Let me just say the next few lines are not for the faint of heart. So, here I am hunched over, sweating and elbow deep in sewage trying some of my father's cooked up schemes to knock loose a clog when I finally ask, "Daddy, I don't think this is working. I hate to ask, but how much do you think it would cost to get a plumber out here?" He nonchalantly replies, "Oooo, I dunno, maybe a hundred bucks" Excuse me, but what did you just say? One hundred dollars? U.S. dollars? Ok, I am digging about in SEWAGE here!
At this point I would give my first born child to fix this and it's only gonna cost me $100?!?!? "Gotta go, Dad. Luv ya." Click. At this point dusk has arrived and after running over to the neighbors and taking a shower in Clorox I get in touch w/ the plumber. He's sending someone over, but since it's after normal business hours there will be an extra charge and it might be a couple of hours before he can make it. Nooooo problem.
The plumber comes to the door and I direct him out back, jabbering the whole time in explanation. He views the puddle from a couple of different angles, grunts and walks back to his truck. Ok, so he's not a social butterfly: who cares? He gets his gear and starts to work, I'm still jabbering. He looks up and as if noticing me for the first time he points to his ear. What? He scrawls something on a little pad of paper: DEAF. Ooooo, ok. So, I head back inside to await the verdict.
After about an hour with his little (admittedly somewhat loud) machine, he signals for met to flush the toilets. Success! After packing up he meets me at the front door with the invoice. By this point it's probably about 1am, and he is extremely agitated. He's scrawling rapidly on his little notepad and I'm trying to figure it out. Something about a neighbor . . . a neighbor came out . . . a neighbor came out and yelled at him? More scrawls. A neighbor came out and yelled at him to stop making so much racket??? Ooo, ok, so one of my neighbors came out and told him to stop making so much noise and with the obvious 'language barrier' they didn't realize he was a plumber or that he was deaf and now . . . now they are calling the cops. Awesome. Seriously, I can't make this stuff up.