Plumbing problem? Just go with flow

Published 12:02pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ho knew that a little gurgle we’d been hearing for the past couple of days was the sound of impending doom? Not us, at least not until we woke up to plumbing issues that derailed our Memorial Day plans.

But before you read any further, Gentle Readers, let me warn you: this column contains potty talk and an occasional phrase of downright dirty gutter language. Proceed with caution.

So yes, that’s what greeted us Monday morning. A puddle here, a piddle there, and “stuff” coming out of drains. I got towels and did what I could to help while being careful to say as little as possible. Most wives know that holiday-turned-home-repair days aren’t the best time to make conversation.

No, this was definitely a time to keep unnecessary comments (i.e. I told you something was wrong) to a minimum. So I offered what I could – disposable gloves – and made sure my husband could see the sympathy in my eyes.

“Thanks,” he replied, trying to figure out which finger was for his thumb. Then, fortified with the knowledge he had my undying appreciation, he made his way outside to assess the situation.

Fortunately Son No. 2 (who just happens to be married to the daughter of a master plumber) arrived about that time. Between his recently-acquired knowledge of that business and past experience with plungers and four commode-clogging siblings, he knew exactly what to do. He called his father-in-law.

The diagnosis was made and a do-it-yourself fix was within sight if they could just get their hands on a snake – some sort of twisty, winding magical thingy. This was Memorial Day, however, and a suitable snake might be hard to find. Maybe that’s why my husband felt inclined to put the entire situation in proper perspective before they headed out: “Well, just remember it’s your pipes I’m fixing.”

My pipes? So suddenly they’re my pipes?

But I had clothes to wash and other duties to attend to that require proper pipe flow so I ignored the possessive pronoun misuse and pushed them both out the door. I hardly had time to barricade the bathrooms, though, before they were back from Home Hardware with a $35 snake. Employee Eddie Cagle’s humor – something about the project going down well – came at no extra charge, they said.

Armed with the snake, father and son then walked around like heart surgeons – gloves on, tools in hand – intent on finding the blockage. The operation eventually required they climb to a vent on the roof to take

care of business.

That action resulted in noises much louder and more serious-sounding than the original gurglings, and all of a sudden stuff started going down our drains instead of coming out of them. It was a beautiful sight. (Well, not really). All was right with the world again.

Our son says there’s no way to know what caused the backup. “You know, 13 years with no plumbing issues is pretty good,” he pointed out. This is a guy who’s used a jackhammer to repair slab leaks, so we decided to take his advice and be thankful for the half of a holiday we had left.

After all, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at