Snake Charmer

It’s like my life has been a doody trilogy.  May I present to you, Episode 3:  Call of Doody.

You see, I just unclogged a toilet.

By myself.

Using a snake.

At work.

How fucking Sun Tzu of me.

Perhaps Sun Tzu inchoate?

Of course, I have some melodramatic back story that provides a solid foundation for my equally melodramatic recounting of my personal and porcelain white whale.

You see, I was what you might call milquetoast type child, and aside from my EOG, have largely grown into an equally fussy and prissy adult.  Unclogging a toilet is nowhere near the first chapters of my bucket list.  Hell, check the appendix…it wasn’t even on my bucket list.

I briefly considered calling on a more reliable and most likely to succeed resource.  Not a plumber…a lesbian.

Yet, I do have some experience with minor plumbing projects, Sacha’s dad was a plumber and he taught me a few things while I served out my sentence with his son.  I know I have an action picture of me plumbing somewhere around here, but…I’m apathetic right now.  Maybe I’ll edit it in later.

So, there I was – at work – and someone tells me that the toilet has been out of order since the day before.  I go exploring and find a nice hand written (scrawled) note apologizing to our customers for the inconvenience and think that whomever had written the note has a strong future in kidnapping.  Or ghost writing ransom notes, at the very least.

Girding my loins, I open the door.

The toilet looks like it’s been papier mache-ed, which is a much better visual than what I had prepared myself for.  Gamely, I grab the plunger and give it a good hard look.  I never know if that central protrusion is supposed to be an innie or an outie, but I feel like I should have the ability to trial and error that situation.

Literal shituation.

Realizing that once I trial, I don’t want to be resetting the plunger’s belly button, I take my best guess and go for it.  I’m careful not to plunge too vigorously until I ensure there is a good seal between rubber and porcelain.  The last thing I want to do at the beginning of my shift is create a shit-tsunami that I end up wearing.  Just thinking the thought gives me the sensation that my skin is coated with dried poo-water and I shudder as I plunge more aggressively now that I am confident that all the force is properly directed down the drain.

No effect.

I give it a little flush to see if whatever suction effect toilets possess will help move the blockage.  All I get is high tide.

I go away and come back after the water has had a chance to slowly drain out of the bowl.

It hasn’t.

Still, I try another session of plunging.  The rhythm of my effort reminds me of performing CPR.  I can save this toilet.  “Stay with me, damnit!”


I decide that it’s time to either go buy a snake or call a plumber.  I had asked around about whether we already owned a snake and gotten only vague recollections and referrals.  Having exhausted all of the reasonable locations to store one, I decide to bite the bullet and go buy one.

I’m surprised to learn that the shiniest model is only $25 and victoriously return to the store to give it a go.  I read the instructions and am once again surprised to learn that snakes are manually fed into the toilet and then you just crank away while pushing toward the bowl, which is still full of shredded toilet paper water.  BTW, that last thrusting motion when combined with twirling the crank on the snake is about as awkward as it sounds.  It has the added benefit of being ineffective at anything other than getting your hands and face super close to that gross toilet water.

Nothing appears to be happening.  I guess I was expecting to fall into the toilet bowl as whatever blockage was creating the problem was forcefully snaked out of the way.  That having not been the case, I begin to – manually, of course – feed the snake out of the toilet and into its case.

And just like that, the water in the bowl flows out like the tide before that tsunami I was worried about earlier.  I stand to the side, just in case.


I give the handle a tentative flush.


Having spent five minutes huffing and puffing over the snake with little visible result, I am standing there staring at a toilet that just suddenly seems to work.


I put the snake in the supply locker, shake me head at myself in the mirror as I wash my hands and head out, ripping the sign off the door as I leave.

I don’t know why I’m surprised at this level of success.  I frequently get praise for work that I do that I know was hard and deserves comment.  Just as often, though, I get praise for doing good work that had positive benefits even though it didn’t feel as if I was actually doing anything extraordinary.

I just do.

Actually, in this case it seems more that I just do-do.

I’m hoping this is my last poop post for a great while!

Love and pizza…

Snake Charmer

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