Plumbing with Murphy – The Reckoning

It’s been said that I’m a bit hard headed. Reluctant to switch horses while up a creek in search of a paddle. Not one to bow my head in defeat until I have used up 2 alphabets worth of plans. However, there arrives a time, when you know you’ve stepped in it (in the shower) and it’s time for professional help.

toto-drakeIf you recall, I swapped out a weak sister toilet for something with a bit more oomph. We got a Toto Drake commercial job that they claim you will never need a plunger. Uh huh. Got that baby installed and I was expecting my ears to pop when I hit the go away lever. You’ve heard the term, lower your expectations and, well, after some tuning of the chain to release the 4 horses of flushing apocalypse, it did flush with a bit more gusto than mere mortal toilets, but nothing that grabbed the attention of our neighbors. Now, some of you might be thinking that this is a good thing. To each your own, I guess.

And all was well in the land. The toilet sent everything away to potty land and the shower drained into the hole conveniently placed in the floor, and the upstairs bathroom did its regular old stuff with great regularity. 2 weeks go by and I’m thinking we’ve seen the last of our good buddy Mr Murphy where porcelain appliances and PVC piping were concerned.

Comes a day… comes a day when you’re in the shower and you notice, to your ever enlarging horror, that Mr Commercial Toilet appears to have made a deposit in the wrong lane, as it were. Now, gravity is pretty well entrenched in my mind as not just a good idea, it’s the law. However, and I don’t have a strong memory of this, I appear to have levitated out of the shower and into the next room, without even realizing it. When I recovered my wits, I went back to confirm that all was not well in shower land. There were things that one should never see floating in the bottom of the shower. Murphy, you despicable turd!

We let things sit for a bit and brainstormed on what was what. The Mrs had a pinched look to her face and if things continued, I am sure it would be a permanent look to her lovely visage. This was serious. After awhile, it looked like things drained out, so practical man that I am, I flushed the toilet and watched, in living color, my shower turn into a monster. Did I mention, we had demoed the upstairsfloor-in bathroom, cause everything was peaches and cream in downstairs land? No? Well we had and were down to one shower and one toilet, all downstairs, and we were not on speaking terms at the moment. Also, it was Sunday. Not one to call a plumber to bail me out for double time, we made do until the week day rates came around. By this time, we found that if you were able to take a 30 second shower, ugly things didn’t accost your feet. Clearly, we needed to get to the root of the problem. Osage Orange roots, Trumpet Vine roots, Lilac roots and a cast of others too low down and worthless to mention.

The Mrs, still pinched faced, calls the plumber and he was able to come out around 2pm. He asked what the problem was, while Sweet Pea was yelling that there is a new guy in the yard. I told him my fancy new toilet has trained itself to flush into the shower. He was quick on the uptake and asked if the Mrs had a pinched face. Oh yah, I said, vigorously nodding my head. He said you got to be careful plumber-snakewith that, sometimes it’ll go permanent. Yep, knew that.  He grabs his root rooter thing and heads up to the house. I hadn’t finished plumbing in the new upstairs bath yet and I told him to cut the pvc and use that as an access point. He inserts the business end of his machine and it’s all smooth going for about 10 feet and then I heard the machine groan, drop down into 4 wheel drive and chew through something. He pulled about 30 feet of his snake out and with a nice dressing of roots. The next couple of runs, I was sure that he was pulling whole trees out of the yard. It was like wrestling an angry anaconda. But, he was an old hand at this and 10 or 12 runs later we had a clear line. Wow. We ended up with a kitchen garbage bag full of roots. He packed up his stuff and told us if it is still giving us a problem he’d come back and try something different. Clearly, he had Murphy’s number. Mean while, Sweet Pea had cozied up to him and was trying to sneak into his truck.

We flushed the toilet a couple of times and darn if my ears almost popped. The Mrs immediately took a shower and wouldn’t you know, she steps into the kitchen with just a towel and a smile. No pinched nothing, unless it’s me pinching her, as she walks by.

All is well in the land.