Why I Rule: Reason #465

As I’ve grown older, I’ve also grown more precautious. I no longer leap off cliffs (as I did in Brazil to celebrate my 21st year on the planet), run off to foreign countries to chase rock stars, or drive my car at breakneck speeds around sharp turns (as I once did in my Firebird on the road around the Jones Beach Obelisk, scaring the bejebus out of my pal Dimi, whose nails left permanent marks in Bertha’s upholstery). But there are times I still take the odd risk, whether that be jumping into a shark cage or, as I did this evening, doing my own plumbing.

I’ve always said that I’d never screw with plumbing or electrical work, but tonight I found myself with a clogged drain that spat up nastiness from within my garbage disposal for a good hour. A few oddities floated up out of the works, including several pieces of intact plastic knives (I don’t use plasticware) and a disfigured, slightly hairy mass that at one time may have been a small child. I considered calling in an expert, then remembered that, hell, 11 years ago, I installed my own toilet. I could handle a little drain clog.

And although I rarely trust the Internet for important information, I decided to give it a shot, searching several trusted sites on how to rid my sink of the mass within my kitchen pipes. Then, thinking ahead for just a second, I called my local Home Depot and was soon put in touch with Ricardo the Plumbing Wizard. He assured me that I could handle this simple project on my own and, after scooting over to meet the wizard in person and buying a wrench, I headed home, certain I was up to the task.

If you ever decide to unclog your own trap, do so slowly. I loosened the plastic rings around the pipes a little too quickly, only to watch a fount of foul water bubble up and over the tray I’d laid out to catch leaks. The cause of the clog was soon evident: uncooked brown rice that I’d poured down the disposal after discovering my new Ralphs purchase was infested with six-legged invaders. I tossed the muck, screwed the pipes back together, and voilĂ ! Cleared drain.

Sort of. I began scrubbing the pan I’d used to cook tonight’s homemade Thai spicy mint tofu, only to watch my sink’s water levels rise as if I were in steerage on the Titanic. I surmised that there was more rice in the trap, performed pipe surgery a second time (more slowly than the first), and my drain has been clear the rest of the evening. (Of course, my next post may very well be “Why I Suck: Reason #2,” but I’m being unusually optimistic.)

And Reason #466: I finished an online crossword in 3:55, an all-time best. Rawk on.

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