Monday, March 8, 2010

Tales of a Drain Delver

Saturday was beautiful. The sun was out, the temperature was mild, and I felt free. Free from work, free from worry, and anxious for spring.

After taking a walk in Prospect Park, I begrudgingly returned to my messy apartment and realized, "I have no time to dilly-dally." My kitchen is covered in a graveyard of plastic Vitamin Water bottles, there's a sink full of encrusted oatmeal bowls, and my tub is covered in a layer of grime from the stagnant water refusing to go down the drain.

So much for a relaxing day off.

I left the kitchen for Ryan. I will handle any bodily liquid, excrement or foul animal substance. I do not fear blood. In fact, since I'm the only one in my family that can stomach such things. (We soon learned in my family that having dad change diapers and cleaning up puke usually resulted in more puke.) However, when it comes to handling soggy, smelly food, count me the fuck out.

I could never have been a waitress. Just the sight of other people's leftovers makes me gag. Anyone who chews with their mouth open, or uses their fingers to eat, deserves to have their face slammed down into their plate. Cleaning out the sink drain of its putrefied remains is equally appalling; which is why I opted for the tub drain instead.

Let me explain to you that this was an hour long ordeal. This was not pour some chemicals and watch your trouble drain away. This was a tie your hair up, get the bleach, get on your hands and knees, and perform surgery on this mofo.

First I scrubbed the grime off the bottom of the tub. Don't do this before you clean the drain. You will be pissed when you realize that this was all for naught. I found out the hard way.

I stuck on the rubber gloves, reached into the drain, and started pulling out what appeared to be a hairy mass of globular....something. It was not pretty. Think creepy girl from the The Ring.

Or this:
I thought for a moment of all the different substances that possibly made up this blob-like creature that was hanging from my clenched rubber hands. Head & shoulders? Feet grime? Snot rockets? Better not to question.

I managed to get most of it out and ran the water, expecting the waters to clear. But no! A grimy film still clang to the surface of the puddle, as I, dejected, slumped over the side of the tub.

That's when I got the hanger. Twisted it into two prongs for prying. Then dove in. I scraped and reached for whatever gobbilty-gook that remained. It was pitch dark; I couldn't see. All I got were glimpses of a slimy grey mass peaking through a watery abyss. It was like I was performing a fucking abortion on my tub drain for chrisssakes.

By the end of the evening, I had gotten nowhere with this drain debacle, and it was once again covered in a battleground of hair and grime. I left for dinner with hands smelling like mildewed rubber. You win this time, tub. But I'll be back. With the acidic vengeance of a bottle of Drano.

That night, Ryan and I had dinner at Zen Sushi on St. Mark's with co-workers Ben and Wen. (Sounds like an early reader verse....."Ben and Wen went out to Zen for some ra-men"....) We've gone to this place a couple of times before; they're always crowded, but they have half-priced sushi and some decent chicken dishes.

Afterward, upon reading the check, he realizes they've charged him full price. We explain this to the Asian waiter, who sort of rudely accuses Ben of sharing with Wen. This is a stupid assumption, since Wen had already eaten dinner at a table close-by nearly 4o minutes before; she hadn't touched his food. Yet the waiter still INSISTS she's shared, as her chopstick is lying in his soy sauce. (Blasphemy!)

You can't just slap on a sharing price without a warning. And even if we were lying (which we were not), the customer is always right.

He finally agreed to take down the price. But when he came back with the receipt, there was an extra service charge already added!

Ben proceeded to scribble the words "Bad Service" on the receipt, as well as an angry face for emphasis. This is more or less what he drew:
Ryan and I stared at it for a bit, then a look of muted horror passed between us both. Somehow even a rude waiter didn't deserve to be the victim of even an unintentional racial slur.

He crossed it out quickly. And drew a proper unhappy face; no stereotypes this time. I may be unkosher, but I have my boundaries. Except when it comes to comparing abortions to cleaning drains.

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