Friday, July 30, 2010

'Helping' Around The House, Part Two

Since I told on J last time, it's only fair I turn the tables this time. I know it might be hard to believe, but I'm not perfect. Yikes! And it just so happens that my relationship with J runs something like this: I break it, he fixes it. Yin and Yang, right here. Case in point, the garbage disposal.

Back before they all went belly up and headed for the Great Tank in the Sky, WyoBaby owned a few fish. You may recall they were fish of the filthy variety, which meant their tank needed to be cleaned every 4 to 6 hours. (That didn't happen.) Truly, the task was too great for WyoBaby to undertake by herself; enter WyoMomma. Together, we would net and transfer all the fish, take the decorations, plants, filter and bubble bar out of the murky depths, and I would siphon all the yucky water out of the tank. Once that was done, we'd rinse all the decorations, which sometimes had errant pieces of gravel stuck to them. And sometimes, when I rinsed them in the sink, those little stinkers would run down the drain, landing in the garbage disposal. And sometimes, I would 'forget' to retrieve the little boulders.

Here's my thought process when there's something jammed in the disposal, "I am NOT sticking my right hand down there, because if there's some freak accident, I refuse to sacrifice my writing/typing hand!" So the left hand takes one for the team. Usually, I can retrieve the lodged object without loss of limb. But sometimes, when the object is fish tank gravel, it's too tricky to retrieve, so I just send lots of water down the drain, hoping it'll dislodge the gravel. That doesn't always work.

A word about J and the disposal. When he finished installing it, he handed me a sizable Allen wrench and said, "Here. Put this somewhere near the sink. You'll need it to access the bottom of the disposal, if something should happen to get jammed in there. Once you remove the cover, you can manually turn the blades with this little beauty, and fix the problem." And this is what I heard and registered in my brain, "Here. Put this somewhere near the sink. Blah blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, blah blah." You wanna know why? Because I have someone to fix these sorts of problems. His name is J. I feed and clothe him so I don't have to remember the 'blah blah blah' stuff.

So, the last time I cleaned the tank, some gravel ended up in the disposal. I knew that, but basically chose to ignore it. Told ya I'm not perfect. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal. Days later, it was. I sent some egg shells, lemon pieces, and last night's plate scrapings down the drain, and flipped the switch. The disposal made some weird motor sound, like it was trying to work, but just couldn't get there. Here's how I fixed it: I flipped the switch up and down in rapid succession, like a mad woman. My theory was one of two things would happen, either the disposal would magically start working again, or it would burst into flames. And, if it burst into flames, the fact that it wasn't 'disposing' would be the least of my concerns. Either way, problem solved! My genius surprises even me, sometimes. What I did not expect is that it would simply stop doing anything. No noise, no grinding, no flames (imagine my disappointment). At this point, I became rather concerned. But, I figured I'd just thrown the breaker, so I went to investigate. Are you impressed that I knew where the circuit box is? You should be. I am familiar with circuit breakers, thanks to the World's Largest Microwave, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, I shortly realized that it wasn't the circuit breaker, and I was entering foreign territory. So I walked away from that disposal. Outta sight, outta mind.

When J got home that night, I announced, "The disposal isn't working."

"What do you mean 'the disposal isn't working'?"

Funny, I understood what I said...

"I mean, I flipped the switch, and nothing happened." Not a total untruth; no flames came shooting out the bottom, right?

"So, when you flipped the switch, did it do anything? Like make a sound?"

"Nope." You and I know better, but why trouble him with those details???

"Hunh. Guess I'll take a look. Maybe it just gave up the ghost."

"It's practically brand new!! Did you buy a cheap one?!"

"Well, it's not commercial grade, if that's what you're asking."

"So you bought a cheap one. Great. Now we're going to have to buy a new one. A less-than-cheap one."

"We'll see. Let me take a look at it first."

"Fine." At which point, we headed to the kitchen. He flipped the switch, and whaddya know? Nothing happened. Just like I said. So, he rounded up his tools, emptied the cabinet of all my cleaning supplies, and set to work dismantling the little stinker. He rooted around for awhile then asked, "Where's that Allen wrench?" Suddenly, it all came back to me. ('Oh yeah, the Allen wrench! Guess I coulda tried that before I told him about the problem. Oh well.') "Ummm, it's right here. Right where you told me to keep it."

He started turning the blades and asked, "Is there some sort of dirt or gravel in there?"

"Oh, that. Yeah, there might be. I might've accidentally rinsed some fish tank gravel down there..."

"Well, that's probably what did it!"

"Okay, it's my fault, I'll admit it! It is fish tank gravel!! And if you fix my disposal, it'll never happen again!!!" And just like that, my disposal was fixed. Which is a very good thing, because I don't function well without a disposal. I send everything through that baby (obviously), because it's just so EASY. The other very good thing was the death of the swimmers shortly thereafter, which guaranteed I'd never 'accidentally' send fish tank gravel down the disposal again.

Next time: 'Helping with Laundry'

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