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Sunday, May 14, 2006  

Plumbing a Mystery

The last time we had a plumber out to fix out bathtub drain, we knew it wouldn't be the last time. The plumber even said so. "Now you can start clogging it up again," had been his parting bon mot. I bade him farewell, secure in the knowledge that when he came back, M. Small would be M. Edium, the plumber might be replaced by his own son, and we might not even be living here any more.

That was four months ago.

I knew something was up the other day. What was up? M. Small's bathwater. It was up because it wasn't going down the drain after we were finished with his bath. Trash had been the last person to take a shower, and the last one I'd taken had gone down the drain just fine. So, having watched a lot of cop shows in my time, I decided to try and extract a confession.

"Did you try to eat your breakfast in the shower the other morning and end up dropping most of it down the drain?" I asked smoothly. Trash, naturally, denied it. "You sure?" I pressed. "Not even a big, flaky Danish that would have expanded when it got damp?" Trash reminded me that the only way she would have had a Danish is if I'd gone out and gotten her one, which I hadn't. Undaunted, I refused to let it drop. "I could understand," I good-copped. "It's busy and hectic in the mornings, you want to shave off a couple of minutes. So you think, hey, I'll multitask. Eat my Danish in the shower." Trash insisted that she would have remembered doing any such thing, which she didn't. I pretended to let her off the hook for now, but I was merely trying a different tack. "Okay," I said, knowing the next thing I said would fold her like a deck chair. "Looks like I'll have to call the plumber again."

Trash thought that was a great idea. "I'm willing to pay $85 every four months if I have to," she said. Clearly I was dealing with a very cool customer. Even the threat of the evidence against her being discovered didn't worry her.

But I called her bluff. And the plumber. M. Small happened to be home from day care with the sniffles that day, so Mom was at the house to let the plumber in. Which she did. When Trash and I got home from work that evening, the plumber was gone and the bathtub drain worked great.

"Did my mom say what the plumber found?" I asked Trash that night, all casual-like. Trash said Mom hadn't asked. Clearly, she'd gotten to her.

"That's cool," I assured Trash. "I have the plumber's personal cell phone number. I'll call him tomorrow." And then I went to sleep, secure in the knowledge that Trash would be up all night stewing in the inevitability of her busted-ocity.

As good as my word, I called the plumber from work the next day to ask him what he found. "Walnut Danish? Raspberry Bismarck? What are we looking at here?"

"Nah," the plumber said. "It was one of those baby washcloths. And some hair."


Of course we have a little plastic strainer for our bathtub drain, but I take it out for M. Small's baths. Otherwise he spends the whole time trying to take it out and play with it, and would probably try to put it in his mouth. Makes it hard to get him clean when he's fixated on the little item. And, as I learned, it makes it easy for one of his tiny little squishy washcloths to escape when I drain the water.

That's what sucks about this. I can't even blame the kid, because I know he didn't do it. I never take my eyes off him for a second when he's in the tub, and I'm able to foil his 15-20 attempts per bath to stuff his washcloth down the drain. No, this is because after he was in bed, I went back in and drained the water and didn't make sure I wasn't also draining laundry. Laundry which would certainly clog our drain and cause me to make scurrilous and unfounded accusations against my lovely wife.

Naturally, I did tell Trash what the plumber found, and apologized for trying to pin it on her. To make it right, I should really sneak out and buy her breakfast some morning this week. I'll give it to her after she gets out of the shower.

posted by M. Giant 9:10 PM 3 comments


Awwww, sweet! Your story reminds me of two bathroom things: One, that episode of Seinfeld in which Kramer decides to live in his shower and Jerry was horrified that he was eating in there.
Two, a well known story from my schoolyears in which one of my friends who had just finished having a bath, called out to her mum to tell her that the water wouldn't drain. When her mum came in, she found my friend sitting in the bathtub with her foot jammed in the drain pipe, having somehow popped the grates. They had to call out the firetrucks. My friend stood by her claim that "I didn't do it".

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 14, 2006 at 10:53 PM  

A more expensive Baby + Water related mishap: My sister and BIL had to call in a repairman for their washing machine when it stopped draining and starting spewing sudsy water all over their basement floor instead. The culprit? My nephew's socks. (At least we found out that THAT is where they go!)

By Blogger Heather, at May 15, 2006 at 6:47 AM  

Do you read Dooce, by any chance? You should be thankful -- they found an enitre beach towel in the sewer lines.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 15, 2006 at 7:01 AM  

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