A few months ago, in my neverending quest to bore the crap out of every last reader I had, I mentioned I was having slow-drain problems. All slow-drain problems, in my experience, go back to a single source — hair. Maybe in some specialized environments (Jame Gumb’s basement, a morgue) they have other causes, but in a house with two women, you can pretty much count on what you’re going to find when you go a-plumbing.
Our long-haired reader and correspondent Mindy suggested that I buy myself a gadget called a Zip-It, that it would spare us much grief the next time the drains ran slow. It so happened that this weekend the planets aligned and gave me slow-running drains and an errand to an Ace hardware store, sole distributor of the Zip-It, according to Mindy. I snatched one up for $2.99. It’s a long (18 inches or so) strip of flexible plastic with sharp teeth pointed upward. The directions were simplicity itself: Insert into drain all the way to the hilt and remove. No twisting, fiddling or other technique required.
I got it home, stuck it in the drain and pulled it out. With it came an enormous wad of greasy hair. Halle-freakin’-lujah. I disposed of the repulsive nodule in the toilet and turned on the water to rinse away the rank drippings.
Within seconds, the water backed up. Where before the drain was running slow, now it wasn’t running at all. Further attempts with the Zip-It were fruitless. Apparently my removal of one clog had dislodged another one, out of its reach. I considered several options, including calling Mindy to tell her this amusing story. Instead I told Alan. He fetched a drain snake — which I didn’t know we had — and stuck it down the drain. He reported finding one obstruction at three feet and another at five, and now the drain is clear again.
The moral of the story is:
Mindy is a long-haired LIAR. What works for me may not work for you. Although Alan says we should keep the Zip-It and give it another try. He was intrigued by reports of its apparent initial success, as illusive as it turned out to be. Who knows — maybe a regular poking with the Zip-It will keep the drain snake in its hole the next time.
Tim Rutten at the L.A. Times has a theory about the Reuters photo doctoring I hadn’t considered, but makes sense the more I think about it: Blame the bean-counters. Works for me!
When the New York Times publishes a report from Indiana, of course I’ll pay attention. But this thing made no sense to me at all.
This week’s going to be tops in busy. Partly cloudy, chance of no-shows here and there.