Plumber’s Half-Moon


Everybody always loves to hear a good Mr. Fix-It plumbing story, or perhaps has one to tell of their own. I have one to tell. As the title of my blog post indicates, this is a story of a plumber’s half-moon, although not exactly the same kind of a half-moon that is stereotypically associated with a plumber.

Lying in bed last night, almost asleep, I overheard my daughters talking in the kitchen. I thought one of them said something about the kitchen sink not draining. I get up, get dressed, and go to investigate. Yup, sink’s backed up, better get the plunger.

I plunge and I plunge and I plunge some more. It’s still plugged. I decide it’s time to pour in the hazardous chemicals, but I look in the garage and can’t find any. My wife gets out of bed and brings me a flashlight. I get that CSI crime scene investigation thing going with the flashlight, but I still don’t find any chemicals. I decide I must be out. Time for a Wally World run.

I stock up on plumbing supplies at Wally World because it is already past midnight and I don’t feel like making another trip later tonight. I’m getting stressed. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a fresh supply of dangerous plumbing chemicals on hand; tonight being a prime example of just that. I buy 5 jugs of various chemicals and a 25 foot plumber’s snake. I am ready for battle.

I pick my poison. The destructions [sic] say this stuff works on standing water, pour in ¼ of contents, wait at least 15 minutes, flush with hot water, repeat as necessary. I pour in the entire bottle and wait 20 minutes just to make sure, and then proceed to “flush” the sink full of hot water. Looks like I need to repeat, but the sink is now full of scalding hot water laced with commercial grade flesh-eating acid, with no signs of draining anytime soon. Not good. More stress.

I break open the big guns, the snake, but my kitchen sink has tiny little holes where the drainer sits, too small for the snake to fit through. I’m seriously stressed out now. Really not good, but I will NOT be defeated.

I drag out the ladder from behind the shed, the neighborhood dogs are barking like crazy. I try to be as quiet as I can be, climbing around on my roof at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Carefully I run the snake down the kitchen vent pipe about 18 to 20 feet, and then it stops. I start turning the handle on the back of the snake-holder to rotate the steel snake, faster and faster and faster and finally I break through and I am able to put all 25 feet of the snake down the vent pipe. That had to do it. Something was stuck there. I reel the snake back up and just sit there, thinking.

There is a gentle, cool breeze blowing. It feels nice and is drying off the perspiration I’d worked up spinning the snake. It’s quiet now too, 1:30 a.m. The dogs have stopped barking. Surely my sink is unclogged now, it must be, it has to be. I notice there’s a big Oklahoma half-moon breaking through the branches that are just a few feet above my head, and I realize that what I’ve just accomplished totally embodies the true meaning of moonlighting as a plumber. An indescribable feeling of peace and tranquility falls over my entire tired body. I am one with the night, one with the unclogged drain. I am so relaxed now, my thoughts are clear and complete, and it is then that I realize…

I’m just one pair of low-rise Levi’s and a monkey wrench short of being a full-fledged plumber.


9 responses »

    • The way I figured it, since Robert Pirsig wrote a book about Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance, I should write a blog post about Zen and the Art of Plumbing. Until, of course, someone throws a monkey wrench into it. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind comments.

  1. certainly like your web site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come again again.

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