Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Thanksgiving Tale

It all started when I cut off the tops of the celery a few days before Thanksgiving, and without thinking, put them in the sink disposal.  It doesn’t like celery, I know this, but I was in a cooking frenzy and just did not think.  Besides, it was only tops from 2 stalks – the curly leafy parts, not the stringy stalky parts, and I figured I was ok.

The next day, dh tells me the sink is not draining right.  I sigh, and blithely say, “oh really?”  He fishes around in there and pulls out strands of celery and says, “SOMEONE must have put celery in here!”  Of course I always confess my transgressions.  “Hmmm, must have been me, Rockie can’t reach the sink.” Rockie is our 105lb yellow lab, who really could reach the sink if he wanted to.  I humbly accepted blame and went on to my sewing room.  It is never wise to be in the same room with a man who has tools or who puts his hand down the disposal.

A few minutes later he came in showing me a blue rubber “thingy” asking me if I knew what it was.  That never bodes well.  Spare parts are a sure sign he has been mucking around where he should not.  “Nope,” I reply, and he has the good sense to set it on the windowsill in the event that when things turn tragic (and of course they will) he can always go back and get the blue rubber thingy and say, “Ohhhhhh, that’s were that goes.”

Chapter 1:
It is Thanksgiving Morning and I have a defrosting turkey on the counter, stuffing in a bowl (I was careful to put the celery tops in the trash), breakfast burritos cooking on the stove, bread toasting in the oven, and cranberries going in the blender.  The mixer is beating sugar and butter for a chocolate pie and I am smashing vanilla wafers for a crust.  Dh walks in and says with a completely straight face, “are you going to need the sink today?”  I was picturing how he would look with a stick of butter protruding from each ear and a bag of frozen corn plastered to his face, when I composed myself and with an equally straight face replied, “um, yes, I need the sink today.”  I left the “I am cooking a stinkin’ thanksgiving dinner in here in case you hadn’t noticed,” unsaid.  He replied, “well, you can use the sink, but don’t run any water.”

OK, I am thinking, that’s no problem, as I am mentally dumping cranberry sauce down his shorts.  Thankfully my son comes in at just this moment with a jar of super Drano and a drain auger.  Ahhh, a man with tools.  Eric’s girlfriend, Jess and I vacate the kitchen, with a bottle of Moscato, to sit on the porch while the reaming of my kitchen sink progresses.  Now you already know that this will not turn out well, don’t you?  So Jess and I sit on the back porch – it was a beautiful sunny warm day – drinking wine as we chit chat, when all of a sudden I hear the drain auger engage.  I am thinking Jean Luke Picard is in my kitchen, standing behind man and boy saying with a pointing finger. . . .”engage.”

This is a good noise I tell myself, until I look up, with a perfect view of the window over the sink, and see the end of the drain auger descending from the roof!  How the hell. . . . heck. . . I say to myself!?!?  I shout into the kitchen, “the end of that thingy is descending from the roof.  Is it supposed to do that?”  I know, women should never have to ask stupid questions like that because we already KNOW it’s not supposed to do that, but you often have to humor men.  Because I simply couldn’t stop the words as they came out of my mouth I uttered, “I don’t think the clog is in the vent pipe.”  I know, pure selfish indulgence.

So up goes the end of the auger thingy, back down the vent pipe and up into the sink drain.  When we see the auger dangling once again from the eaves, we can't suppress our mirth, and by this time Jess and I are laughing so hard that we are crossing our legs.  That only serves to cement the intentions of the men to make a bigger mess than they first planned.  Alas, I am pretty sure it was worth it.  Soon the auger comes out onto the back porch where we are sitting, no, not through the drain this time.  We are told it must air dry.  And of course everyone knows there is no air in the garage!!!

I am afraid to ask if the drain is unclogged.  But I am told that the water is running smoothly down the drain. In a normal household that would bode well. 

Chapter 2:
Oh no dear reader, you didn’t think it was fixed, did you?  Silly you.  No, we now all troop outside to trace the odd sound of dripping water and assemble "en masse" in the backyard, outside the kitchen window, watching water pour from the vinyl siding.  I am thinking to myself (dare not say it out loud), "is that normal for vinyl siding?"

Nope, drain is not only still plugged, but now the water line in the wall is busted and pouring water out through the siding to the ground below.  Hmmmm, I am thinking.  I would have called the plumber about $200 worth of damage ago.  But not my intrepid “we can fix it” husband and son.  They want to be sure it is broken beyond repair and sure to cost twice as much to fix before they consider calling a plumber. 

I do have to give my son a bit of credit, however.  He did mention that it might be a good idea to “call someone.”  I did not hear what my husband responded to that comment (I was too busy fleeing the scene in case the celery was mentioned)  but I am pretty sure it was something like, “heck no, we still have a lot more damage to cause on the biggest cooking day of the year before we call someone.”  Jess and I  retreated to the kitchen, stood there looking at each other, every cleaning product in the world interspersed between all our cooking efforts, wondering if we should call out for Chinese. 

With the last of the draino running down the siding killing the grass below it, we felt we might as well plow onward and stuff the bird.  What the heck, "we don't need no stinking sink" (in my best John Wayne accent) to fix Thanksgiving dinner.

Now I know where the term “slop bucket” comes from.

Dinner turned out fine, the turkey was delicious, the stuffing was perfect, the cranberry and cream cheeze appetizer that Jess made was to die for, and the chocolate pie was a wonderful as always.  Thank goodness THAT part of the day was not a disaster. 

All in all, it was a memorable and fun Thanksgiving.  Always good to have the kids home for holidays.  Just so you know, dh washed the dishes that night in the bathroom sink and rinsed them in the shower.  I put my feet up and finished off the moscato.

Hope you had a great thanksgiving.

Epilogue:  Just in case you were curious about how this whole thing turned out, on Black Friday (so aptly named for once) husband called 2 plumbers, both of whom were enjoying a work-free holiday weekend.  Busted drain and mess remain, until sometime next week.  Dishes remain stacked in the shower.  And I am downstairs in my studio working on a quilt.  And my dh is indeed a lucky man.  Snatched from the claws of death yet again by quilt therapy.


  1. Oh my gosh! I think I need some of that moscato after reading this! Too funny!!!!! Thanks for the lovely laugh this morning & happy plumbing!!!!

  2. Laughing SO hard...wait that easily could have happened at MY house! Ack....Christmas is coming...LOL...Thanks for the giggles! (Hope someone comes to fix it soon!)

  3. Reeze! This story is worthy of being a Diane-Tale, Epic in scope and as funny as any understatement can be. I'm glad you had plenty of wine!

  4. Too funny! "do you need the kitchen sink today?" ROFL.

  5. That almost happened to me on our Canadian Thanksgiving but it was rutabaga and not celery. We used a plunger to bring the offending peel up and all went well after that.

  6. Oh Peggy, thanks for letting me know that your sink fiasco was easily solved. That means there is hope for the species. Alas, my sink is still broken, no plumber in sight.

  7. OMGosh!! I laughed till I had tears running down my face. Since this happened to YOU it's funny. Then I realized it could just as well have happened to ME and that's NOT funny! Still LOL!


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