By Steven V. Philips –
Our kids married well. I’d say this to guarantee their future visits to me at the Home even if not true, but they really did. Our designer son has a wife who is his lethal sales manager and a fantastic Vietnamese cook. Our daughter’s husband fosters her belief that she’s a Princess, though her subjects are small and diaper-wearing.
The Princess does has a perk. Her father-in-law is a plumber. Who lives four miles away. This on-call 24/7 relative has re-piped three new bathroom faucets/sinks, probably installed three new toilets, I think a new sump pump, and in the kitchen: a new gas line, new sink/faucet, and dishwasher lines. Plus frozen lines and the outside irrigation system and that’s at this address. Wonder if he has time for paying customers?
Never one to free-load advice myself, oh no, we got onto his “should be banned forever” subject – food disposals. Oh true, yes. And when Ron becomes The Plumber King of the world we’ll all revert to a garbage pail under the sink. Everything but the tiniest bits, that you can’t pick up anyway, go into a closed-top can under the sink. And onward to the compost bin outside. I already do this; I’m a loyal subject.
OK, you non-gardening condo owners on the seventh floor, maybe composting ain’t gonna happen, but Ron wishes you to own that can anyway. Limit donating to your mechanical piggy, the little soft mushy stuff that virtually melts. Cotton candy, Nutella covered crusts, marshmallows and a smathering of mashed potato.
More no-no-noses? Slip-sliding fat away down the drain will create a slathering slip-coating of your pipes to the street!. (Paper-towel wipe the olive oil out of the pan, post-cooking, and into the trash.) Wanna mess up your disposal’s bearings? Flop in coffee grounds! Try bones. Or even worse, egg shells. Then these slowly linger along in the pipes showing totally bad behavior, punishable by the Plugdrain Police. And no, ice cubes do not sharpen disposal blades.
More advice?: “You might think that if your sink gets plugged, or the drain runs slowly, running the disposal would help clear it. Nope. This will compact your semi-blockage into a mega-blockage.” Since I thought otherwise, you now know why I’d flunk the plumbers exam.
And even more: “If the kitchen sink drains slowly, please, please don’t fill it up again to demonstrate it for me when I arrive, unless you like paying me to watch reruns.” Really, he is going to believe your eye-witness report of the earlier misery. Seldom are plugged drains feigned just to chat up the plumber.
Ron’s absolute favorite scenario, after four hundred and twenty-one months of clogged drains, goes as follows: “I arrive on schedule and find a this missive taped to the door: “Had to run out. Will be back soon to let you in”. Soon? Today? This week? Alternate note: “Something came up last minute. Will call to reschedule.” How do you spell inconsiderate?
Then we really got down to the sillies after I asked: “What else might have caused you to consider becoming an electrician?” Here’s a bit more wisdom based on years of always being downstream of problems and a lifetime supply of plungers.
“Coins are good for vending machines. Maybe still good at toll booths. But disposals really don’t work with coins.” Side advice: When you run your food-piggy, keep your finger on the switch so when you hear crunching utensils, bottle caps, chunks of bone, rings, etc. you can STOP IT instantly so maybe, maybe, avoid compounding your felony. Then pull the disposal’s plug (duh) and only THEN try to fish out the offender. Failing retrieval, you call the plumber. If you don’t unplug, dial 911 first for your wounds-to-be, then call the plumber.
Finally. “Please, please don’t stop me in the supermarket saying, ‘the next time you’re in my neighborhood, stop by. I need you to (fill in the blank)___________”. My bet is there are zero plans of his randomly zipping by that house.
My debriefing of Ron will continue next month. Expect a quiz.
Thanks to Ron Kushner who has been a master plumber in Eastern Massachusetts for 420 months. He also has the patience of Job.