Screw it, we might as well peel potatoes in the shower now

Never does one truly appreciate how convenient a working drain is more than the point at which the drain ceases to actually drain. Seriously, write that shit down.

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been having plumbing problems. Showers have become more of a wading experience. I’ll wade the shit out of the ocean tide but wading in the AIDS, ebola, herpes, hepatits C, e. coli, prion stew that invariably results from one of my showers after a shift at the hospital and, well…that’s just gross. This coming from a girl whose job description involves incising and draining butt puss. Daily I resist the temptation to culture our bathtub…the results, I think, would be simultaneously horrifying and provocative, and in the very least, publishable. For now, though, I just carry a crucifix with me into the shower and hope for the best. Peace be with you, MRSA!

As Lady Luck would have it, we discovered a cute little clause in our rental agreement that reads a little something like this:

Greetings imbecile future tenants who do not read fine print! As ricockulous as this may seem, ye tenants and ye alone are responsible for ALL of the pipes in this house. Even though this house was built before the gold rush! Crazy but true! So good luck with that! Suckers!

Yeah, so…because of that little clause, we’ve been trying to take care of the plumbing matters ourselves. And by “we” and “ourselves” I mean, “The Brit” and “The Brit”. I don’t plumb. So, the other day, The Brit donned his saggiest pair of butt-crack exposing jeans and jammed a plumber’s snake down the bathtub drain. After some chest beating, grunting, farting and other various displays of manliness, out came a multi-lobulated amalgam of hair (you’re welcome!), toenail clippings (how’d those get there, you ask? Don’t worry, it’s coming up), and zombie balls (probably).

This brings me to one of the main topics of contention in The Brit’s – La Cubana Gringa’s Lexicon of Grievances: Is the bathtub an acceptable location for toenail clippage? I say no. He says yes. I remove the nail clipper from the bathtub. He puts it back in. I say goodbye. He says hello. It’s like The Beatles ARE THE SOUNDTRACK TO OUR LIVES!

Anyway, it chaps my disproportionately large ass that he clips his nails in the tub because hair is one thing. But hair plus toenails = Matrix of Unequivocal Obstruction.

Plumbing if I had it my way:

Approximate frequency of drain blockage: less than once a year

Plumbing if The Brit has it his way:

Approximate frequency of drain blockage: many, many times a year. MANY.

All this talk of toenail clippings and plumbing reminds me of a patient I treated a few times. There was this dude who was incarcerated for Lord Only Knows, and his idea of a ticket out of jail was to find some excuse to get taken to the hospital and then try to escape from the Emergency Department. Good plan, right? Except that his ticket to the hospital involved sticking various objects into his urethra and obstructing his urinary outflow tract. In other words, he was cramming his pee-hole with stuff. Stuff like: toenail clippings, the serrated end of a plastic cafeteria knife, screws, nails, splinters, drink straws (probably the crazy ones).

All two men who read this blog just grabbed their crotches and gagged a little. Sorry about that.

Trust me when I say that anyone who inserts sharp foreign objects into their urethra as a means to get out of jail clearly has a few screws loose. (And not just the ones they’ve shoved up their urethra! Zing!!). Anyway, that guy a) clearly hadn’t thought things through all the way b) didn’t succeed in escaping despite stuffing his penis like a Home Depot Thanksgiving Turkey on three separate occasions and c) probably wasn’t aware that toenail clippings only create a Matrix of Unequivocal Obstruction.

You know, at first I thought this digression was only going to provide a brief interlude of dubiously related and somewhat morbid entertainment, but in the end, it furnished further supporting evidence for my theory that toenail clippings have no place in pipes of any kind.

Science! It’s irrefutable.

So anyway, back to the amalgam that was delivered from our bathtub drain. Did its extraction make things better? If by “better” you mean, “it did nothing for the drainage in the bathtub and, in fact, made it so that now the kitchen and bathroom sinks don’t drain either” then yes. Things were much, much better. Which led me to conclude the following:

So, if you hear about a British/Cuban couple that die in an index case of bathtub-acquired creutzfeldt-jakob disease, don’t mourn us for too long, we totally had it coming.

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6 Responses to “Screw it, we might as well peel potatoes in the shower now”


  1. 1 rattie July 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Ha! There was a ‘potato peels down the garbage disposal’ incident one holiday, involving The Brit. Luckily our neighbor came to the rescue and dismantled the drain in time to save Christmas. This was obvs in the pre-LCG days (you would never have allowed such nonsense!)
    You can commiserate with Vinjah on this particular topic – I’ve been clipping my nails into the bathroom sink for years, much to his dismay.

  2. 2 vinjah July 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    You now *know* the science. You’ve *seen* the diagrams. I expect that rattie will from this point forward refrain from her ill-advised clipping of nails into the bathroom sink. After all, we would now *own* any particular Matrix of Unequivocal Obstruction. Plumbing’s not a way I’d like to spend a Saturday.

  3. 4 The Brit July 29, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Rattie is right. Potato peel ain’t handled by today’s food disposal technology and there isn’t an App for it yet either.

    But in the finger/toe nail department……it isn’t a problem! The photos of the MASSIVE hair clumps with no finger or toe nails in, is sufficient evidence! But…those were mistakenly left out from the supporting evidence. In the words of Homer Simpson…”how convenient.”

    Vinjah, my guess is your issue is really the hair…Rattie has as much as LCG! But on the plus side…our kids have a shot at a thick head of hair, which is definitely a good thing!

    So to conclude, it’s for the kids that I will stop 😉

  4. 5 lacubanagringa July 31, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Rattie – You can’t argue with science. You must cease the nail clipping. 🙂

    Vinjah – Sorry about that.

    The Brit – Whatever gets you to stop, my dear husband!

  5. 6 Brown July 31, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I have no problem wading in disease infested zombie blood during a shower, but toe nail clippings are fucking egregiously disgusting. The only thing worse than butt hair and toe nail clippings in a drain, are toe nail clippings in your urethra. Seriously?


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The madness featured here is mine and mine alone. It does not, in any way, reflect the madness of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family, or my colorful friends. The privacy of my employers, colleagues, patients, nutty family and colorful friends is sacred & deeply respected, so no names. All words Copyright © la cubana gringa, no method, just madness 2006-2010. All comments © their authors. Don't steal; it's not nice. (And my Grandfather knows people.)

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