Sideways

It comes of not having a dishwasher, or, more accurately, of having a dishwasher full of light bulbs.

I was working in the kitchen and rinsing something or the other, when I noticed that the rinse sink was filling with water. A bit odd, but I know that I should run the disposal at least once a day, and sometimes I forget, so I flipped it on, thinking that that would clear it out and suck out the accumulating standing water. Well! You probably can’t imagine the horrid grinding noise that ensued. Within two seconds, I had shut off the disposal, and I stood there, wondering (a), what was wrong and (b), what to do about it.

We’ve had disposal issues before. To say the least. Stories could be told. The sound had been something akin to the sound when a peach stone got down in there. It was a terrific noise, so I was sure that whatever was down there was an item of, well, substance. Now, I’ve never relished reaching down into the disposal. I’m of the firm conviction that dealing with disposal contents is much like dealing with backed up septic systems, Personally, I think that full disposals fall into the same category as backed-up septic systems, clogged bathtub drain, snakes in the cellar, or evidence of in-house visits by any members of the order Rodentia. That is, a MAN should deal with them! Problem was that my man was out of the house for a little while; maybe 30 minutes.

I decided to be brave the potential slime and reach down in there. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Well, I actually felt it before I saw it. (It’s hard to see much of anything in a disposal.) Something hard. Very hard. And smooth. Very smooth. At which point I pulled my hand out – and it was NOT slimy, whew! – and looked down in there and saw something clear… a juice glass!!! Of course! No problem. We’ve done this before. And we know that the very best was to get broken glass out of one’s disposal is to use the shop vac. But wait. I reached back in very carefully. This particular juice glass didn’t seem to be broken. Juice glasses are, you know, the perfect size to slide down into the disposal, and when they are not broken (and therefore not candidates for the tried-and-true SVEP, shop vac evacuation procedure), the trick is to spend way too much time trying to grasp the wet, slippery little glass and pull it up and out. The usual method is to eventually give up on trying to grab the rim of the glass (which can’t be done) and resort instead to a process of putting one’s hand IN the glass and trying to press out with enough force to prevent slippage while simultaneously pulling up and thereby completing the extrication. This latter was my intended plan of attack, but sadly it proved absolutely impossible because this particular juice glass had managed to position itself – are you ready? – on its side down in the disposal.

Oh, my.

In the spirit of loving my lips, I immediately realized that “This [was] more serious than I thought.”

The problems with it being on its side were that (a), it could not be righted, and (b), it could not be pulled out until it was.

At which point, I gave up but tried not to cry. And waited for Scott, who arrived home in a few minutes to a somewhat frazzled wife, who apologized profusely while explaining the situation. Scott is a problem solver extraordinaire, so I was sure that in a few minutes he would have the juice glass out of the disposal and all would be well, but one beach towel, one flashlight, one screwdriver, a few other tools, and a few minutes later, while he had indeed loosened the disposal enough that it would twist around a bit in the sink, he had removed neither the disposal from the sink nor the offending juice glass from the disposal. And he said, “I think the wisest thing to do is call Mr. Bill.”

Please do not, Dear Reader, construe that statement to mean that Scott was planning to call Mr. Bill. Oh, no. It simply means that I then had permission to call Mr. Bill. Which I did.  = )  He happened to be home (that’s nice; only .1 mile away), and said that yes, he’d be willing to look at it for me, but that he and LaShell had a guest coming for dinner (this was about 5:30 PM on a Friday), he didn’t know if the guest was there because he was just getting out of the shower, and could I give him about ten minutes. Yes, of course!

As it turned out, Mr. Bill arrived in ten minutes with his plumber’s tool bag in hand (but without his reading glasses – boo hiss), and in just a very few minutes he had the disposal out of the sink. And then came the real challenge: how to get that pesky juice glass out? He played around with it for a bit and suddenly the juice glass twisted itself enough for him to lift it straight out. Voila! He instructed Scott on how to put it all back together – minus the juice glass, of course – and returned home to his dinner and guest; the guest who, by the way, had been at their home when Mr. Bill departed for our house. Scott reassembled everything, found a minor leak that needed some play-dough-like putty stuff, applied that, and all is well. The juice glass has been very well washed and is no worse for the wear.

Those who have drunk juice at our house in the past may recall that we have two sizes/styles of juice glasses: the shorter, squattier and the taller, thinner. Had this guy been short and squatty, I could have manipulated him (think turning a breech baby from the outside) into an upright position, but as he was tall and thin, that was not possible. He was too tall to turn and stand up, which makes Mr. Bill’s success even more amazing.

Moral of the story: If your dishwasher is full of light bulbs because you like the taste of your hard water, and if you therefore wash your dishes by hand, and if for that reason you have a dish drainer on the counter that is nearly always full of elaborately stacked and precariously balanced dry and/or drip-drying dishes, and if said incredibly full dish drainer happens to also sport a collection of juice glasses upended on its plastic draining prongs on one side, and if that side of the dish drainer is toward the sink so as to allow the draining water to flow into the sink rather than onto the floor, then you simply must ensure that your dish drainer doesn’t hang so far over the sink that when your husband starts to put away the dry dishes (to bless you; acts of service, you know) it becomes unbalanced, slides sideways, and sends all its remaining contents (including the aforementioned dangling juice glasses) crashing into the sink, thereby inserting one juice glass feet first into the disposal. Furthermore, if you fail to ensure such an eminently stable dish drainer placement, and if you then innocently turn on the disposal, you may rest assured that the water you are running into the sink to cool the disposal, combined with the suction generated by its ancient and wheezing motor will yea and verily cause the upright (intrinsically moral) juice glass to cave to pressure, lie down on its side in sin, roll over and play dead.

And you do NOT ever want a juice glass sideways in your disposal!

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