Things around here have been a bit backed up lately. Clogged. Needing a release.
We're talking about my kitchen sink. The one I need for washing dishes, having no newfangled appliance to do it for me. I am Wilma Flintstone with no prehistoric creature to perform such a chore for me. Not even a bird with a pointy beak to play sweet, sweet music on the phonograph record while I toil with my bare hands in a sink full of soapy water.
It's an almond-colored sink. A double. Saturday morning, I could not make the water flow down the drain. Oh, water pretended to flow down the drain. Then it came up in the companion sink. The draining side. So I had two sinks full of water that would not drain. Unsavory water. I abhor wet food particles in a sink. I cringe to clean out the strainer plug thingamajig after each dish-washing session. The act makes me gag. Retch. Brings tears to my eyes. And I think I might utter, "Icky, icky, icky," subconsciously as I rap that almond metal gunk-catcher against the side of the black-Glad-bag enrobed tall kitchen wastebasket. So to see such flotsam bobbing in the unyielding sink water was almost more than I could bear.
I had noticed that the sink was draining slowly, and had stopped for some Liquid Plumr. It didn't work. So I picked up some Drano on my next trip to town. All those chemicals and some plunging when forbidden did nothing to alleviate my sink woes.
Hick was thoughtlessly away at a school fundraiser picnic, selling barbecue. He called to check in on his goats, which The Pony was assigned to herd around the front yard of newly-sprouted green grass. I filled him in on the sink situation. "I'll fix it," he said. Without malice. Without announcing his candidacy for martyrdom. Too easily.
I was reminded of the plate I saw sitting next to the sink. A blue plastic plate with compartments that Hick had used for eating Chinese food Friday night. Hunan chicken, I believe. The plate was spotless except for a sheen of oil. Which smacks of Hick and his penchant for rinsing his plate under cold water without scraping it into the wastebasket first. Surely you weren't thinking we have a garbage disposal.
Furthermore, I recalled that Hick had rinsed the large pot used in the making of chicken and noodles earlier in the week. It, too, was spotless. Except for the starchy lines along the sides from the boiling of the egg noodles. But it was bereft of noodle fragments and shredded chicken fibers.
The most infuriating memory was of Hick's daily rinsing of his free-range chicken eggs. I try to block this habit from my mind. I've caught him at it too many times. The Pony collects the eggs in a little red-and-green wicker Easter basket. He sets them on the counter for Hick to inspect. Hick runs cold water over them, then dries them with a paper towel and puts them in an egg carton in the bottom of the refrigerator. He is careless in his sanitary measures. At least twice a week, I find a chicken feather on the kitchen floor. I am constantly scrubbing my sink with Comet before I wash the dishes.
I am sure my sink was clogged with enough noodle fragments, Chinese vegetable particles, and chicken feathers to weave a warm winter coat.
Yes. I blame Hick. The sink worked before those incidents. If he would eat at a normal hour, I could do the kitchen clean-up per my stringent regulations. Such as using only hot water for rinsing, and rinsing AFTER plates are scraped over the wastebasket or off the back porch.
The sink is working again. For now. At first Hick refused to tell me how he cleared it. Then he said he used the plunger. Even though the abrasive nonworking uncloggers had forbidden plunging. Even though I had already endured and Olympic-caliber workout of plunging. I have no idea what he really did. Once before, he said he cleaned out the trap.
I suppose he's making himself indispensable so I'll keep him around. But if I didn't keep him around, I wouldn't need him to unclog the sink.
It's a real O. Henry kind of scenario.