Door Ajar

One of the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life is surround myself with funny people.  Although I’m usually reminded of it daily, sometimes I’m REALLY reminded of it.  This morning was one of those times.

On my way to work I got a phone call from a college friend, we’ll call him Todd.  Panic crept through me…he never calls in the morning, something must be wrong…..well, nothing was wrong…..in fact, everything was right.

Me:  “Hello”.

Todd:  “I had to call someone and you’re it”, followed by uncontrollable laughter.

I immediately started to giggle.  Not only because his laugh is contagious but because if he’s laughing that hard it had to be good.  I will do my best to relay the story.

Todd took the day off from work today to take care of a bunch of things, oil change, dentist, etc.  You know, the things that are almost impossible to get done after our own work hours.  The first thing on his list was an oil change and check up for his truck at the local garage.

He waited patiently for about 30 minutes while the mechanic did his thing.  The mechanic finally came in and asked if the Check Engine light had been causing problems.  According to Todd the light hadn’t been on and he hadn’t been experiencing any trouble with it.  The mechanic nodded and walked back in the garage.  After a few minutes Todd thought he’d check on the situation so went to see what was happening.

The mechanic was looking at his diagnostic and said “Well, I got the Check Engine light figured out, now the Door Ajar light won’t go off.”  At this point of the story Todd said “Peg, I immediately looked at the mechanic, then over to the open door of the truck, then back at the mechanic and my eyes started tearing up from holding back my laughter.  I’m no genius but I would think the Door Ajar light was on because the door was actually ajar.”   Those two sentences of his story took a few minutes because we were both laughing and he was telling me in detail how he didn’t want to insult the mechanic by outright laughing at him and how hard it was to hold it all together.

Todd said he  kept it together the best he could for about five minutes while the mechanic hemmed and hawed while attempting to fix the Door Ajar light.  Todd said he kept looking at the mechanic and the open door of the truck wondering if he was the one that was missing something.  Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and said to the mechanic “Perhaps the light is on because the door is open”.  At this point the mechanic looked at Todd, looked at the door, got in the truck and shut the door.  The mechanic sat in the truck for a few minutes, got out and said the truck was finished.

Apparently the mechanic never said anything about the “mishap” and sent Todd on his way.  Through tears and giggles he told me that when he got to the garage the mechanic was playing solitaire on his computer after he said he could “squeeze him in” for an appointment on the phone yesterday.  We both howled and cried.  Todd thought he should have been given a discount because he actually fixed the Door Ajar light of the blunder but no such luck.  It was the best phone call I’ve had in a long time.

I got the privilege of telling the story to coworkers shortly after the phone call which helped get everyone’s day jump started.

Todd ended our conversation by saying he couldn’t post it on Facebook because it’s a small town but that I needed to write a story about it.  I felt obligated to follow his wishes.  Here’s to mistakes similar to that we all make and those who get entertainment out of them.

The Plunger

Recently on vacation a 20-year-old announced 5 minutes after our arrival at the condo that she needed a plunger, at that moment I realized I really like her.  She took a possible embarrassing moment and hit it head on.  I also realized she is probably an anomaly, not many of the younger generation would admit to that.

Of course I took that funny situation and thought about how it could be a story. It then occurred to me that no one actually taught me how to use a plunger.  Change a tire, sure, but I’ll tell you people will need to use a plunger more than they’ll need to change a tire in their life.  Here are my tips and tricks about plunging and plungers.

Buying the plunger: it’s always great to purchase the ‘bathroom set’ which means the plunger and the toilet brush match, but it’s not the smart thing to do, ever.  The reasons have become apparent when I’ve been standing in front of the toilet with the water to the rim full of paper and other unmentionables.

First of all, the handle of the ‘cute’ plunger is never long enough, your hands are way too close to that water.  You can’t get a good grip and really put your weight into it with a handle that short.

It’s inevitable that the ‘cute’ plunger will turn inside out and get stuck like that during the plunge.  There’s nothing worse than looking at the inside out plunger with wide eyes knowing that at any second it’s going to ‘right’ itself and splash all over, and no one wants what’s in that toilet all over them.

The shape of the cute plunger doesn’t even work with the toilet.  It’s short and wide….kinda like me….and it never actually seals the opening of the toilet to get good suction.  That makes for an unnecessarily long plunge.  Not something I look forward to.

Now you have the right plunger and it’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.  It’s probably black and yellow and looks menacing.  It’s not something you like having as an accessory in your bathroom but it works, and it works good.  It has to be used correctly though.

When using the plunger you have to REALLY use the plunger.  The plunger can’t be approached with any sort of tentativeness.  Grab it, carefully submerge it in the crappy water (pun intended), position it over the hole, hands apart, position yourself over the handle so you can put your weight into it and push with gusto.  This should be a very quick process if done right.  If this job makes you break a sweat and makes your arms sore you’re doing it wrong, have the wrong equipment or you need to see a doctor for whatever it is that just happened in there.  Repeat until the blessed event of water receding happens.

The few times in my life when I’ve used a plunger I’ve also needed some sort of face mask.  I prefer a dish towel wrapped around my face like I’m ready to rob a bank.  Plunging the toilet is one of those jobs that gives me the feeling of throwing up even before I start.  I should probably invest in one of those butcher aprons, you know the ones that are basically made out of rubber and gloves that go to the elbows.

Make sure your plunger is in a place where it’s easy to find.  If company happens to clog your toilet you could save them the embarrassment of having to ask where the plunger is.  Nothing changes the direction of a get together like a bad bathroom incident.  You don’t want someone having a Dumb and Dumber moment and not being able to do anything about it.