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.