Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mr. Disposal

The smell was pretty pervasive. Whenever we'd walk in the door, it hit us like a soft, warm blast of putrescence. Not overpowering but definitely there. Nasty. It was a combination of what smelled like old socks and wet towels and rotting food and stale air (only two of our five basement windows open).

So, Saturday we took apart the house. We picked up clothes, folded laundry, and put away random junk. We moved the furniture and vaccumed the entire house. We took out the mini fridge that has been sitting empty (and unplugged might I add) next to the desk for...(dare I say it?)...3 entire months... I switched candles on the candle warmer and left the door open to air out the pukey-smelling Bennett Residence. We took out the trash, Corey cleaned the tub (a couple days earlier he pulled out a ton of long stringy hair out of the shower drain...who could that belong too??), I wiped out part of the fridge and we threw away old food.

But it still smelled. After washing some dishes I ran the garbage disposal as an afterthought (something I forget to do on a regular basis). Nothing happened. Just a low, soft hum.

Hmm. Had I found our problem? My macho husband dove in with bare hands...after which he required little to no persuasion to don a surgical glove I had left over from my Anatomy class. Plunge after plunge into that dark abyss in the sink proved very revealing! Five minutes later we had quite the collection, including but not limited to: most of a strawberry, black and jellified, chunks of rotting chicken; stringy who-knows-what; and lots of little black and green untochables that looked like they could have come from last month's school lunch.

May I mention one thing here. My mom brought us some strawberries about 3 to 4 weeks ago. Okay, moving on.

Disgusted but proud at our courage to brave the Pit of Rotting Food, we immediately turned on the water and flipped the disposal switch, anticipating the loud roar and clanking to immediately fill the house.

Hummmm, the disposal replied quietly.

No, really? Come on! We dug all that nastiness out of there for nothing? Really, Mr. Disposal. You'd think you'd be overjoyed to suddenly be able to breathe, having been (unbeknownst to us) forced to be nestled up to a decaying strawberry for the past 4 weeks.

Suddenly a scene flashed into my mind. It was a snapshot from this past December. My dad, sprawled out on my inlaws kitchen floor, was fixing their garbage disposal with a small little tool that looks like a screwdriver but has five or six sides instead of two. I also remembered him saying it was really simple to fix a disposal, sometimes you just have to give it a nudge or two. Like a quarter-turn. My mind was racing. I ran to the desk where I keep the tools Mom gave me (for lack of a better place) for my bridal shower. I grabbed a screwdriver, opened the cupboard door underneath the sink, and stuck my head in. Unfortunately, the screwdriver was too small to do anything, so I ran back and grabbed the biggest screwdriver of the set, crossing my fingers the whole time.

Interruption: For those of you who have never closely examined the device taking up half the space under your sink, here is a picture of the underside of a garbage disposal.

Ignore the Reset Button, just pay attention to the white arrow pointing to the hole. This hole is the important part.

I stuck the screwdriver up the hole and tried to turn, it didn't budge. I tried turning it the other direction. Nothing. So I rolled up my sleeves (figuratively speaking) and showed that disposal who's boss.

I yanked it a quarter turn (90 degrees, that is), jumped up, turned the water on, flipped that switch, and --

I never thought the roar of a garbage disposal would be so heavenly. I kind of wanted to let it run for at least a couple of minutes just to revel in my joy. Instead, we decided to treat ourselves to Frostys at Wendy's. It was a wonderful end to the evening.

Funny, the simple pleasures we find in life (and I'm not talking about Frostys). I'm convinced it is directly connected to living providently and learning to act for ourselves instead of being acted upon. Thaks to my parents for both enabling us (Dad through teaching and Mom through the tools) to conquer the garbage disposal.

(D&C 58) (2 Ne 2)


Danielle said...

Nice going, fix it lady! Our disposal never really worked when I lived in that house. I wonder if your trick would have jolted it into activity! Four years wasted!

Kimberly said...

Nice! Good thing you live close by so I can call you to come fix all our broken disposals!

amanda said...

way to go suzy! our smell just comes from the gross asian food the asians are cooking downstairs...

Lisa said...

Dear Suzy,
Thank you for sharing all of the gory details. It twas fascinating! Haha. You are amazing. End of story. :)
<3 Lisa

Brian & Kyla said...

I'm impressed!! Way to go Suzy!

Linda said...

Your blog reminds me of living in "The Carat Patch" right after we got married. I'd do the wash downstairs in the renter's living room. One day the smell became unbearable! No garbage disposal at all, but tackling the sink revealed an anemic looking blob of rotten chicken! Phewwwww! I can relate to the stink. Nice work on the skills!

janel said...

Wowee! When I lived there (and even still that I live an hour away), clogged disposal to me meant call dad ASAP and eat a Frostee while I was waiting for him to show up.

Camille said...

Wow, look at you! Way to go!

Casey said...

You go girl!!!!!!! Glad my disposal was out when y'all came down and grateful that you were paying attention on how to fix it!!!!!! Sooooooo many talents! We are blessed to have you! And I'm impressed Corey cleaned the bath tub. He didn't learn that at home! ; )