July 4, 2009

The Right Tool For Retrieving the Wrong Item From the Wrong Place

I can't take credit for that title. It is my husband's invention. It is catchy isn't it? My daughters and I all have really long, thick hair. Our drains are quite frequently clogged up. And not just the shower drain. The tub drain, yes. But the sinks, too. Well, because we do our hair in front of the bathroom mirror.

Periodically, my dear husband goes through the house and opens all the drains again. We can usually get enough hair for a wig when he finishes this job. Once I thought there must be a way to make this job easier for him. I didn't know what I was looking for but I knew where to go to find it.

The Home Depot. Now, I personally, HATE going to Home Depot. You wouldn't know it since I am there at least once a week. I go so I can see my husband once in a while. Every weekend requires at least one trip for some project or another.

In fact this has become our regular Saturday date with Samuel and Elisabeth. We climb in our old Suburban, the one with no air conditioning, and strap Ellie in the front facing car seat. This she loves. In my car she is still in the infant seat. She seems to really like this new perspective on our weekly outings.

First, we go to Giant Eagle for our gift cards. Then we hang out at Home Depot while Pa loads up the cart. This always involves at least one visit to the restroom. Because you can never go anywhere with a four year old without visiting the restroom. Which I must say, for a man's place has rather nice, and unusually clean rest rooms.

Sometimes I do some shopping of my own while we are there. The idea of me shopping usually speeds Allen up, too. There are some nice items to be a had if you look around. A few weeks ago, I found a great deal on solar lights for my garden path. It was on one such expedition that I found the perfect wall paper and border for our master bedroom.

On our trip this weekend, I found all the supplies necessary for the kids to make their own bows and arrows when we camp next weekend. The garden section can be a lot of fun, too. But watch out because sometimes that leads to more projects (pavers for example) which can lead to more trips to Home Depot.

The outing always ends with Samuel asking if we can get french fries for him and moo moo. (Yes, that is his nickname for Elisabeth...it's a long story.)

But, I digress.

So, when I was looking for a tool to clear the drain. I went to Home Depot. Now those men there are really super helpful. Especially, if you go in the middle of the week when all the retired grandpas are killing time. They just look at women wandering around unable to find what they are looking for as if they are a knight on a white horse and she a damsel in distress.

And sure enough, if that gentleman was not able to lead me right to the "pinchey tool" when I said, "I'd like to give my husband a gift. Something he can clear the hair out of the drains with."

This long metal spring thingy bends to get into all sorts of places and has a little claw on the end so you can grab stuff and bring it back.

I don't remember what I paid for that handy tool. I know it was less than $30. I think it was less than $20. Whatever it was, it wasn't enough. We have used this thing for everything. Something drops behind the bureau. Grab the pinchey. Something down the drain. Grab the pinchey. Under the fridge. Under the couch. Grab the pinchey. Too short to reach the cereal on top of the fridge. The pinchey does the trick!

You can see why it was my dear husband's tool of choice when we found a grape tomato down the bathroom drain this morning.

But sadly, the pinchey failed us. It just couldn't grab it. But my husband, the ever clever one he his, knew just where to go next.

Those precision pliers he using when designing highly sensitive electronics boards are useful around the house too! In fact, for some time they replaced the handle on my toaster oven door. But that is another story.

How did a tomato get in the bathroom drain you might ask? Now, my husband might be clever in fixing things. But I am no slouch when it comes to fine detective work. We do have three boys, you know!

I quickly narrowed it down to one of those three. Then I called them all to the bathroom. They were asked one question. When Pa reaches down the drain with the pinchey tool, what is he going to pull out. Nathaniel and Aedan reasoned through the question, my little engineers, and said, "Hair." Well, yeah, he probably will find that. So, then we asked, "Anything else?"

Samuel spoke up this time. "I think a tomato." Bingo! He was so happy and proud to have the right answer. Just as if it was common to find a tomato in the drain with a hair clog.

After excusing the other boys, I asked why he might put a tomato down the drain. And this is what he said, "I was washing it so it would taste better."


  1. Sounds like what would happen at my house. :) And I have to find one of those pinchey things. We have a plastic hair catcher on our tub drain, but sometimes the hair slips past it. Wow, what with first the hammock and now a tool to get stuff out of the drain, you're really helping us out here. Thanks! :)

  2. Oh goodness, I always ask for french fries too, and I'm 32! Delighted to meet you. I just found you via a friend. I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to splash around a bit and get to know you.

    Hmm, I should get some idea for 4th of July, even though we live in Costa rica.

    Blessings from this missionary mommy,
    Sarah Dawn

  3. What a great tool!! We have no Home Depots here, just B & Q. I suppose they might carry such a thingamajiggy, but I'm not certain. Do you know if the Home Depot still carries it?

    De-hairing drains must be a job that most, if not all, husbands do, because my hubs does as well. It really is a gross job, and I'm thankful that he's willing to do it.

    The tomato down the drain and your son's enthusiastic reply was priceless.

    Have a blessed 4th.

  4. Bless his heart! He was honest & that was an honest accident. Thank God for little boys.

    Happy 4th.

  5. My first hearty laugh of the day (never mind that the rest of the family is still asleep... my normal source of amusement! lol) I LOVE that tool! I first discovered it in my Daddy's toolbox. His has pinchers on one side, and a magnet on the other... Used by mechanics to fetch screws and things that may fall into an engine! (I would get in lots of trouble for smuggling them into the house and using them for retrieving things... hehe My mom was happy to have 'found' missing magnets that our cat had shuffled under the refridgerater, or her earing from under her waterbed... sigh) As for Home Depot... um.. yeah... Garden Center for me is a BAD BAD idea... I always end up spending way too much!
    Very interesting and very funny story!