Originally published at: https://www.pmmag.com/articles/104980-dave-yates-some-friendly-advice-on-toilet-talk
A very good friend once asked me via email for advice on how to repair his Moen kitchen sink faucet. I carefully laid out a step-by-step answer and he responded:
“No more drip! I’m ready for my Union card. The only problem was that I was laughing myself silly as I read your instructions. Your instructions are far better than Moen’s, by the way. My only question now is what do I do with all these extra parts? I just flushed the extra parts down the toilet. Some of them were pretty large. What do you know about toilets?”
Now you’ve gone and done it! Prayer and incense burning will become necessary now. Toilets are wonderful receptors for a wide variety of items. We’ve had many interesting calls regarding these clogged porcelain edifices of human waste removal devices. For instance:
- The time I responded to a clogged toilet and found the geezer’s false teeth he had lost while forcibly ejecting the contents of his stomach after a late night drinking binge — he simply rinsed them off and plopped em right back in his mouth! What bacteria?
- Or how about the rather large carrot retrieved from a single ladies toilet. It was in the bath off of her bedroom, not the one nearest the kitchen. “Darn neighborhood kids did that,” she said.
- What about the time we retrieved a night deposit bag while the guilty tenant looked on as his landlady observed our work? He hastily left the apartment. We found out later, when the police called our office, that he left the apartment rushed off to the police station and turned himself in! He also lost his job because they had given him the responsibility of taking the night deposit bag to the bank, not the bowl!
- Or the time I augured a toilet and found flesh on the auger head upon retrieval — yikes, I’ve always lived in fear of finding a fetus in a toilet — not to worry though; it turned out to be their deceased pet carp! Dang, how big must it have been? That happened to be the first day of Trout fishing season, too.
- There was the drug den crack house that had a hypodermic stuck sideways. I had to remove the toilet, turn it upside-down and knock it loose with my closet auger. Fortunately, I had been able to see the syringe with my telescoping mirror before blindly reaching in to poke at the stubborn obstruction.
- The many toothbrushes.
- The pencils, pens, pocket protectors.
- The two-week-old colostomy bag that caused an evacuation of the cleaning crew once I broke that skin over the water with my closet auger. Plumbers need to have very strong stomachs!
- The very scary female tenants who had deliberately smeared poop on the walls of their apartment and had stuffed the pot. They were into some weird things best left unsaid in print! You could say they were arrears in rent too.
- The several times I’ve found toilets with poop literally packed to the seat because the landlord wouldn’t call a plumber for weeks. In two cases, they started using the tub too and had filled them to the rim!
- The razors, compacts, diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins, forks, knives, spoons, gloves, Garth Brooks underpants, anonymous underpants, panties, pants, shirts, hats, bottles, paper cups, plastic cups, rubbers, socks, nylons, large hard turd balls — had to break that one up with a hammer and screwdriver, wads of paper, paper towels, broken rulers (what the heck were they measuring?), golf balls, Q balls, mason jar lids, wipes, etc……
- Then the one time I was convinced the stall occupant had exploded. It was during the York Fair and the call was for a clogged toilet. There was poop splattered on all four walls of the stall up to about a five-foot level and a pair of shoes on the floor where you’d have expected they were sitting at the time of the explosion. It takes a lot to gross me out, but that one did it!
We were cleaning a clogged sewer line that served a jewelry store in a local mall and captured several gold necklaces, one with a diamond pendent, on the retriever-head of our sewer machine cable. Apparently, according to the store manager, they knew the necklaces were missing. She surmised the thief got cold feet and flushed the stolen goods down the toilet.
- Then there are the toilets in sleaze bars. You name it, it’s been stuck in one of their pots! Anything you can find at the bar — swizzle sticks, figurines, bottles, bottle caps, those shot pouring things, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper holders, sloan valve caps, shoes, rocks from the parking lot, glasses, bar glasses, shot glasses, long hair needles, watches, wire, plastic bags, paper bags, menus, bills, credit cards, wine lists, steak bones, etc… Broken glass, too, which always required using a wet/dry shop vacuum to pull out the contents of the house-trap, which is basically just a 4-inch diameter P-trap, to remove the rest of the broken glass.
- We were cleaning a clogged sewer line that served a jewelry store in a local mall and captured several gold necklaces, one with a diamond pendent, on the retriever-head of our sewer machine cable. Apparently, according to the store manager, they knew the necklaces were missing. She surmised the thief got cold feet and flushed the stolen goods down the toilet.
- When the new Galleria Mall opened here, we were called out for clogged toilets in the public second-floor bathrooms, which turned out to be a blockage in the underground sewer line. We pulled back a plastic bag filled with rocks and a bundle of discarded wire! No doubt deliberately dropped into the sewer line during its installation.
- Then there were the attempts by folks to flush soiled kitty litter!
And now I’m going to have to add Moen parts to the list!