There’s a certain breed of woman here in the Big City, a kind that has developed a new style and tactic of seduction that only the finely honed instincts of a metropolitan could pull off. Foregoing the advances made by their forbears in the suffrage and women’s rights movements of times gone by, these women employ a tactic of strategic helplessness and play on the inbred male sense of chivalry to get any “big, strong man” within earshot to take care of a deed they find repulsive, beneath them or just plain icky. Such deeds to include the taking out of the trash, the killing of creepy crawlies and any activity involving a Craftsman hand tool. Such a one is my good friend Dimples.
Dimples was raised in the South and, like any good Southern woman, is completely useless when it comes to manual labor. Time and time again I have been suckered into household chores that she claimed would make her vomit. I have yet to see said reaction and believe it only to exist on the same astral plane as pixies, elves and unicorns. Tonight’s task was unclogging the bathroom sink.
She had mentioned to me earlier in the day that her sink was running really slow and would I mind taking a look at it when I came over. We had a standing Monday night dinner date so it wouldn’t really be a bother. She said she had tried to pull out the stopper but couldn’t figure it out. I told her not to worry about it and I’d look at it when I got there.
Now, I consider myself just your average dude: I have no more than minimal male exposure to and/or expertise in the areas of construction, automotive repair and computer technology. Yet every woman on the planet seems to think that with chest hair and male pattern baldness comes expert knowledge of all things mechanical. Up until now, I’ve been able to fake my way through just about all of it. I wasn’t about to let something as silly as a clogged drain stop me.
As I approached the drain, I could see what the problem was already. Wet, matted clumps of long, auburn hair were sprouting thickly from the underside of the silver circle of the stopper. As I grimaced and pulled at these clumps, a viscous, dark muck came with it. This was not going to be pretty. I started collecting the strands on a piece of two-ply toilet tissue. It wasn’t long until I had a decent mound about the size of a silver dollar. Unfortunately, this wasn’t helping the flow of H2O.
After struggling vainly for several minutes at pulling, pushing and twisting out the stopper, I went to Google. This, if anything, is the secret to a 21st century man’s power: there is nothing that can’t be learned by the right search terms and an internet connection. Within moments, I had discovered that the stopper was being held in place by a thin metal rod and a nut screwed into the pipe. With this wiki-wisdom in mind, it was only a minute before the stopper was out and I was in need of a flashlight.
Another quality of this peculiar breed of city woman is that, whether they live alone or not, they have an astounding lack of basic tools. Not so much as a screwdriver, let alone pliers, hammer or, God forbid, flashlight can easily be found on their premises. While Dimples stood dumbstruck and pondered open-mouthed my confounding request, I made my way to my bag and pulled out my trusty Maglite. These women are not to be trusted.
Back at the sink, my eyes now confirmed what my nose had suspected: it was a mess in there. It gave off the dank, musty smell of a stagnant pond or earthen basement. There was something primordial going on in there and it had to be dealt with.
I tentatively reached a finger down through the hole left by the silver stopper. It wasn’t until I was over an inch into the pipe that the matted gunk started to thin out and I stood a chance of finding a finger hold. I wrapped my digit over the lip of the impaction and slowly drew it out into the light. My grimace deepened as a slithering mess trailed out after it. All told it had to be a good 12 to 14 inches of black, glistening filth that seemed to wriggle and squirm with a life of its own. I soon realized that the movement was only me not being able to hold still my repulsion as well as everything else now at arm’s length. That was when I called for Dimples to come here for a minute.
As she approached the bathroom door, I told her to take a breath and steady herself. With a look of dread, she stopped, breathed and then rounded the door frame. One look and her hand flew straight for her mouth, her eyes clamped shut and she stumbled back in horror. It was only with a tremendous force of will that she did not redecorate her closet door with that evening’s repast. As she muttered “oh my God” repeatedly under her breath, I told her that what I was holding was all her and all her fault. Then I asked if she might be able to pull herself together enough to bring me a paper towel. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could stand there holding the thing up and my lunch down at the same time.
Dimples soon informed me in a weak and withered voice that, of course, she was out of paper towels. Next I asked for a plastic grocery bag. That she had. She approached me with bag open and outstretched at arm’s length, eyes clamped shut and head turned as far to one side as humanly possible. I thought I’d spare her the torment just this once: I took the bag with my one free hand and placed the befouled creature inside. I sealed it with a tight double knot and put it in the trash, never to be seen, by the grace of God, again.
After a few more minutes of tinkering, I was able to figure out how to put everything back together again without it leaking all over the inside of the cabinet underneath. As I watched the water drain at its new, lightening-quick speed, I threw out my chest and walked with a swagger back to the living room. I resisted the urge to beat my chest and bellow to my jungle friends, but only just barely.
As I sat on the love seat, contemplating how to make good my escape from the latest episode of a reality television love program, I began to wonder how I manage to get suckered into these things. Is it the playing to my ego? Is it the flattery and cooed acclamations of what a “big, strong man” I am? Is it the praising of my superior intellect? Is it my cunning wit and dashing good looks? The answer is “yes” and these are the burdens I must bear. It’s amazing some lucky girl hasn’t snapped me up all ready.
Now if I could just get one of them to return my phone calls…