All the King’s Horses, and All the King’s Men…

My, what a week it’s been; and it’s only Wednesday. It all started on Sunday night, when the teenboy was doing dishes. I went through the ‘fridge and cleared out the scary things. One of those things was a leftover dish of chicken, too old to eat. Well, unless you’re Vlad the Impaler and you plan on serving it to your dinner guest. But I digress… Part of this baked chicken dish was Black Rice. I’d found it at our local H.E.B. and thought I’d give it a try. It’s really cool, quite delicious, and turns the baked chicken purple. 🙂

Again, I digress. Please forgive me. I’m working on the first cup of coffee.

When used in my baked chicken dish, black rice comes out sticky every time. This is good when serving. Not good for running down the garbage disposal. I know I’ve mentioned this to the teenboy.

I’m working on a business card design for a client, so I’m hyper-focused in Photoshop. In the background, I vaguely hear the noise of the garbage disposal running intermittently; kind of like someone doing short bursts of food. I think nothing of it. Suddenly the teenboy hollers from the kitchen, “Mom! We have a problem!”

I pull my focus away from the lovely design I’ve made and go see what the problem is in the kitchen. Oh, dear… Not only is the kitchen sink backed up, but it seems to have backed up into the dishwasher, too. We had this problem last year, but not so bad as to backup into the dishwasher. The plumber left something rather potent with us that wouldn’t damage the pipes. I try that, knowing it will have to sit overnight.

The next morning, the sink is still clogged. Mr. Magick Man tries the plunger (ewww… I know where that’s been!!! Now I really have to clean the sink!!!) No joy. We really don’t want to call a plumber and bend over for them… again… the last one didn’t even have the decency to wine and dine us first. So, before calling one of the major plumbing companies, I called the guy that came out to fix our washing machine when it broke. He’s a local handyman, has his own business. I know, it’s kinda’ like working with a “shade-tree mechanic” when your car breaks down, but when you find a good one… Anyway, I called Tommy. Turns out he does work on some sink repair issues.

While we’re waiting, there are dirty dishes in my kitchen. I can’t stand it. I put my bikini on, have the boy haul dishes to my bathtub, and I start washing dishes. No pictures were taken (thankfully…). I was done, dried off and changed before Tommy showed up.

Tommy brought an assistant this time. He and his buddy Frankie gave it a try. No joy, but they didn’t charge me for their time, either. While he was here, Tommy called his friend who works on this stuff, and he came over that day. Well, he couldn’t fix it either, but he didn’t charge me for his time. Ok, I figure that’s two service calls I didn’t have to pay for.  This second guy says he has a friend who works for one of the major plumbing companies during the day and during off hours he does his own gig. I should hear something tonight to schedule for Tuesday.  OK…

They leave the sink rigged up so I can do dishes in the kitchen instead of the bathtub. The pipes are disconnected at the bottom and I have a pot of water to catch everything. So I have to watch the water and haul the pot when it gets full.  Oh teenboy!!!

Tuesday rolls around… no call from any plumber last night. So I call the guy who knew the plumber. Got voicemail. I left a message but I don’t want to wait. I’ve had to deal with this since Sunday. I call Tommy. Tommy makes a few calls, then suddenly I get a call from a plumber named Vincent. Vincent can be at my house at my convenience. I told him between noon and one. He shows up at 12:30.

Tommy (the first guy I called) called me while Vincent was here, asking if I’d heard from William yet. I said, “No…. but some guy named Vincent called me and he’s here now working on the sink. Does he know William?” Tommy determined Vincent works with a different company but said he’d drop by to check on things. I think he did this to ease my concerns. Really nice guy. Tommy did do just that, within 10 minutes of the phone call.


He does his best, but he can’t fix it either. He may have been the apprentice because another plumber came in behind him who seemed to supervise his work and this guy couldn’t fix it. He left Vincent to pack up and went to the next job. I asked Vincent how much I owed him for his time. He didn’t know… he said George would be in touch. I don’t think George has my contact information and I didn’t sign anything. OK…. Something tells me I just got another free service call.

At this point I gave up. I called ARS. They came out that night. With heavy machinery, they unblocked whatever was clogging the line and preventing the previous guys from “snaking” the pipe. I don’t know what they did, but $230 later I have a kitchen sink and a dishwasher again.

Oh, and btw, I just got a call from Tommy and Frankie, asking if they ever got my problem taken care of yesterday. Those two may not have been able to solve this particular problem, but they are good at follow-up and other household “fix-it” issues.


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