15 August 2006

Conquering the garbage disposal

The other night I peeled an orange with the intention of eating it. But after one bite I realized that it was no good so I threw into the garbage disposal (yes, I made sure I had one first) and ran it. It sounded awful but ran a little bit then suddenly stopped. I flipped the switch a number of times and it wouldn’t work so I braved the disgust, unplugged the disposal, and plunged into it. I found some of the orange left, but also something else. It was hard and smooth, like plastic, but it had writing on it. I jiggled and pulled but it was stuck and I didn?t have an Allen wrench that fit the hole at the bottom of the disposal to get it unloosed. “Great” I thought, “I just wanted to eat a simple orange and this is what I get”. I grabbed some tools and a flashlight and commenced surgery. I soon found that my disposal was held up by one of my plastic teaspoons which wasn’t just stuck but was actually wedged underneath one of the spinning blades. Now, I don’t know if you have ever been in this situation so I will try to describe it. Start with a tiny 3 maybe 4 inch opening into which you must shove your hand (or other tools) into a dark space where a tiny shaft of light shines down (at best) all the while thinking of all the horrible things you have sent down this very drain and how at any moment they might, for no explainable reason, suddenly come rushing back at you. I pulled and pulled and wiggled and jiggled, but it wouldn?t come unstuck. But I got the disposal to run again, sounding worse than ever. I let it run for a bit but the rest of the spoon would not come out, so I gave up (but not before I dumped oil and soap and ran tons of hot and cold water to try to get it loose. The next day I busted out the needle nose pliers maneuvered them down and twisted and twisted until SNAP! I had gotten a piece of the spoon! I was so excited I did it again. Snap! I got another piece. Snap! A third piece, but this one was so small I wanted to give up before I broke the disposal. I decided to give it one last try. I twisted and twisted and twisted and twisted and stopped (Mr. Fluff wanted to come in) and twisted and twisted until I thought I was going to twist the whole disposal out of my sink then Clunk. I had triumphed over the garbage disposal because I held clutched in the grip of the pliers the last of the spoon. I dropped a few lemon peels down and let the disposal run until they were gone. I am so happy it works now, though I must admit I think I need a more power one.