The original plan that day was to go into Toronto. Allison was feeling better, and she wanted to see the various neighbourhoods of Toronto she had heard so much about. That was the original plan, and plans around the Sowrey homestead tend to change without warning.
That morning, it was because of simple request: "Geoff, can you help me move the chest downstairs?"
The dishwasher had overflowed and leaked into the basement, leaking onto a chest. Why had the dishwasher overflowed? A plug in the line. Take three guesses what we didn’t do that day.
We tried Drano. To no avail. We tried a plunger. To no avail. We tried more Drano. To no avail. We tried draining the trap, running a short line to clean out whatever the problem was, filling it up with Drano, and then plunging it. To no avail.
My dad returned with a bottle of sulphuric acid. The reaction between the sulphuric acid and the Drano was pungent, chasing everyone from the kitchen. It did nothing. After my father disappeared to go to his job, I went up to the load hardware store and returned with a drain snake. Even shoving 15 feet of this into the drain did nothing.
Allison suffered the entire time. She wanted to go to Toronto. Instead, she was effectively banished to the basement, and surfed the Internet. All day. For about four hours, I did nothing but try and clear this wretched clog. To no avail.
Dinner that evening was at Cathy and Craig’s, where I (under the supervision of the master chef Allison) made Indian curry. Mmmmm, tasty. We spent several hours there, making dinner, eating dinner, and talking the entire time. It was kind of weird, when I thought about all the things that had changed since I left for BC two years ago. Cathy had not only left home, but now had a home of her own. Her own kitchen, her own living room, her own yard.
Returning home, we found my father had effectively dissected the kitchen drain. A collective 12 litres of Drano and sulphuric acid had done nothing to the clog — it wasn’t going anywhere. Of course, that didn’t mean that my dad wasn’t finished. Craig’s snake went in to try and flush out the problem.
I guess you really had to be there. My old man, sitting on a short stool, hanging onto a short metal rod attached to the snake. He reeled it in, he forced it back. It was like watching a dramatisation of "Old Man and the Sea", although I’d reword it — "Old Man and the Sink".
No amount of blowing, sucking, forcing, snaking, or flushing could do anything. At 1:30am, more than 12 hours after this fiasco started, I went to bed.