Subtitle: In which I sigh about my giant hair, but grin about the giant brain it conceals.
Sink backed up? Hey take it ease, I just invented a new way to unclog a drain. It works really well on those nasty hairballs that reside a few inches below your drain’s crosshairs, the secret, out-of-sight wet dreadlocks that back up the sink or tub into a scummy mess.
I get these in the tub periodically, which I guess makes sense because I only brush my hair in the shower. But today’s monstrosity was in the sink, and I don’t really shed hair into my sink. OK, maybe one hair a day.
Then again, my giant hair is about 20 inches long, and I’ve lived here for 16 months, and 16 months x 30 days a month x 1 hair a day x 20 inches a hair = 9600 inches of hair, and as I contemplate 800 feet of hair, what is that sensation, is that bile rising in my mouth? How strange. And also, what the hell are they suspended on down there? And why are they always grey and ferrety when they come back up? Upsetting.
Stop thinking about it. Seriously. Who cares, now you can get them outta there for free in like 20 seconds because of my giant brain’s new invention. I haven’t named it yet, and will consider suggestions.
You will need:
A drinking straw. Bendy is nice but not imperative.
As you can see, I used some badass medical forceps thingies from back in my dad’s lab days. They even have his initials on them on a strip of weird orange tape. Your tweezers probably aren’t as good as mine, but don’t feel too bad about it. You could also use pliers. Even unbending a paperclip would work in a pinch. You might not wanna use the tweezers you pluck your eyebrows with, though, just for psychological reasons.
What you do:
Squeeze the straw so it flattens.
Snip little cuts, on an angle, into about half the length of the straw. Unflatten the straw & flex it around a bit so the little triangles you cut out look like barbs.
If you’re using a bendy straw, snip the non-bendy end, and note that you want your little barbs to point upwards, towards the bendy part.
Run some water into the drain for a few seconds, because wet hair is more flexible and will probably come up a little easier.
Hold the straw by the unsnipped end, so the barbs are pointing upwards.
Dip the straw into the drain.
Wiggle your straw up & down and slowly rotate it so the barbed side encounters your monstrosity.
Note: in the sink the drain goes straight down for 10 inches or so. In a bathtub, the drain usually makes a 90′ bend back towards the wall.
If you don’t feel the resistance of snagged hair, try a few other positions in the drain- the hair-rat might be against one side, or in the middle.
If you need to go deeper, use the tweezers to help manouvre the straw. The bendy part of a bendy straw provides good traction for this step.
When you feel the clog, try to use the straw to force it up against the side of the drain, and really rub against it hard so the little barbs catch. Imagine you’re a socially-awkward businesman on a Tokyo train at rush-hour.
When you feel you’ve hooked your horrible prize, carefully pull it up, not too fast or you’ll lose your fish. When you see it, grab it with the tweezers (or hook it with the paper clip) and birth that horrid baby into the light. Then wrap it up in a wad of toilet paper, throw it away, scrub your hands compulsively, and pretend it never happened.
I pulled an eight-inch peltsnake out of my drain today. I decided that it was private, though, and declined to photograph it. Too bad, nosey.
PS – I know, that whole thing was super-grode, sorry. Need a drink? Here’s a tutorial on How to get them to give you a free cocktail on an airplane.