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Wednesday, February 23, 2005 :::

An Ode to the Roto-Rooter Man

I stayed home sick today with what may or may not be some variation of the flu or something. So I decided that as long as I am a house-bound shut-in today, I may as well have Roto-Rooter come out and clean the bathtub drain that has been awfully slow lately and occasionally backs up. I've decided that even worse than being a refuse collector would be being a Roto-Rooter man. At least garbage men have a thin layer of plastic bag protecting them from actually coming into contact with your half-eaten bananas and clipped toe-nails.

My particular Roto-Rooter guy was a nice enough fellow with a foreign accent (maybe Greek, maybe Israeli, I'm not sure) but when I went down to the basement to see how it was going, he gave me a dirty look and said in his thick accent "That was disgusting. That was really really awful bad." Roto-Rooter men must see some pretty sick shit on a daily basis, so the fact that he actually had to comment on how bad it was must really mean something. I caught a glimpse of his drain bucket and noticed it was filled with a black oil-like sludge that was probably decades worth of melted hair, soap scum, rotted filth and god knows what else. Then he told me that it had sprayed all over his face. I noticed his shirt was also covered in black stains as well. At that point, I was so grateful that I didn't have to do that job myself, that I would have paid him anything had he asked.

$300 later and my pipes are clean and it was worth every penny.


::: posted by dan at 12:13 PM :: [ link ] :: (14) comments Social Bookmark Button

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14 previous comments:



Was his face and body adequate in shielding the rest of our things from being sprayed with black drain vomit?

By Blogger Kristina, at 12:45 PM  




That is truly gross. What made it worse is I had just put in a piece of candy (advertised as a "milk chocolate ball with a creamy caramel center") in my mouth when I began reading. That gooey candy quickly became, in my mind, melted hair and rotted filth.

By Blogger Rob, at 1:17 PM  




That guy probably deals with poop (other people's) on a daily basis, so that drain must've been really really bad. I have enough trouble cleaning my own hair out of our bathroom drain. Ew.

By Blogger Biglug, at 1:24 PM  




Love the last line of your post...

By Blogger Robert, at 2:18 PM  




Ha, I figured people would try to sully that last line by misinterpreting it, but there is just no good way to talk about getting your pipes cleaned without it coming off as a sexual innuendo.

By Blogger dan, at 2:55 PM  




Feeling kind of nauseous after reading that. I had to do the hair+scum in shower drain cleaning the other day and was almost retching. That's the only gross job I don't make my short-haired husband do. Hmm, that makes him sound kind of like a pet, doesn't it?

By Blogger Christine, at 4:12 PM  




That is so foul..... I almost lost it while I read it. I hope you proclaimed that you just bought the house or blamed it on that dog that chewed on everything.

That was an expensive pipe cleaning. I know a gal that can do it for like $40....

By Blogger BigDubb, at 4:22 PM  




I LOVE that your roomie's first concern was "our stuff"! That was exactly what went thru my head first ... "Gee, I hope that spray-scum didn't get on anything important."

By Blogger annie, at 4:55 PM  




I'm afraid this anecdote casts even more suspicion on your self-proclaimed neat-freak-ism.

Neat freaks do not gag an experienced plumber.

By Blogger S&J, at 2:54 PM  




Good Lord! I think I just peed my pants a little a laughed so hard. Poor RR man! No wait..I'm still laughing. And I spit hot coffee on my laptop.

Thanks, I needed that!

By Anonymous mikevil, at 3:30 PM  




That's not fair, danceswithtrout. My house is 80 years old and I've only lived here three years. That could be anyone's sick pipe sludge.

By Blogger dan, at 3:53 PM  




Itís not that I donít care about the RR Man; itís just that I already heard about what happened to him, what I didnít know is what happened to me. See? Oh and, schnauzers donít shed, I guess in order to get hairballs they have to eat my purple sweater, not that my sweater was made from hair, it was wool, and wool is sheep hair, so I guess Gus ate my hair sweater. Nevermind.

By Blogger Kristina, at 5:48 PM  




Are you feeling better? Hope it wasn't really too flu-like. Sorry my earlier nausea covered any concern for your health.

By Blogger Christine, at 7:54 AM  




you ain't seen gross until the Roto Rooter man has to pull the 40-year old toilet out to run the rooter only to discover.....dozens of old tampons!!

(we moved in last month & bought the house from an 80 yr old woman who lived alone....no IDEA what was going on in there......)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:16 AM  




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