Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Failure on the First - Death by Drains


YAY. It’s time for MORE FAILURE. So, you may have noticed something – I claim this blog to be about training for housewifely duties, and I talk about sewing (A LOT) and I have talked about cooking (once) but I DO NOT TALKING ABOUT CLEANING
There’s a reason for this. I’m pretty bad at cleaning – I mean, most of the time, I keep my house respectable. If we have guests coming around, it gets a bit cleaner, and if the landlord is coming for an inspection I run around like a tornado of cleaning until it is spotless. But on a general day to day basis, I would say that cleaning is my weak point as a housewife (it’s OK, Mr P knows this). The following story demonstrates this, I call it “The Day I tried to kill myself whilst cleaning the shower.”
So a little while ago it had reached that point where the shower plughole was blocked - again. A little context here, Mr P and I both have long hair which falls out, a LOT. By this I do not mean either of us is going bald, we just have that hair that tends to end up lying all over the place, and there still being plenty left on our heads. It's a nightmare. I also realised the whole 'men with long hair' thing is a contentious issue... I do not approve in general, of men with long hair, or really, men with hair, however it Suits Mr P, he'd look odd without it. Yet another way he is not the man of my dreams... but it does mean I get to practise new hairstyles on someone other than myself!
Anyway, I digress...
I bought some drain unblocker from the pound shop. This should probably have been cause for concern in the first place, but actually, for a lot of cleaning products I find the pound shop does just fine. I may have to re-think that view, in light of the following events.
I decided on doing it as soon as I got home from work, seemed like a good idea, so, as the packet instructed I donned a pair of rubber gloves, found myself a cupful of hot water, and went into the bathroom. I poured a sachet of this strange powder down the plug hole... that's when it started to go wrong, I noticed a strange vapour coming out of the plughole, so, being me, and therefore not very sensible, I started to pour the cup of hot water down the plug hole, as the instructions told me to... the vapours increased, and an accidental lungful burnt like the fires of hell... so, leaving half the cupful of water, I raced out of the bathroom, and stuck my head out of the (thankfully open) bedroom window.
Once I'd stopped coughing, I took a deep lungful of fresh air, dashed into the bathroom, poured the rest of the cupful of water down the plughole, ran into the kitchen, grabbing the box of instructions en-route and half hung out of the kitchen window.
By this point I had the extractor fan on in the bathroom, the extractor fan above the over on, and both windows in the flat wide open. Even to duck my head back inside the kitchen window made my lungs burn, the vapours had filled the entire flat (even though I'd kept the bathroom door firmly shut.
I read the instructions.
"Leave for ten minutes. May produce flamable gasses."
Flamable I wasn't overly worried about, I wasn't making any flames, but I hadn't been silly and overlooked the "Warning, wear gas mask whilst using" symbol, or the alert reading "This product will sear a layer off the inside of your lungs" - it simply wasn't mentioned. Goodness knows what was down my plughole.
So, I sat there, with my upper body hanging out of our second story window, for ten minutes. Just as the ten minutes are coming to a close, Mr P's car draws up, he's home from work. Now, it's worth mentioning here, Mr P has asthma, and not the kind of 'if it's cold or I have hayfever I get a little out of breath' asthma, but the kind of 'if I forget to take one of my doses of drugs in a day I need to go to hospital straight away' kind of asthma... and here's me, with a flat full of noxious gasses.
"Helloooo" I yell to him out of the window, he glances up at me. "I'm sorry." I say, "I love you. But you can't come in."
I, briefly, explain, and with a shrug he tells me he's going to the pub (next door) and I can join him when I'm done. I'm so grateful he's not mad at me from barring him from coming home after a long day at work that I nearly collapse.
The time comes to set the water running through the plughole, so it's another lungful of fresh air out of the window, and another dash to the bathroom, holding my breath, while I turn the shower on, before returning to sitting with my head out of the window.
I let it run for five minutes, and then, leaving all the windows wide open, the bathroom door open to ventilate it into the flat, the extractor fan in the bathroom still on, coughing and spluttering, I too vanished to the pub.
An hour later we decided to venture back, and it was, mercifully fine, the plughole now no longer blocked, I'd stopped coughing (after about half an hour) and Mr P wasn't really all that mad.
Still, lesson learnt, expensive drain cleaner might be worth it, because although the cheap stuff has worked, I rather like my lungs the way they are.
Katy x

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