Friday, March 21, 2008

EMAIL I wish I had sent

To: Staff, Silicon Valley facility
Re: That rubber-cup-and-stick thingy

This is for the men who use the men's room on the first floor near the executive suite. If that is not you, please disregard this message.

Okay. So you may have noticed this rubber-cup-and-stick thingy that's sitting by each toilet. This thingy is called a TOILET PLUNGER. Now, some of you may wonder why this device is located by each toilet. Well, that's because we have low-flow toilets (duh, we're in a desert, of course we have low-flow toilets) and they clog easily, and these devices can be used to unclog said toilets after they become reeking ponds of feces and toilet paper.

Now, it has become increasingly clear over the past month that the last sentence might as well be written in Urdu for all the good it does. Every time I go to use the toilet, I end up needing to unclog someone else's clog. Obviously some people need instructions on how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy. There's no shame in that. Not all of us can be engineers. Some of us manage to escape childhood under the notion that a wrench is a woman in a red light district, and a screwdriver is a drink. So I will give you directions now on how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy.

First, grasp the top of the stick with both hands. Don't worry, it's not poisonous. It won't bite. It won't sear unhealable scars in your hands if you pick up a tool for once in your lifetime.

Next, lift the stick, and the rubber cup attached to it, and hold it above the toilet. Put the rubber cup into the toilet, and fit it lightly over the hole at the bottom of the toilet.

Next, push down on the stick with a rapid motion, and, just as rapidly, pull back up until the rubber cup is just lightly over the hole again. Repeat. Then lift the rubber cup away from the hole and see what happens.

If the water level goes down to a normal level, or the toilet even flushes (gasp!), then attempt flushing again. If the next flush works, congratulations, you've performed your first successful use of a tool! If not, repeat the cup-over-hole push pull process again.

Finally, if there is any question about the above directions, please feel free to grab a member of engineering or operations to show you how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy. We won't laugh at you. Not much, anyhow. You will be a better person for finally learning how to use one tool. Why, a few more decades, and you may even learn how to change a flat tire! Okay, so maybe not, but a man can dream, right?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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