June 29, 2010

Soapy Balls

Look, I hate to say it because it's crass but there's no other way of putting this - McGuyver was a pussy. Okay, sure he took down a nuclear missile headed for downtown L.A. with a whistle, a can of AquaNet and a highlighter (yellow). And he saved himself and a hundred other doomed souls in a pilotless private plane headed towards Mount Rushmore with tin-foil and a riding crop. And you can't forget liberating himself and a cadre of American political prisoners from a Central American jail using only a coconut, a toothpick and a bottle of Orangina. (Okay, I made these up because I can't remember the specifics from a single McGuyver episode.)

That's all well and good but he never had to get a golf ball out of a bathtub drain. Which is so much harder than it sounds.

Now, I'm not sure about the exact configurations of your tubs because I haven't yet snuck into all your houses in the middle of the night while you're sleeping but in our house the tub drains are the exact same dimensions of a soapy wet golf ball. What was I doing with my soapy wet balls in the tub - with children present - you may be asking? It's unclear but one kid or the other dragged them into the tub.

I won't bore you with the physics of removing a golf ball from a tub drain. Because I don't understand the physics of removing a golf ball from a tub drain or physics in general. But a number of options were tried which illustrate the futility.

  • Hands. It is impossible to remove a golf ball from a tub drain with your hands. The ball is, as we've established, soapy and wet, and the suction from the drain itself doesn't exactly make the ball a willing participant.
  • Thick paper. Paper and water do not mix. Duh.
  • Old credit cards. Thin and flexible. You'd think that would be a good enough combination to get around and under the ball but no such luck.
  • Qtips. See thick paper. Also? Bendy.
  • Yelling at the ball. Oddly this too failed.

At one point, Mia looked at me and said daddy, we might just have to call someone and I nearly resigned myself to closing the door and telling the kids okay, we're just never using this bathroom again. Nearly. I spied a doorstop loose in the wall, wrestled it out and noticed that it had a pointy end. And then I stabbed the golf ball through the heart, vampire-like, and plucked it from the tub. The children cheered. I quietly uttered take that you little fucker. And all was right with the world.

When was your last heroic moment?

Posted by Chris at June 29, 2010 6:28 AM

Last night. I saved Fritz from a bear.
No kidding. A black bear decided our patio looked like a good place for a dump and poor Fritz was beside himself with fear. (85 pounds of fearful German Shepherd) I stroked his fur and spoke gently to him and he never left my side all night. He still thinks he saved me, and I will never tell the other dogs that he didn't.

Posted by: Maribeth at June 29, 2010 8:45 AM

Saturday when I opted to sit by the pool rather than subject beachgoers too me in a bathing suit...thatas pretty fucken heroic

Posted by: Dee at June 29, 2010 9:46 AM

Chris, you can get it out... here's what I would do:

Get a stick of sorts, be clever with this part. But it should cover some surface area on top of the ball.
2) Mix up some 5 minute epoxy.
3) Epoxy the stick-of-your-choice to the golfball.
4) Hold and wait 5 minutes.
5) lift ball out with the stick.


Posted by: jessica at June 29, 2010 10:28 AM

i read your post again and saw you did, indeed remove the ball in a very vampire-like fashion. Congratulations.

I somehow missed that part because i was thinking "Hey, I thought McGuyver was hott when I was in middle school!" LOL

Posted by: jessica at June 29, 2010 10:42 AM

Depends on your definition of "hero". I'm pretty sure I've never really done anything heroic by normal standards, but I stopped at Tim Hortons (think donuts) after a ball game and I ruled the motherfucking world...

...for about 20 minutes. Then it was bed time and I was a pariah. Again.

Posted by: harmzie at June 29, 2010 11:20 AM

Pliers would have probably worked well...

My sister-in-law is going to be working overseas for a year and we told her we would take her dog, even though we just got a puppy. It was either us, or taking the poor dog to her parent's farm and certain death by bigger, meaner dogs. So, not exactly heroic, but a good deed, nonetheless!

Posted by: Holly at June 29, 2010 12:08 PM

I rescued someone's purse, left behind at the bus stop, about a month ago. Pretty heroic, I must say. :)

Posted by: oakmonster at June 29, 2010 1:36 PM

Chris, a drill and duct tape....I am not sure how, but tell me what can't be fixed with a drill and duct tape.


Posted by: Scott at June 29, 2010 3:16 PM

hmm... I'm not heroic, but I am wondering if you have a shop vac in your house. That's what I would have used.

Posted by: pvz at June 29, 2010 4:09 PM

First of all, I do nothing heroic...but I'm a teacher. So I fix booboo's with hugs, a new pencil, and often a little Toody Ta dance, and our world in first grade rocks again.

Secondly.....did you try a spoon? I'm thinking it's little enough that it might use it's curviness and slip around the ball?

Posted by: Wendy at June 29, 2010 4:28 PM

I thought about this all day to come up with my most heroic moment....

My son was about 6 (1996), Tamagachis were hot (those toys that would "live" until you didn't "feed" them and they'd die). We were at the beach camping. He was behind me coming off the boardwalk. I heard a blood curdling scream followed by hysterical crying. He had dropped the Tamagachi between the slats of the boardwalk - right where it started sloping down toward the road. No going under to get it. I devised something with a stick and I don't know what else and was able to slowly move it over to where it could be lifted out between the slats. HERO!

Posted by: NancyJ at June 29, 2010 5:17 PM

One of the benefits to being mechanically inclined is that you get to put together and/or fix a lot of children's toys. I'm badass.

Posted by: alektra at June 29, 2010 6:35 PM

i don't even know, but i love this post :)

Posted by: kati at June 29, 2010 11:22 PM

A few years ago, when I was still living with my parents, I was staying alone because they were out of town. I went outside to get the newspaper or mail or something, and ended up locking myself out of the house. Our neighbors (who were our landlords) weren't home, so I had to take the screen off of a window and open the window from the outside (which was unlocked, thank goodness) and crawl in the window over the TV. I was so proud of myself!

Posted by: Stephanie at June 29, 2010 11:33 PM

I'm going to ignore the fact that you totally dissed my childhood hero (Yes, I have every season here on DVD somewhere....) I LOVED MacGyver!
I would have tried what eventually worked with stabbing the ball or have gotten one of those suction dart things that kids have and try to grab it with the suction cup and lift it out....

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at June 30, 2010 3:37 AM

Next time: vacuum cleaner. Use the hose with no attachments.

Posted by: Kate at June 30, 2010 1:35 PM