Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Golf Ball

So this past Saturday, Patch, age eight, was super-excited to attend her bestie’s birthday party. It was at this new place on the highway, a weird combination of haunted house and miniature golf, with an arcade thrown in, all in psychedelic ultraviolet and day-glow coloration. Okay. Problem is, Patch never played miniature golf before, and was more than a little nervous.

I went down into the basement, dusted the cobwebs off my golf bag (I played for a couple of years around the turn of the century) and retrieved my putter and a golf ball. I set a little cup on the living room rug, taught Patch how to hold the club and how to position her feet and body, and before we knew it she was sinking six-foot putts.

She fell in love with it, putting until the party and putting some more once she got home.

Her older sister, Little One, age twelve, obviously had to do something about all this.

She did this by stealing the golf ball.

Now, I was back in the basement while all this was happening, doing the exercises in my tax book. Little One quietly drifts into the room, wallflowerish and shy, casting the bare minimum of eye contact my way. I looked up and knew something was wrong.

“Dad,” she says, and I’m condensing what seemed like an eight-minute conversation into eight words: “The golf ball got flushed down the toilet.”


Seems that Little One stole the golf ball from Patch, put it in the front pocket of her hoodie, forgot about it, and later went to the bathroom. When her business was done she turned and flushed, and while she was bent forward the ball rolled out, plunked into the bowl, and was sucked down the pipe.

Clogging the toilet.

So we went upstairs, and I flushed it again, confirming the clog. I looked at Little One, saying sternly (but with an inadvertent grin on my face), “Okay. Roll up your sleeves. You’re going in.”

She looked back at me horrified. “Reach in,” I said, “and see if you can feel the golf ball. The water’ll be very cold, but there’s nothing nasty in there.” I added, “... at least, there shouldn’t be …”

Note: I enjoyed every minute of the minute she reached her hand down the bowl to retrieve the golf ball.

Problem was, entire hand up to her wrist wedged down toilet piping, she couldn’t feel the golf ball.

We grabbed a hanger, bent it, and I tried to find the ball to fish it out that way. Nothing doing. And I was hesitant to use the plunger, not wanting to force the ball down deeper, causing more of a problem.

“We have to call the plumber,” I told the wife. She had an office day on Monday, a day where she works from home, so he could come then and retrieve the golf ball. Hopefully for less than $500.

For the next thirty-six hours we had to use the upstairs bathroom for our private needs. That was lots of fun.

On Monday I got this text from the Mrs.:

the toilet just got carried out of the house … uh-oh

Three-and-a-half hours later, the toilet was reinstalled. The good news is that it is working better than ever. The bad news is, I haven’t got the bill yet. The wife did authorize the plumber to clean out the pipes and do whatever maintenance was necessary as the toilet did have a history of giving us trouble. So there will be additional charges.

But Little One is anxiously, nervously, nail-biting-ly awaiting that bill, to see how much she’s going to be working off, doing yardwork with me this fall and winter and, possibly, next spring and summer as well, to pay off her golf ball debt …


Edward Kasa said...

If it wasn't for the cost you will incur, that was a very entertaining story. You know if it was me back in my youth, I would have made you or your brother go in head first to "look" for it. hahahaha.

LE said...

I'm still waiting to get to the "we can laugh about it now" stage in real life, but writing about it helped a lot.