Have we established that our household is especially prone to really weird-ass homeowner-related crises? From multiple extended power outages whenever there's like, wind or a slight drizzle to OVEN FIRES to ZOMG BIRDS/MICE/SQUIRRELS, our house really seems to enjoy forcing us to confront our dazzling lack of adult coping skills.
Last night I made some homemade chicken tenders for dinner, and served them with a dazzing array of absolutely not-homemade dipping sauces. (Exotic foodie stuff, like "honey mustard" and "ketchup" and "I think this is BBQ sauce that's been in the fridge since 2008 but the label got pulled off but I'm sure it's fine because bottled condiments last forever like Twinkies, right?") I put everybody's favorite respective dipping sauce into small food-prep bowls, like this one:
You may notice the ridge of this particular bowl is a tad beat-up looking. That will be important later.
You may ALSO notice (or not, because we sure as hell didn't) that this bowl is almost EXACTLY the same size of the average kitchen sink drain. That will also be important.
One of our delightfully helpful children deposited his dinner dishes directly into the sink. Jason proceeded to run the water and the garbage disposal, failing to notice that this bowl was floating around in there, until...
The bowl settled directly into the drain, where it got stuck. Like, perfectly, completely stuck. It sealed up the drain and was completely immovable and ungrabbable, like a concave drain-stop.
Huh. Okay. Now...what?
After trying (and failing) to dislodge the bowl using 1) a butter knife, 2) an oyster shucker, 3) a fondue fork, and 4) a goddamn mini-crowbar thing and a giant rubber mallet, I decided to turn to the Google.
And wouldn't you know it, despite this being...uh...an extremely, almost painfully specific problem, I discovered that lo, we were far from the only people in the world to get a prep bowl lodged in our sink drain. Yahoo Answers was full of advice, as were several message board threads. Use a plunger! Fill the sink with ice so the bowl will contract! No, hot water! No, use cooking oil! Run the dishwasher!
(Speaking of service-y advice, this blog still gets a shocking number of search referrals re: iPhones dropped in toilets. Happy to help, Internet!)
Unfortunately, the thing that ended up working for most people was breaking the bowl. Which is doable if you're talking about a glass Pyrex bowl, but we were dealing with a melamine bowl. Which I had bought instead of the Pyrex because these came in a variety of pretty, Martha-Stewart-approved colors.
(THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, MARTHA.)
And this time, Googling "how to break a melamine prep bowl that is currently wedged in a sink drain under four inches of muck-water" did not return any results. We were on our own, out in Idiotville. We were going to have to call a plumber and get the stupid garbage disposal stupid disconnected so we could push the stupid bowl out in the other stupid direction and it was going to cost stupid money because STUPID.
The plumber came this morning. He repeated our futile attempts to dislodge one side of the bowl with a screwdriver and a hammer. Then a different mini-crowbar. He really didn't feel like disconnecting the garbage disposal either, which was a nice thing for us to have in common. We bonded a little bit there, in our joint bafflement over how the FUCK to get this stupid bowl out of the drain.
Finally he went back to his truck and came back with a giant-ass drill.
Fast-forward to now, when we're down 95 damn dollars and one prep bowl*, and I would just like to contribute this tiny bit of knowledge to the universe, or at least the portion of the universe that may currently be searching for a solution to their melamine-prep-bowl-lodged-in-sink problem: Get a giant-ass drill and drill a hole in that motherfucker. BOOM.
Once it's sufficiently shattered, you can finally get a grip on the bowl and pull it out. Then wash your hands. That standing muck-water of leftover condiments was no joke.
*We're actually down six prep bowls, because I promptly chucked every single one of those suckers and ordered some silicone prep bowls instead. Look at me! Learning and stuff and shit. Baaah.