Last Saturday night, after an X-rated evening with my husband, I reluctantly dragged my butt out of bed to the bathroom.

In the movies, after sex everyone collapses into a post-coital nest of blankets and high-thread-count pillows, and slumbers until the sun rises.

Not me.

After reading every woman-focused magazine on the planet since I was barely old enough to hold my neck upright, I know for a fact that if you go to bed with your make-up on, you will wake up looking 67 years older and your face will NEVER RECOVER. (Damn, the ad campaigns for make-up remover work!)

Plus my Mom is a dental assistant and I know if I go to bed without brushing my teeth, in the morning at least one tooth will be throbbing and black. (May or may not be accurate – lies I was told as a child still have a stranglehold over my common sense.)

This is how at midnight I came to be swaying and blearily pondering my reflection in the bathroom mirror. As I bear-paw swiped my toothbrush out of its holder, it slid from my hands and with nary a sound, it plopped down into the sink and straight down the drain.

Here’s where you’re like, hold up. Don’t they have sink stoppers in Canada?

They do, but ours is weird. It’s not broken per se, but more like slightly inconvenient so none of the adults in my home have done anything about it. When the stopper is in the sink it doesn’t let much water down the drain, causing a back-up of toothpaste soup when you brush AND there isn’t a way to adjust it to 100% plug the drain. So, the plug can’t handle the only two jobs it was given and thus we keep it beside my makeup bag and have an exposed gaping hole in the sink that has been known to gleefully swallow jewelry, hair elastics, small jar lids and now my whole goddamn toothbrush.

Guess when I don’t feel like tapping into hidden MacGyver skills? MIDNIGHT. IN THE BATHROOM. NAKED.

Maybe some wives would have gone in and shook their husbands awake for help. Maybe these wives enjoy long lectures about being more careful. Maybe some wives would have counter-argued that the husband should have contacted the landlord right when this became an issue because all elements of plumbing seem like a blue job vs a pink job. Some wives know better though.

This was my clumsy problem to solve.

To my surprise, when I leaned over and nearly lost an eye on the tap, I could see it! The pipe was just long enough for the toothbrush to be sitting there, inches out of my grasp, basically taunting me with a “heyyyyyyy, your landlord isn’t going to liiiiiike thisss. You could go to bed right now but how does that left molar feel right now?”

You know those random items in your home you have no idea where they came from but occasionally you attempt to get rid of them and your kid sees it and declares in a heap of tears, “but but but that’s my faaaaaavourite!” I have never ever needed a device to scratch myself but for some reason we have a long and thin plastic pole with a shoe horn on one end and a back scratcher with a detachable tiny plastic hand on the other end (creepy, right?). Miraculously it was in the bathroom closet, hidden from my kid so she would forget about it. I pulled it down slowly and paused, admired it like it was a crown jewel.

Help me creepy back scratcher, you’re my only hope.

The hand attachment was too wide to fit down the drain so I yanked it off and set it down on the counter. I tiptoed past the bedroom to get a roll of masking tape from the kitchen. I wrapped a sticky wad of it around the end of the pole and jabbed it down into the sink hole in an attempt to forcefully adhere it to the end of the toothbrush. Once, no twice, no, the third time the pole emerged without the sticky wad of tape which was now stuck to the end of the toothbrush, still not close enough for me to grab.

Have you ever screamed silently? It’s the least satisfying thing in the world.

I started to think that maybe I could just leave it. I could use my husband’s or kid’s toothbrush tonight and deal with it in the morning but then I gagged 8787587 times thinking about that so I peeled more masking tape off the roll and applied it with a grim face to the end of the pole and sloooowly dangled it down the pipe like I was retrieving Baby Jessica from the well, and pinned the toothbrush against the side of the pipe and said a prayer to the Patron Saint of Pipes Adele, and slooowly dragged the pole back up and with it came all the tape wads and MY TOOTHBRUSH.

I grabbed it and held it aloft like the Lion King’s son and nearly wept with joy. I had pooled all my limited resources that dawn and heroically rescued my dental future. After some blasts of hot water and a close inspection for any pipe goo in the bristles, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, lotioned all the old parts of me and crept into bed.

After a sleep so sound you could have given me a root canal and I wouldn’t have stirred, I woke up, and in between counting and spooning coffee grinds into the coffee maker, I proudly told my husband about my plumbing prowess. He cocked an eyebrow which is HUGE; the guy isn’t known to dole out feverish high fives or exulted yells.

I should have gone low-brow and mentioned how great I was at cleaning SO MANY PIPES.

I still haven’t put in a request to have the sink plug looked at or swapped out my toothbrush for one that wasn’t nestled, even just for a few minutes, in festering sink water. Of course this is just tempting fate as the next time something more valuable will certainly be swallowed down the drain. For me to think this is the end of the sink saga is really just a *swipes sunglasses off and pauses* pipe dream.


Brooke Takhar is a Vancouver-based mama to one goon and busy body to all. She loves the Internet, glittery nail polish, over-sharing and teaching her kid outdated dance moves. If you really love her, you'll fight in public.

1 Comment

  1. Nicely done story! You can also have a videoscope or another device that allows to regularly check on pipes and clean them timely

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