When you have children nothing lasts for long, let alone forever. Sometimes it seems as if every time I turn around something else is broken. In the summertime, when sound carries the best my neighborhood is full of dog barks, child’s yells and Fathers shouts of ‘Hey what the hell happened in here!”
When I met my wife I already had one son from my first (practice) marriage. It was this prior experience that gave me the courage to mock my wife’s nervousness. I remember when she was about six months pregnant with her first child she brought me a bunch of white plastic trinkets and doo-dads. She said she wanted me to ‘Child Proof’ the house. I looked at that young sweet innocent face, and then I laughed. I laughed hard and long until her face didn’t look so sweet anymore. Sometimes when it is quiet outside in the dark of night and the wind picks up just a little you can still hear ‘The Man’ giggle a bit. I threw the plastic latches in the trash, drove down to the local national guard armory and purchased the things I knew we would need through a contact of mine. I reinforced all the studs in the walls with solid steel beams. I put auto firing turrets by all the breakables and reinforced deadbolts on the silverware drawers. This is what experience does for you.
Then one night many years after that first child was born I was researching what dishwasher to buy when I heard a groan come from the kitchen. The garbage disposal had just quit on my wife. Who is surprised? The old bone crusher successfully ate twelve spoons, two baby bottle nipples, a steak knife, a knight from a chess game and a Polly pocket doll. Even when it ran it couldn’t hardly chew steak anymore. I hope I die before I can’t chew steak anymore. I tried to fix it, but unlike the previous two times I had no luck. It was dead. One of the children must have said goodbye to a G.I. Joe or something worse I don’t even want to think about. I figured what the heck. Who needs a disposal anyway? If a pipe clogs I can fix it. We can just throw away the leftovers, or even compost them. That night I composted the leftovers. I was then up all night while my beagle barked at opossums. The next night was spaghetti night. My wife is a great cook. I just don’t care for spaghetti, so when the lady of the house isn’t paying attention I do what I always do. I pretend I am going to start the dishes. I walk into the kitchen and in one swift movement grind the food down the drain and rinse a couple dishes. This works! Now I am considerate for starting the dishes instead of rude for not eating. Tonight though the disposal is broken, so I put the noodles in the trash can.
All hell broke lose! Of course my wife saw her beloved spaghetti in the trash. I guess it must have taken a week to make or something because she hit the roof. Apparently I had somehow indicated that she is the worst cook ever! I thought I was throwing away a little spaghetti, but what I was really doing was giving divorce lawyers across the country ammunition to take away all my stuff for the rest of my life. WE NEED A GARBAGE DISPOSAL! WE NEED A GARBAGE DISPOSAL NOW!!
I have to admit I was a little scared of replacing the disposal. I know you tried a couple of times and had bad luck. Well let me share the secret with you.
Throw away the directions. Shut off your water and your power. Open the electrical panel at the base of the disposal and disconnect the wiring there. Remove the dishwasher drain hose and disconnect the water pipe. Insert an allen wrench into one of the three holes positioned in a circle towards the top of the disposal. Turn this wrench counterclockwise with your dominant hand while your other hand holds the sink drain just above the disposal keeping it from turning at all. Muscle up and turn. You only need to rotate the body of the disposal unit about an inch independently from the sink drain and it will fall free. If you can’t get it then go drink some milk or something and try again, if you still can’t get it please stop reading these letters and go buy a ‘Cosmo magazine.'
This is the key to installing a garbage disposal. If your sink is not leaking at the drain seam, then you don’t replace that part. Disconnect the new disposal from the drain lip it comes with. Garbage disposals are standardized so I promise it will fit. If you need to practice taking the new one apart two or three times go ahead, no one is looking. (That is how I figured it out.) Then you will have your disposal replaced in no time. From scratching my head, through figuring it out, to testing the finished product on some spaghetti only took 20 minutes. Now I could probably do one in ten.
My wife’s faith in her cooking is restored. Three heavy weight projects in my home were completed in one day. I left town a veritable hero. On the way to my hotel I stopped at an Italian restaurant for some noodles and marinara. Man that stuff is good! When I got in I had a message on my phone. It was from my wife. She just wanted to let me know about a couple of things she found around the house that may need my attention when I get back. I could hear children screaming in the background, the dogs were barking and I am pretty sure I heard the sound of glass breaking. Being ‘The Man’ is tough. We do it though, we survive to buy new tools another day. To stare in the face of broken appliances, hammer in hand, and say ‘honey I am tired, I’ll do it next weekend.”
Next weekend I am taking all four of my children to the zoo. Can’t wait to tell you about it.
Your meat eating, pasta wrangling, honey do list proof son!