I will see you in Hell, Garbage Disposal


This diagram is confusing, so I suggest ignoring it.


DO YOU HEAR ME, READERS OF AMERICA (and according to my blog stats, Belgium, apparently)?


I am screaming in all capital letters not just to irritate everyone but to impress upon you that this is a feat of NEAR MIRACULOUS IMPORT, on the order of Usain Bolt shattering the 100 and 200-meter sprint records or Brett Favre continuing to play at age 75 or Glenn Beck successfully, each morning, remembering to put on his pants before his shoes. Speaking from a mathematical probability perspective, me fixing a garbage disposal is almost as likely as me being surgically fused to a wild boar tomorrow in an attempt to generate the world’s first Half-Wild Boar Pinhead Columnist (which of course I would never do, because it would mean I’d require many new pants).


Pearl Jam – The Fixer

[audio http://bit.ly/4uXBVd]


To say I am not handy is bring shame upon the family of the word “handy”; my preferred method of home repair usually involves pretending I have urgent business in a South American country until someone else handles the problem or, if I am tricked or required by law to remain in the same house as the broken object, do something like throw a wrench at it and hope that this magical wrench, while airborne, accidentally strikes the problematic part.

But garbage disposals have always created a special, elevated level of dread in me ever since 1994, when my college roommates and I discovered, almost 70% accidentally, that garbage disposals are perfectly capable of liquefying a shot glass. Also when I was 8 I had a goldfish who killed itself by jumping in a graceful swan-like motion from his bowl directly down into the disposal like Boba Fett plunging into the Sarlacc Pit, and that is not something you quickly forget, even after many years of fish-centered therapy sessions.

So it was with no small degree of apprehension and Corona that I approached the broken machine armed with nothing but my wits, a few screwdrivers and a large transparent poncho (I have a tendency of making items explode, especially when said items are brimming with gloppy and elderly vegetables).

But to my advantage, I had something that my wasted roommates and I did not have available to us in 1994: the Googles. And though I may be woefully under-outfitted at home repair, I am enviably effective at accessing the full breadth of human knowledge and also pornography via a MacBook, so with screwdrivers held aloft like a Viking battle ax, if indeed Vikings used battle axes (they could have used boards with nails in them for all I know, history is lame), I marched directly to the Internet and typed in “garbage disposal making low rumbling noise I am not a real man” and I’ll be dipped if there weren’t a great many anonymous Internet folk who not only had had a similar problem, but were so moved by the result that they wrote about it. At length. Seriously, to the guy who blogs about garbage disposal repair, you made my weekend, and yet I am saddened for you.

Anyway, in case you are presented with this problem, let me save you a trip to the garbage disposal blog and tell you that the FIRST THING you should do is probably press that red button on the bottom of the garbage disposal, which totally fixes it. Start there. I actually have no idea what it’s practical application is. For all I know, it says FIX and has glittery stars on it. The next step is act as though you just wrestled a grizzly bear and won, and repeat.

Epilogue: Many weeks later the garbage disposal chucked up again, and this time it did so in a manner which ended up spraying half-chorked carrots and coffee grounds and assorted befoulment all over the cabinet. It sort of looked like the fat guy in “Seven” lived under there, and it also smelled like dog. Happily my brother-in-law was in town that day and he fixes these things with humiliating regularity and he made it all better. So if your garbage disposal does not come equipped with a FIX button, which is something you really should have checked when you bought it, the clear solution is to have capable relatives.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

6 responses to “I will see you in Hell, Garbage Disposal

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