Once in a while, as the evening approaches and I emerge from a heat induced stupor, I realize that some out-of-the-ordinary chores in my house need to be tackled. There are the usual out-of-the-ordinary things like: sorting, organizing and dusting my bookshelves, de-crumbing my toaster oven, getting rid of the plants that were pronounced dead some time during Lent, and vacuuming all the cat hair out of the fan. Then, there is the once-a-month task of cleaning the bathroom drain. After years of putting it off as long as possible (until the water was up to my ankles by the end of my shower), I have since developed a very efficient system. I know, efficiency and I aren’t usually on speaking terms, but this was necessary. So, if you ever find yourself in Korea with a clogged bathroom drain – and unless you’re a bald person who only showers once a month, you will have one – here’s what you’ll need: a plastic glove, some paper towel, a set of wooden chopsticks and a specially trained and certified supervisor. (Catticus is a good one.) Put the glove on one hand, and pick up your chopsticks with the other. Use the chopsticks to pry the cover off the drain and extracate the big, black clogged filter. Then, holding the filter in your gloved hand, pull out the clogs with the chopsticks. (It’s best if you pretend it’s noodles and not gungy hanks of slimy wet hair.) Plop the gunk onto the paper towel. When you’re finished, put the filter and cover back using your gloved hand. Then, pick up the soggy paper towel and chopsticks. Hold them firmly in your gloved hand, then pull off the glove over the gunk in your hand and toss the whole lot in the trash. Finished. You never actually have to touch anything slimy.
I know many of you are (a) really grossed out now, and (b) never going to have to try this at home. Even so, you should never underestimate the usefullness of a set of wooden chopsticks and a plastic glove. Think about it. I’m sure there are some “I don’t wanna touch it” chores around your house. Next time you’re faced with something slimy, reach for the chopsticks. They’re not just for Chinese take-out anymore.