Quarters in the Garbage Disposal

When we were visiting my father in law over Labor Day weekend my husband and I had our assigned chores.  My job was to help Dad clean out the refrigerator. At 93 he can no longer read the expiration dates on jars and bottles.  We found a bottle of soy sauce from in excess of 10 years old! In his defence it was buried in the Tupperware container he keeps spices in.  I guess because it’s hot, humid Florida, he keeps the spices in the refrigerator.  I’m being kind calling the container Tupperware.  It was in fact one of those pink basins that you get in the hospital.  Old people keep everything.  Anyway, as we were cleaning out, Dad was emptying the spice cans and small jars into the sink so he could recycle the containers.  Unfortunately, he dropped a small jar into the garbage disposal WITH the garbage disposal running.  CLANK! CLANK! Stop. . . Don’t touch anything Dad! Honey, your Dad had a faux pas. So after dinner we were trying to get the small piece of glass out of the jammed garbage disposal.  I had a flashback and viola remembered how to get stuck stuff out of a garbage disposal. Dad, I said, when you installed the disposal did you get a little tool that looks kind of like an L with it, an allen wrench.  “Hmmm, don’t remember but if I did it’s in this drawer.” Of course it was in the drawer where it’s been for almost 20 years. Thank God old people save everything.

The reason that I knew how to fix the garbage disposal was because my middle child, when he was too young to drink, was predisposed to having parties every time I left the house for more than 15 minutes.  On more occasions than I would like to remember I came home to the faint stench of stale beer. When I would go to do dishes and flip the switch for the garbage disposal – CLANK! CLANK! Stop. . . I was ready to kill that kid! He and his friends liked to play quarters, which I’m told is a popular drinking game. When they heard my car in the driveway they dumped all the cups into the sink – quarters and all.  The plumber took pity on me the first time and showed me how to take out the disposal, turn it upside down, use the allen wrench and get out the quarters.  Never thought I would be happy to remember those days and that the information would come in handy!

Oh, by the way, the kid?  He turned out great and is expecting his first child, a boy, who I strongly suspect will give him quite a run for his money!

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