It’s a nightmare scenario. You’re at her place. You’re hoping for a great date night and a possible happy ending, but before any of that can happen, you had to use the bathroom. Now, you’re watching the water in the bowl slowly rise, and the handle is already down. You can’t unflush the problem, and you have scant seconds until you’ve completely flooded her bathroom. Don’t panic. There’s a way out of this mess, so keep reading and learn how to avert disaster.
A Better Diet for Better Bowels
The easiest way to avoid bathroom trouble is to keep yourself in prime health. Since you’re dating, you should be working on yourself anyway. Regular exercise is mandatory, and you can’t skip your core. It’s a little known fact, but keeping your abs and core in good shape actually helps with regular bowel movements.
Still, the most important thing is to watch what you eat. Limit the fried and greasy foods. That should be obvious. You also want to make sure you eat on a consistent schedule. The late night snacks and aberrant meal timings can wreak havoc on your insides. Most importantly, you want a diet that includes plenty of fiber. You can get it from breakfast cereals, beans, whole grains, nuts, and a number of fruits. That regular fiber intake will aid in digestion and keep you from having any unexpected disasters.
Finally, you need to pay attention to your body. As you get a little older, there’s a good chance that foods you used to enjoy are going to start causing trouble in the digestive tract. Dairy is the most common culprit, but late-developing allergies and intolerances are pretty common. If you’re over the age of 25, it’s time to track your diet.
The Importance of Maintaining Your Health
Diet and exercise sit at the core of good health, but there’s plenty more to the story. Bowel health is particularly important because it can prevent and detect more serious illnesses. It’s never a fun discussion, but you need to keep these serious issues in mind. Regular physicals and health checks are important.
Basically, it doesn’t always matter how much effort you put into taking care of yourself. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of luck, and without medical help you’ll be in tough trouble. So, if watching your diet and keeping your abs iron-hard isn’t helping downstairs, it’s time to visit the doctor. Plenty of bowel problems are manageable once you identify the problem, but you have to take that first step.
Dealing With Emergencies
Ok. You’ve done everything right so far. You’re in good shape. You’re eating right. The doc gave you a clean bill of health. In spite of all of that, you still found yourself in an awkward spot. You just got to her house for date night, and you can feel a storm brewing. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. Other times, you forgot to wash your hands after cooking some eggs and you’re in for a long night. (Don’t judge. It happens.) Stay strong, my friend. A few easy tips can help you out of this situation.
The first thing you need to learn is how to deal with an overflowing toilet. If you can see this problem growing, immediately take the lid off of the tank and push the flapper down. Don’t worry, it’s just plain old tap water up there. The flapper is the plug that keeps water from draining into the bowl (side note: this is pretty much always the part to replace if your toilet is running). Plugging it will stop the overflow. If necessary, disconnect the flapper chain. This will ensure more water doesn’t run until you decide it’s time.
Now that the water is stopped, you need to clear the clog. Hopefully, you can discreetly locate a plunger. It’s extra uncomfortable if you have to hunt one down, so we’ll discuss that problem in a minute. First, you need to know what to do with a plunger.
It’s amazing how many people get this wrong. If you just stand there and plunge away at a clogged toilet, nothing is going to happen. You need to open the valves so the shit has somewhere to go. That means you need to hold the toilet handle down while you plunge. That opens the valves and creates a Bernoulli flow. This is how all of your plumbing works. You don’t need to know the math; it’s enough to understand that holding the handle is the key.
Keep in mind that the toilet handle won’t actually do anything until you reconnect the flapper chain. If overflow is the primary problem, you can slowly force a little water down by plunging with everything closed. Once you have some wiggle room, you can reconnect the flapper and clear the clog properly.
There’s a catch to this. If you hold the handle down, water is going to continuously flow from the tank to the bowl. If you did a particularly impressive number on this toilet, holding the handle and plunging is going to lead to the nastiest kind of flood, and you can guarantee you aren’t scoring at the end of this date.
The solution is pretty easy. You need to manage the water. If you’re worried about flood potential, you can turn off the water to the toilet (the valve is usually below the tank). That alone won’t save you. If the tank is already full, you’re still in a tight spot. What you can do at this point is siphon water out of the tank. You’ll have to eyeball it, but you want enough water to force a flush but not so much that you’re in major risk of flooding.
Once you plunge with impunity and clear the clog, don’t forget to turn the water back on. If you don’t, you’re playing a strange, accidental prank on your date later.
Owning the Problem
Now we’re getting to the real challenge. If you clog someone’s toilet, you have very few options. You can either try to hide it, or you can own it. Let’s talk about that first option. Even if you’re an absolute plumbing pro, it’s going to take an extra couple of minutes to unclog the mess and get out of the bathroom. If she doesn’t know what you’re up to, that long trip to the bathroom is going to raise concern. For starters, she’s going to assume that you clogged the toilet. That’s the best-case scenario. If it wasn’t basic plumbing stalling you, why were you in there for so long?
The simple truth is your best friend. You don’t have to be graphic or blunt about it. You can be polite, but you shouldn’t be timid. Just own it. Tell her you clogged her toilet and that you fixed it (or are fixing it). This makes it easy if you can’t find the plunger or if you need additional resources. At minimum, you’re demonstrating that you’re a handy guy who can get things done. At best, you’ve just broken the ice and created a funny story for later.
More Plumbing Tips
Most of you are out of the woods at this point. You’re at low risk for getting into this situation because of your good diet and health. If you did find a minor clog, there’s nothing to worry about because it was easy to clear.
Unfortunately, a few of you were exorcising demons into that toilet. The simple tricks didn’t get it done, so you’re still standing there over a nasty clog. There’s still hope. A few more tactics might save you from an emergency plumber’s fee and a ruined date night.
If plunging doesn’t work, or flooding is just too big of a risk, you can try to grease the wheels, so to speak, to help the water flow. The easiest thing to try first is to use a bucket or pitcher. Fill it with hot water and pour it into the bowl. The extra force is sometimes enough to get things moving. Regardless, the hot water will break down the clog a little and help.
If that doesn’t work or isn’t an option, there’s still an easy plan B. You want degreasing soap (dish soap is the best). Pour a liberal amount into the mess and let it sit for a few minutes. It will help break things down and ease the clog. From here, try your basic flushing and plunging method (with the tank open so you can stop the flow of water as needed). If that still doesn’t work, then you might be in for a long night.
Hopefully, this is enough to save your date night. If nothing else, you’ve learned a little bit about basic plumbing that is inevitably going to prove useful. Most importantly, you’ve learned about ownership. Without it, you stand little chance of salvaging any date where something goes wrong. With all of that covered, good luck out there, gentlemen.
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