After that, we grabbed a quick dinner at Steak & Shake, then headed home to relieve the babysitter. :) The rest of the group came to join us for heavily adulterated banana bread (add real bananas, chocolate chips, and walnuts to the mix). This was followed by Sam and I playing an exciting game of Clear That Toilet!.
See, Julie had once again introduced a foreign object into the toilet downstairs. Last time, it was a piece of volcanic rock. This time, it was rumored to be a toothbrush. The upshot was that the toilet was no longer actually willing to flush and since the last time we'd called a plumber, it had resulted in a $300 bill, I figured I'd attack this job myself. Gretchen wisely figured out that I should ask Sam for help instead. And so I had -- the previous evening, because it would hardly have been polite to lure him to our house with heavily adulterated banana bread and then mention the toilet.
We shut off the valve and drained the toilet, then unbolted it and lifted it up in the air. No sign of an obstruction. I ran the toilet augur down into the bowl as Sam held it on the edge of the tub. No luck. So we set the toilet on its side on the floor and tried running the augur in from the bottom.
A moment later, there was a clunk and we looked in the bowl to find Julie's toothbrush, rather the worse for the wear. It was eventually consigned to the top of the wastebasket full of debris which we took to Gretchen to dispose of. And, of course, Julie had to be convinced not to recover the toothbrush from the trash. *sigh*
The toilet is now back where it belongs and appears to be working fine. And I now know how to lift a toilet.
And why the plumber charges $300.