The 400 Dollar Apple Juice

I bought some apples about a week ago from Costco, and wasn’t quite ready to make pies yet, but I had a craving for some apple juice.
I usually tend to stay away from the store bought kind because its really not a lot of apple and mostly sugar, and the 100% juice kinds are rarely all apple juice. They usually add some other juice in like white grape or something and I when I want apple juice, I want apple juice.

Yeah, I know, but its how I am.

I also get a bit of an itch in my throat when I eat apple skin. Its not full on throat closure or a major allergic reaction, but as I get older and allergies pop up at the strangest times, I tend to peel my apples before I juice them. I tend not to drink cider for the same reason. Probably losing a lot of nutritional value taking off the peels. 
Didn’t care. Wanted apple juice.
I bought a juicer. Used to have one in the attic but that went out in a purge two years ago and a smaller, less painful to take apart one now sits in the kitchen waiting for a craving that I’ve had for about a year and use maybe a couple times a month?
So I peeled three of two kinds of apples, honeycrisp and snap dragon, cut and cored them, popped them into the juicer and had a tall, slightly frothy glass of delicious juice sprinkled lightly with nutmeg like fancy people do.
I really should have just thrown the peels in the trash.
I really should have emptied the compost pail but it was rainy and I was lazy.
I really should not have put apple peels down the Insinkerator.
…but I did.
I tend to cook with fats that go solid under cool temperatures and while most of the fats go into my belly, some residual does occasionally go down the sink, chased by lots of dish soap and hot water, but doing that still coats the insides of your pipes and when it gets colder, those pipes get narrowed with built up grease, usually remedied by hot vinegar or lemon juice sent down the drains, but again, lazy.
Then there were the cocktail darts from a few months ago.

They look like fancy blowdarts made of metal, and look really cool garnishing a well-crafted cocktail.

One found its way out of the dish rack and into the disposal unit and made really ugly sounds when I flipped the switch.
I was able to extricate the dart with pliers and just a little blood sacrificed from scraped knuckles, and the unit still worked, but was a lot more rattle and hum than it used to be and probably didn’t cut the bits of food up as fine.
I bought a standby disposal last year and stuck it in the pantry, waiting for the day of the big failure, so I could get under the sink and replace it.

This house is old, and apparently flippers or amateur contractors got in at some point and rather than installing iron pipes with eased curves, they went with PVC, and some pretty impractical pipe joins.

So there have been clogs before and usually I was able to work them free.

But apparently ground up apple peels running down a narrowed pipe during the first good cold snap of the season made for perfect conditions to lock that pipe down.

So I replaced the dispose-all. Works lovely. Nice quiet whirr.


Checked the P-trap (curved pipe headed toward the wall).

All clear P trap, but clog is still down there somewhere.

So, I tried hot water.


baking soda and vinegar and hot water.

Lots of fizz, but NOPE.

Then the noxious chemicals from the clog aisle came home on 5 separate degrading trips to the local Lowes. The clog aisle with the plumbing supplies is terrifying. There’s lots of chemicals that should never be near each other all on the same shelf, some even in the same bottles wrapped in plastic marked PELIGRO in big warning letters, and lots of bottles of stuff that’s “guaranteed to work or its free” but the process to get your refund will take you more man-hours to do than just eating the cost and moving on.

All of them in various configurations with and without hot water found their way down the pipe along with trick plungers, augurs that don’t work too well on PVC with sharp turns, and lots of bailing out the sink and sequestering my dogs to my office as I carry buckets of smoking evil from the kitchen into the toilet and flush it down.

My eyes ached. My body ached.

Do you know how horrible it is to not have coffee in the morning or at all during the day and have to do stuff like this?

So I went on Next Door, typed “plumber” in the search bar to pull up recommendation threads and picked someone who got good recommendations, was reasonably priced, cared about his work.

I tend to stay away from the big-name folks when it comes to stuff like plumbing in an old house, because they seem to train the new young guns to up-sell everything and find random things that NEED TO BE FIXED RIGHT NOW OR YOU”LL PERISH IN FLAMES, but delivered in a folksy calm voice.

I’m tired and haven’t been caffeinated for 3 days, the headaches from withdrawal are bringing out the stabby side of my personality, so a nice dude who has his own gear, is a master plumber, and is open to side jobs after his main job is done sounded like the ticket.

A dude showed up on my doorstep on time, looking authentically grimy, driving a grimy truck, came in, introduced himself, we chatted, I went back into my office, heard him dragging in tarps and heavy sounding things that grated and whirred.

15 minutes later, the glorious sound of free moving water going down the drain was coming from my kitchen.

I have a big bowl of full sized candy, less than a few weeks old left over from Halloween. I’ve seen kids go by, but they never come ring the bell. Not sure why, but there’s always leftover full size bars.

I’ve never seen a grown man so happy. He said, “I don’t want to be greedy…” but you knew he wanted to be greedy.

I said, “go on. It will go to waste. You have people at home who will enjoy some candy bars so take as much as you like.”

I don’t think the guy gets a lot of side jobs. Probably doesn’t advertise? Not sure. But he did a great job, seemed really happy with the check I wrote him, cleared up after himself and left happy as a clam with a lunch-bag full of candy.

I did a thorough cleaning on all surfaces of the kitchen, replaced my gel mats (they don’t do well with caustic chemistry), and then I tallied up the cost of that apple juice, between augurs, plungers, nitrile gloves, two big jugs of vinegar, like 9 bottles of drain cleaners and the plumber who took all of 15 minutes to clear the problem up.

I spent $400 on a fucking glass of apple juice.


I guess some of it was required, but I think next time a clog happens, I’m calling the plumber.

You know what I want right now?

Another glass of apple juice.

About gojohnego

Avid foodie and kitchen tinkerer, artist, news junky and political wonk, musician, blogger, naturist, dog-daddy, and owner of a kinky play-space. ...and did I mention I'm single ;)
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