Don’t ask how, but I managed to drop several wooden pieces from one of my all-time favorite board games in the sink. Not just the sink, however, the disposal side of the sink. Before thinking, and as delicately as a spinal surgeon, I retrieved the six or so immediately visible pieces. After resuming thought, I came to realize exactly why I so cautiously plucked the pieces as quickly as I had: because of . . . the hole.
The wooden pieces scattered and certainly fell faster than I could count them and, even more certainly, faster than I realized how nice it would have been to have counted them. What if one of them tumbled into that darkness? I was almost positive one did. There were but two means of uncovering the answer. I could flip the disposal on and listen for any potential piece crying for mercy or I could simply reach into the hole and feel around.
My rationale kicked in. I significantly reduced my options by deducing two solid reasons for recovering what piece may have fallen into the black hole. First, the board game in question would be undeniably unplayable with an incomplete set of pieces, especially for such avid players as myself. Second, the board game cost me in the ballpark of twenty hard-earned dollars. Let’s put it this way. Twenty bucks is twenty bucks. So . . .
Flipping the disposal’s switch would likely mar both the wooden piece itself along with the integrity of its use in game play. The primary benefit, of course, would be the definitive divulgence of proof that there in the hole lies something worth going after.
The alternative, sadly, is extending a blind hand into a corner of the universe rarely graced by the light of day. The scary part is, both options ended with the latter.
I flipped the switch. CLACK! Clack CLACK! I heard the piece beaten again with the disposal revolving to a stop.
I know now and I knew then that in-sink disposals are cleverly designed to allow for safe retrieval of carelessly mishandled foreign items like jewelry, infant spoons, and small toys. In theory, that is, the turntable in a disposal unit rotates innocuously in a counter-clockwise direction. It still has hammers which force waste through shredders, though. Call me crazy, but it doesn’t sound limb-friendly to me. It is, without doubt, counterintuitive to willingly place your hand into a device that mauls pineapple tops into pipe-safe bits as easy as a bar blender pummels ice, rum, and strawberries into a daiquiri delight!
I know myself well enough to know I would talk myself out of doing it if I waited any longer. I rolled up my sleeve and looked at my hand as if I were sending it to the gallows or off to a deadly war zone. I reached in.
The slobbery tongues of the rubber disposal guard licked my wrist on the way in. My fingers pricked and teased the fangs of the turntable. My pinky grazed the piece! Trembling, I reached one finger and one prized opposable digit and seized it.
I might have kissed the piece if it wasn’t soiled with yesterday’s sink fodder. I sighed in both triumph and relief. I rest proudly at ease, having risked life and limb, mostly limb, for the love of the game.
By: S. Cole Garrett