Review : turbo snake

I’d be willing to bet twenty bucks that King Bowser of Super Mario fame does not have a swamp maple growing in his back yard.

The easy way to tell is that Mario uses the pipes on Koopa’s sprawling estate as a shortcut. This would not be possible if Bowser had one of these trees. A tangle of spaghetti-like roots would completely block the tube, causing our video game hero to get stuck and die midway through the warp zone…. there’s just no escaping a root-clogged sewer within the 400 second time limit.

Mario tries to use the pipes outside of our house as a shortcut.

Jess and I have done battle with the plumbing invaders on many an occasion.  The most memorable would have been in the summer of ’07, when the drain was so obstructed that the water didn’t leave the tub at all.

For several weeks, while anxiously waiting for a professional to repair the damage, our bath received more bail outs than Freddie Mac.

Not fun.

A week or two before Christmas, the bathtub again exhibited signs of blockage.

My demeanor instantly changed from that of Buddy the Elf to Ebenezer Scrooge.

I shook my fist at the hulking beast of bark and misery towering over our property like a pipe-destroying ogre, and cursed the Arbor Day on which it was planted.

“I pity the tree that plugs up my bathtub”

Because the bathroom plumbing had been replaced recently, my anger at the tree roots was likely misdirected. My primary nemesis in check, the drain was being thwarted by another dastardly villain.

The Penguin!

No, no.  Not roots.  Not the Penguin.  The real culprit was none other than:

Removing hair from a drain kind of sucks.

It typically requires lots of time, lots of patience, and a power drill… only one of which I have.

With an hour to spare on Swans a Swimming or Geese a Laying day, I decided to break out the manual auger.

For twenty minutes, I turned the crank of the auger’s drum in a circular motion. I felt sort of like a member of the studio audience at a taping of the “Arsenio” show, except I didn’t have to deal with poorly written, agonizingly unfunny monologues.

After nearly half an hour of dicking with the pipes, here’s what came out:

Not a bad chunk of hair, there. If it were whiter, it would look similar to one of Andy Rooney’s eyebrows.

I decided to shower following my exhausting effort in hair removal.

The bath water’s flow was still slower than a 400 pound asthmatic.

What to do?

I figured I’d give the Turbo Snake a go. I slid the velcro-like head of the snake into the drain, twisted it a couple of times, and…





The original hair clump is on the left.

On the right?  Good God, it looks like something that might be revealed during David Bowie’s colonoscopy.

(Though an indepth, two-minute long search of the Interwebs didn’t confirm that this rumor is valid, Jess swears that she heard allegations of fun-filled nights shared by Bowie, Jagger, and a spelunking gerbil.  Perhaps the song “Under Pressure” is really about a rodent and a sphincter.  We may never know.)

The Turbo Snake did a magnificent job of retrieving wads of hair and soap scum.

However, there was one severe flaw with the product.

After the third or fourth trip down the drain, the head of the snake fell off. So, in the short term, it’s fantastic. But, is soon rendered completely useless when it loses its head. Kind of like a male praying mantis after getting some action.

(I’d post a video of a male praying mantis getting his FACE EATEN by his partner IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A LOVEMAKING SESSION, but I seriously almost vomited while watching it. Instead, here’s a song from They Might Be Giants.)

Where to Buy: Official Site Turbo Snake

Price: $10.00 + S & H

Why is Andy Rooney on television?: With the possible exception of Alex Guarnaschelli, Andy Rooney is my least favorite television celebrity. Why CBS continues to pay him for churning out mindless drivel, as he has for over 30 YEARS… I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

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