One of the things that is great about this house is the laundry shoot. The washer is in the basement, and rather than have to lug all the dirty laundry down the stairs, we can just drop them down the laundry shoot! They then drop into the basket at the bottom, right next to the washer and dryer – what could be simpler? Except when something gets stuck in there of course. Even then, that only happens if you put too many clothes down at once, and we have now learned the technique of pulling on the lining if we do put too many down, and that dislodges them.
This morning I was rushing around, with a To-Do list that was way too long, one item being laundry, and as I went through the bedroom I noticed that there was an empty clothes hanger by the door. I picked it up and took the clothes I was carrying to the laundry shoot, heard them fall, and then without thinking put the hangar in there too.
Just as I let go, I had the momentary thought that this was not a good idea. I took a deep breath. I tugged on the lining, and it seemed stuck. I went down to the basement, and sure enough, the clothes were there, but not the hangar. The next 30 minutes were a whirl of activity as I tried to get the hanger out from being wedged in the shoot.
At first, I tried the same technique as we use for stuck clothes, only that didn’t work, I assume because the hangar was not just stuck, it was wedged. Then I tried to push it down, but everything I had was either too short, or, if longer, was too big to get around the angle into the shoot. I tried to push from the basement end, but the hangar was too high for me to reach.
I decided the only thing that would unlodge it was something heavy being dropped onto it, but what? I wandered into the garage, and my eye hit upon the plastic bag full of river stones that we had bought to go in our garden. It was the right size to go down the shoot, but wasn’t a solid block, it was ideal! I carried it upstairs and dropped it… and it got stopped by the hangar.
Now, not only did I have one obstacle, I had effectively sealed off the entire thing.
Nothing I could do reached the blockage either from upstairs or down. I was almost in despair, when I remembered the extending washer hose that I had in the garage. The main issue upstairs was that whatever I was putting in had to go around a tight corner, and my long items were too long. This was long as well, but was a hollow steel tube – wouldn’t I be able to bend it?
Once more I went down to the garage, and then back up to the top floor. I bent and twisted the tube, and managed to get it so that I could feel it was hitting the obstacle. Not moving it, but hitting it which was at least a start.
For the next few minutes I alternatively prodded the obstruction and tried to pull on it, until at last I felt it go and heard a rumble as things fell into the basement. I rushed down to find the stones and – glory be! – the hanger had all come down into the basement.
All’s well that ends well, but I sure wish I hadn’t needed to be so inventive!