I purchased my first plunger yesterday. Thusly:

Hardware Store Clerk #1 (conducting transaction): HSC1
Hardware Store Clerk #2 (hanging around, watching paint cans): HSC2
Hardware Store Clerk #3 (actually stocking the paint cans HSC2 is watching): HSC3
Proud Plunger Purchaser (me): PPP

PPP: [after walking into store and being greeted by HSC1] Uh...plungers?

HSC1: [pointing over and back there] Right there.

PPP: [walking towards the floor bin in question] Thanks. Yeah...perfect. Do you have any with the little bellows in the bottom?

HSC3: the bottom of the one you're holding...hmpher...flip it out...hmfpger.

PPP: Oh yeah. This is it.

HSC1: [upon my arrival at the transaction counter with a shiny new plunger] $6.51. [while hand-writing a receipt for said item] Do you want a bag?

PPP: No way. I'm gonna carry this thing proudly down the street.

HSC2: [after watching things unfold] NO NO NO. What you gotta do is THIS: [grabs plunger, raises above head in Olympic torch fashion, and simulates jogging towards the door] "SEE YA IN VANCOUVER!"

HSC1: [Laughing, handing over change] Have a good day.

PPP: [pocketing change and heading towards the door and HSC2 who's still holding the plunger] Thanks, likewise.

HSC2: [seeing me coming] gotta PASS THE TORCH [continuing towards the door].

PPP: OK... [lapping him before the door, grabbing plunger, raising above head while passing through the door to the sidewalk] GOT IT.

HSC2: [emerging onto sidewalk behind me, bending over and grabbing knees in exhausted heavy breathing] GO GO GO, USA.

PPP: [continuing down sidewalk, humming Olympics theme with plunger held high] USA.

I turn in time to see HSC2 lift up from his exhaustion and throw his hands above his head in a victory symbol while walking back into the store. It finally felt like spring in New York.

Ann, Mar 12 2006 6:43PM

I can totally picture that. You make the perfect torch-bearer. Now you know what it feels like to be a champion. The HSCs definitely enjoy their jobs. They made purchasing a plunger fun.

(I can't believe this is the first plunger you've ever purchased. Has a plunger been provided with your other residences? At least now you know where this one comes from.)

evan, Mar 12 2006 9:34PM

Plungers: have always either (a) come with the place or (b) been "borrowed" long term from the landlord. I cannot ever remember moving from one apartment to another with a plunger (last thing you pack? first? bottom of the box? foot of the car's passenger seat wrapped in plastic?) but i admit that purchasing one was a new and grown-up experience, akin to buying my first crockpot.

Ann, Mar 12 2006 10:18PM

I don't think a plunger is ever good enough to pack and take with you...unless it was some sort of family heirloom.

sandie, Mar 13 2006 9:32PM

Great story. Every time our land lady visits us, she brings a small gift: a box of tea, a case of melons, a bushel of apples, etc. One day, we got a plunger. Would we be rude not to take it if we move? It was a gift....

mark, Mar 14 2006 9:22AM

if you rid your home of a particularly persistent clog will you prance around the house in a similar manner? potty plunging pride my friend...

Ann, Mar 14 2006 9:41AM

Do people usually clean the plunger after it has been used? I don't, although it seems like the right thing to do. I just stick it back in the closet and try not to let it touch anything.

mark, Mar 14 2006 10:12AM

i always give it a vigorous rinse in the sink, but stop short of using cleanser or sanitizer. i figure i don't plan on touching or preparing food with the business end of a plunger so the contamination risk is low. other may argue otherwise.

and to rid an all out dirt clod in your pipes, nothing does a better job than liquid fire. the stuff is pure acid and NOT recommended for everyday clogs, but if you have nothing to lose and cast iron pipes this stuff can't be stopped. it's banned in the state of tennessee, however.