She seriously considered just driving right past the hardware store and going to a different one, but she pulled into one of the few remaining free parking spots and got out, The Boy safely in tow. There were a couple of men sitting outside at the corner nearest her. The one with the crossed eyes and the severe underbite (who resembled a slightly brain damaged bulldog) looked up at her approach. She thought he might have 3 of his bottom teeth.
"Is the store open?" she asked, expecting the answer "no," or perhaps simply barking.
"Yep. Go on in," said The Bulldog.
"What's up with the crowd outside?" she asked.
"Oh, they're probably just waiting for Scott."
She wondered whether she was supposed to know who Scott was. Probably not the toilet paper, but who knew what might be going on in there?
Feeling more than a little self conscious, she bypassed the milling crowd and entered the store. Inside, it looked as if a bomb drill were in progress. The place was empty except for several employees and rather a lot of strategically placed bombs disguised as food platters. She asked again if it was OK to come in and was assured that it was.
Other than the strange smell (food is not a standard hardware store smell) and the massage tables, things looked pretty normal inside. She quickly located the 50' snake, purchased it and left before any well-oiled men in Speedos, or Borghild, the humongous Swedish masseuse, could make an appearance.
She reached home without hearing too much of the scraping brake noise (the volume on the van's CD went all the way to 11) and The Man, now equipped with a much longer snake (!!) was finally able to reach the clot. He wielded his new tool efficiently, using it to bore into part of the congealed and well-packed mass of repugnance and drag it out; and a program of repeated boring, pulling out, and beating off (the mung) finally released the last of the demons (and 2 anacondas) and rendered the pipe drain-worthy.
The next day, The Man changed the brake pads on the auto. . .