We've all been there: that rising feeling of dread and suspense. No, I'm not talking about one of Jean-Paul Sartre's books. I'm talking about when we flush the toilet and all of a sudden the bowl's contents slowly start moving in completely the wrong direction. What to do?
The first thing, since you're standing right there anyway, is to start kicking the base of the toilet with your foot. After all, the stuff wants to go down, and sometimes all it takes is a helping hand (or foot) to dislodge things and help the process along.
The next thing to try is the trusty old plunger. There are times when smooth, slow strokes will do the trick. Other times it takes quick, sharp jabs.
And if that doesn't work, get to the hardware store and pick up a toilet auger. It's really a snake, but inside a long pole with a hand crank on the end. It works every time and costs much less than a plumber's service call.