Like so many dreams of the lower middle class, (gracious retirement, adequate health care, energy security) my snake adventure ended in disappointment. It started out fine. I could have hung a "Mission Accomplished" banner right over the toilet, but within a day there were hints that all was not well. The biggest hint was that water would run into the toilet, but not out.
I went back to Home Depot today and looked at drain openers again. There was one solution that involved exploding CO2 cartridges. I was sorely tempted because frankly I wanted to blow something up, but I figured that might create new problems. I opted instead for a new snake that was twice as long as the original one, and seven times the price. It fished some really nasty stuff up, including pieces of the last snake. Right now I'm experiencing that glow that comes from a job well done. I give it another couple of hours, until someone uses the bathroom.