The issue, you see, is that for some reason, we don't seem to have a plunger in the apartment.
It's an odd thing, really... everyone ought to have such a tool, just in case, and I feel quite certain that in fact we had one at some point... but like so many little household niceties over the past year, our plunger seems to be in that nebulous "packed-up-when-we-left-for-Argentina-in-September-2013-and-never-found-upon-our-return-in-May-2014" pile somewhere.
Despite said hardship, however, and the skype-shared skepticism of my girlfriend, for whom I described in disgustingly accurate graphic detail the gravity of the situation, I am happy to report that I have successfully solved the problem.
With a little help from Uncle Google.
I would make one addendum to the advice provided online for such situations, and that is this: Upon successful completion of the job, do take care to either dispose of whatever tools you used to assist you in your endeavor, or spend considerable time washing same with dish soap and very hot or boiling water, lest your shitty (sorry, but come on, people, how could I not?!) evening turn into a week-long bacterial infection of mammoth proportions!