Sunday, May 08, 2005

Feeling flushed

The plumbers came by recently to relieve me and my wife Kara of a problem we were having with our discretionary income. Luckily, they were able to come dry it all up before we did something stupid, like buy a rotisserie chicken machine from Ron Popeil or pay the mortgage.

I always used to think of water as my friend. I’d eat some pretzels or mow the lawn, and there water would be, waiting for me, cool and crisp, ready to wash my hands before I’d pop open a can of soda. But water is only your friend until you buy a house, at which point it becomes the worst enemy you’ve ever had, not including the bully who put your head in the toilet in the seventh grade. But come to think of it, water was part of the problem then, too.

Being a homeowner has afforded me all sorts of thrills to which I’d previously been uninitiated. Now that I’ve been through it, though, I can authoritatively say that you haven’t lived until you’ve been sitting in your living room on a quiet, cloudless evening, when in the back of your consciousness, you hear the distinct pitter-patter of rainfall coming from your basement.

“Ahhh, what a peaceful sound,” you think. Then you go back to wondering if anyone has ever tried to ride a moose like a horse, and if so, were the results hilarious, tragic, or both? But then it clicks in your head. Wait a minute. It isn’t raining outside. The shower isn’t running. I’m continent. That can only mean…

Some people pay good money for the kind of adrenaline rush you get when that realization hits. We eventually did, too.

Now I enjoy a nice cool rain shower as much as the next guy, but it is difficult to muster up that “Singin’ in the Rain,” heel-clickin’ spirit when the nimbus cloud overhead is your toilet. As I stood there helplessly watching the water fall from the ceiling and splatter onto the basement floor, I couldn’t help but wish I was back in seventh grade with my head in the john.

Three plumbers and three thousand dollars later, we were back in the Age of Indoor Plumbing, which is much more pleasant than the Age of the Backyard at Night. I won’t complain about the cost more than I already have, because if you can’t spend your money on the luxury of a functional toilet, then what can you spend it on, besides yourself, and the people you love, and maybe a couch that doesn’t have ferret holes in it?

Looking on the bright side of the whole fiasco, our toilet is finally firmly anchored to the floor for the first time since we’ve lived here. It used to rock around so much that our guests would mistake it for a mechanical bull. To make it seem normal, we used to have a honky-tonk band playing in the shower behind chicken wire, and we’d serve peanuts in buckets and let people just throw the shells on the floor. I’m glad those days are over; the bathroom brawls were getting out of hand.

The absurdity of the situation strikes me every time I flush. I’m too cheap to buy myself a thirty dollar ticket to go to a waterslide park, but my toilet water gets its own three thousand dollar flume ride. Sometimes life just doesn’t give you any choice but to flush your money down the toilet.


  1. I sooooo hear ya man. When my ex and I moved into a new house about eight years ago we thought the only pitter-patter we would hear would be from our baby daughter's tiny feet. At least we were lucky in that the drainage problems were confined to the shower.

    Well written piece as always, guy.

  2. Mike, don't lie. You were the one putting the other kids' heads in the toilet.

  3. Ferrets, "Singin' In The Rain", exploding toilets, and a Ronco reference? Seriously brilliant, Mike!

  4. If liking the sound of your roadhouse bathroom is wrong, I don't want to be right.

  5. Just wanted to say I love your blog! I've been following it for a while but thought I'd finally send you a response ... Great pics and hilarious observations!

    BTW, I still laugh thinking about your ferret's accidents, LOL.

    Shaylen Maxwell
    Recent Post: My father the horse.

  6. Dudes, your comments are funnier than anything I've got to say. Sure, your competition sucks, but still.

    Joe Brown -- you're headin' for another swirlie yourself.

    Shaylen -- glad you dropped me a line! Much thanks. I'm going to go read about the man who sired you in just a moment.

    The Rest of the Peanut Gallery -- I finally have two minutes to rub together, so I'm fixin' to see what I've been missing on your blogs. I haven't been keeping up on my reading lately. I expect to find much information regarding nasally expelled vegetables and other important matters.

  7. Tell me you made that pricetag up! Unheard of! I'm a frequent victim of the washtub devil myself. I'd loan you some $ but a great friend just got married, so. . ."I can't find my checkbook, hope ya don't mind I pay ya in change."

  8. See? My poem about toilet mockery was true. I think they know they have us.

  9. Great post as always...remind me to blog about the Irish SNAG list sometime. I'm fairly certain it stands for Stop Naggin Ah'll Gettoitsomeday.
    Still hoping you'll meet my meme challenge!

  10. you know damn well who5/13/2005 11:03 AM

    rah rah and all that. I'm too tired to dredge up any sarcastic allusions that will escape you anyway, so I'll just follow suit with the rest of the hoi polloi. It was a decent column. Try not to get your ego in an uproar over my glowing review.