I’m going to start this out with an apology.
I apologize if I offend you or your delicate nature with the scatological tale that will follow. If you’re a sensitive type that doesn’t like to read about poo, do not read further (and don’t read this blog either!). You have been warned.
Still with me? Lovely, on with the tale.
There’s two things I know about my son, the Boy, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The first is, the kid needs to eat more fibre. As the Shat (yes, pun intended) says, he needs to make fibre his friend.
The second is, his sphincter can expand enough to permit the easy and unimpeded ingress and egress of a very large cat.
These things I know. Through the rest of this sad and sorry tale (numbers one and two…and yes, pun intended again), you will come to know how I managed to learn these particular salient facts about my son’s digestive and waste-elimination systems.
We’re going back a few years now, but there was a time in our house where it seemed that every time my wife or I wanted to use the toilet, we had to first complete a skill-testing task. That is, we had to plunge the toilet.
The Boy, it seems, would go in, do what he needed to do (which, apparently was to excrete a pipe-blocking plug of poo), flush, ignore the plaintive cries of a toilet in pain, vainly trying to do its one and only function only to fail. Spectacularly. In epic fashion.
Which leaves someone to come behind and try and ram the offending mess down the throat of the protesting toilet. Sometimes that was the Wife, more often me. The Wife blamed “poor upper body strength” to get her out of it.
Then, after years of this, two things happened in reasonably quick succession.
The first was the time the Wife plunged for an abnormally long time–like, a solid ten minutes–and, running like a symphony that builds upon itself as it goes on, her curses and epithets became louder and more vociferous against the steady ka-POOSH-thok! ka-POOSH-thok! ka-POOSH-thok! of the dome-shaped old-style plunger. Finally, she tagged me in and I continued the marathon for another fifteen or so minutes, adding a more basso profundo element to this symphony of shit.
Along the way, I really had to exert some serious downward pressure. The water was a swampy brown mess of shredded toilet paper and remnants (and I know you know what I mean by “remnants”). And as I exerted my manly will upon the plunger, Newton’s Third Law of Motion was illustrated in all its dripping glory. That law states that every action is met with an equal and opposite reaction (or words to that effect), which, in terms of downward force applied to a swampy brown mess of shredded toilet paper and remnants means a substantial portion of said swampy mess will be pushed in an equal and opposite upward force.
In layman’s terms, I pushed on the plunger and the shitty water gooshed into my face. Puts a whole new spin on “shitfaced”, doesn’t it?
So, this first of two significant events did not leave me pleased. Not in the least.
The second thing that happened occurred when we were visiting the Wife’s brother (heretofore mentioned as The Brother-in-Law). At some point during our visit, I had need of the facilities and, as much as it pains me to admit this, this time it was me that plugged the damn toilet.
There’s nothing with quite the same depth of feeling as coming into a room packed with family and asking where their plunger is.
Regardless, I wasn’t going to leave a swampy parting gift for the Brother-in-Law. Maybe if he was a dick or something, but he’s actually a super nice guy. He pointed me to the plunger…
…and the man changed my world.
His plunger was not the nasty dome-shaped unit I’d grown to despise to my very soul. No, this was a newer, space-aged design that incorporated an accordion-style business end.
And when I applied it to the job at hand, my GOD! Two pushes and it cut through the plug like a hot knife through butter. This thing was brilliant! I knew, in that moment, how Thor felt when wielding his mighty hammer Mjolnir. Now I was playing with power!
I came back into the room a happy man and sung the plunger’s praises to the Wife. The Brother-in-Law, as per his custom, smirked in his bemused fashion and, with understated enthusiasm, stated, “Oh yeah. Works great.”
I immediately set upon a plan to track down the nearest Wal-Mart and buy one of these babies. And, before we got home that day, I had the power of the space-age plunger in hand. In fact, I almost welcomed the next plugged toilet.
Tomorrow…the continuation of The Boy…and the toilet.