AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 10/01/2004 08:10:00 AM ----- BODY:

Eau de Toilette

I didn't watch the debate last night. First of all, I felt like warmed-over shit. Secondly, I already saw this election back in 2000; I don't need to watch the re-run. Once again, the Democratic candidate is a lame-duck at best; a conniving, nefarious, waffling scumbag at worst. The Republican candidate just may bring about Armageddon. I don't want to vote for either of them, but even by not voting (or voting Green) I'll end up voting for one of them by default. Honestly, though, there's not much of a difference between them. Neither of them is likeable. Both of them are Yale-educated members of the wealthy elite, both are hypocrites, both are liars. I'd say I want to vote for Kerry, because he is (as was Al Gore) the lesser of two evils. And because I believe if George W. Bush remains in power, he might bring about the end of the world. But hey. Given the way things have been going lately, maybe it's what we deserve. Okay. That's a little alarmist. But if the 2000 election is any indication, who I vote for and how I feel doesn't really matter anyway. They, whoever "they" are, will put in power whoever was supposed to be in power. Going to the polls feels like participating in a cruel joke in which I am the butt. But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about my toilet. Another reason I missed the debate last night was because, since I was feeling like microwaved fecal matter, I went to bed early. The better to get up bright and early this morning, the better to possibly stop mailing it in at work. I did. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6. I went to the bathroom. I flushed the toilet. You know, as is customary. The toilet clogged. Just a little bit, just enough to raise the water level in the bowl slightly. Hmm. I tried flushing again. More water. Okay. I went over to the corner of the bathroom where we have a toilet plunger--seemingly compliments of either the landlord or the previous tenant, since it was there when we got here--and brought it back over. I stood, looking at the by-now mostly-full bowl and sighed. Brandishing the plunger, I, well, plunged it into the water, affixing its wide black rubber mouth to the hole at the bottom of the toilet, and attempted clumsily to plunge. Drawing it back out again, I looked down. The water level had decreased slightly, but nothing had come up. I made another attempt. Again, the same result--another slight decrease in the water level, another fruitless plunging effort. Shrugging, I proceeded very casually to make the biggest mistake of my morning--I flushed again. There are few feelings exactly like watching the water in a toilet bowl rise steadily and inexorably toward the edge, and so rapidly you know long before it happens (but still not in enough time to address the issue adequately) what will be the result: a gush of supremely unclean water all over the bathroom floor. Which led me to think, suddenly and catastrophically, about all the things that were on the bathroom floor already--like my clothes, which I had removed in preparation for showering. And the trash can. And the laundry hamper. And a bag containing a package of maxi pads, which I need. The trash can and laundry hamper are plastic, and so survived the flood. Nothing else made it. Meanwhile, the water was continuing to gush from this infernal font. By now, panicked, wading through a liquid I tried very hard not to really think about, I brandished the plunger like a warrior Amazon (except with both tits intact), crammed it into the bowl and plunged like my life depended on it. Again, nothing came up, but suddenly the water was retreating until, with a final gurgle at the bottom of the bowl, it was finally gone. I had beaten back the beast. If it weren't for the early hour, I would probably have yelled in triumph. I did yell when I turned and assessed the damage. The water that had managed to escape the plumbing in what had seemed like three seconds was ridiculous. It ran all the way from the toilet to the closed bathroom door. It looked like a standing half-inch, at least. I considered my options. I didn't want to have to use our bath towels to mop up the sewer-water, but getting paper towels meant opening the door. Opening the door meant letting water out into the kitchen. So bath towels it was. These and my clothes soaked up the flood fairly well, at least until I got to a point where I felt like I could open the door without letting a tidal wave into the kitchen. I opened the door. I let out a shriek. Guess there was more of a gap between the floor and the door in the bathroom than I had wanted to believe. Further toilet water was standing in a large puddle along the dividing line between carpet of the living room and the tiled kitchen, almost all the way over to the kitchen door. It was 6:25 am, I was standing naked in my kitchen, and it was filled with toilet-water. So much for getting up early. So much for getting to work on time for once. So much for having a bullshit-free morning. Look, I'm as religous a subscriber to Murphy's Law as any, but really. When things go wrong, why do they have to go wrong so spectacularly?