What happens when you find a full toilet?
My father’s work as a firefighter was difficult at times.
He worked shift work - twenty four hours on, seventy two hours off.
Coming off shift, I never knew what he would be like. Some shifts he was rested. He mostly slept. Nothing terrible happened. Other shifts, he would be tired, sometimes shaken and frequently a bit grumpy.
On the days he came home from work, I’d be a bit wary. Which dad was he going to be? As a firefighter, my dad needed to be orderly, organized and tidy. The hoses took a long time to put back onto the trucks so they could be taken off quickly. With firefighters, every second counts. Lives are on the line.
As a kid? I was part of the forces of entropy. I would leave my socks everywhere. To this day, my wife laughingly calls me ‘the sock leaver’. My father was less amused. My crusty sock bombs were like I.E.D's. They were everywhere and anywhere. They could show up in the most random spots at the most random times wreaking havoc and stinking people out of any room they were found in.
JIMMY! GET THESE DAMN SOCKS OUTTA HERE!
Those words woke me up on more than one occasion.
Again, I couldn’t tell if he was grumpy and tired or just trying to connect with me.
One particular morning, I heard the sock call: JIMMY! GET THESE DAMN SOCKS OUTTA HERE!
This particular place was the bathroom in my parents bedroom.
I went in to remove the socks to find there were no socks.
The next thing I knew, the door was closed tight. The fan turned off, the light went out and I was left there in the dark.
I took a sip of air through my nose.
That was a mistake.
I stopped breathing. I looked in the toilet.
It was as I expected to find it: full. Judging from the contents, the firefighters had enjoyed corn with their dinner the previous day.
I dealt with the issue as you would in such a circumstance - first with flushing, then a desperate, flailing struggle to find something to add to the air. There were no air fresheners, nor cleaning fluids. I did find some nasty old cologne that was my fathers. I poured it onto a towel, put that over my face and opened a window.
He held the door shut snickering.
Sometimes in life we’re presented with shit we caused. It’d a drag to deal with.
It can also be an unpleasant surprise to deal with shit from another asshole.
In retrospect that shit was funny. f
I felt both relieved that I wasn’t in trouble and both loved and respected by my dad because of this. Loved and respected by going into a washroom with a toilet full of fire fighter turds?
I felt like I was being treated like he would his buddies at work.
It was a good joke. Sure the joke was on me.
And that part wasn’t important. I like and appreciate jokes that much.
I’m not certain that I’d try the same trick on my kids.
Not that I’m a better person.
We just don’t have the washroom for it.
Ideally, I’ll come up with something soon.
No matter what however, I’m leaving them a legacy of shit that I don’t know about. Sure, there are things that I’ve been flushing away or composting. But some of it?
Some of it I’m just not dealing with.
And there are likely things that I’m passing on to them that will be entertaining to see how they deal.
It’s like the old saying goes:
Your parents were incomplete, flawed, idiots, just like their parents and their parents and their parents and their parents and their parents and… You get the idea