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Fortuitous Anagram of the Day

January 22, 2010

Oh sweet Jesus. It was only a matter of time…

I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I attract plumbing problems like tungstophosphates containing zinc ions attract interest in their syntheses. Everywhere I go, water heaters become incontinent, pipes ejaculate, and toilets commit suicide. There should be a support group for friends and relatives who have invited me into their home for a number of hours or days, only to be subjected almost immediately to the most confoundingly ridiculous and random plumbing problems this schadenfreudey universe has to offer.

(To be clear: I don’t cause plumbing disasters. My presence causes them. I am a polite and considerate young lady both in and out of the bathroom.)

I have been living in this house for just barely over two weeks, and not an hour ago, as I was ignoring the world via one of the Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor (I want to publish a book called Incomplete Stories which would not be a volume of selected stories from a larger corpus but rather a volume of stories each of which was missing a paragraph or a page or a sentence or every 17th word), I heard a noise that can only be described as the love child of gunfire and suction. Need I even add that it was coming from my bathroom?

Sappho, in a rare burst of courage, jumped off the bed and went to investigate. I stayed where I was because I was pretty sure something was about to explode and I didn’t want to be in the room when it happened. I could tell that the toilet was playing a supporting if not starring role in the proceedings, which led me to wonder whether a flood was imminent. The noise continued and continued continuing. Eventually curiosity overrode fear and, not for the first time in my life, I followed Sappho’s lead.

Poseidon be praised, the floor was dry, and the noise stopped after about five minutes. I conducted a hesitant exploration of the bathroom and determined that everything was in order except that the toilet bowl was now completely empty. What the hell?

While sitting on the bed listening in terror to the noise, trying to figure out what the eff could possibly be causing it, a line from T. S. Eliot (a near-palindrome of “toilets”) had suddenly popped into my head: Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

“Prufrock” is my favourite poem, probably mainly because I was at an impressionable age when I first read it. From 1997 to 1999, half the poems I wrote were flimsy impersonations of “Prufrock” (the other half were marginally better impersonations of the most offensive odes of Catullus). I mentally apologized to Thomas for invoking J. Alfred at such a profoundly unpoetic time, and I hope he forgave the slight, but there’s no way to know for sure.

Irregardless, if I haven’t posted anything else by the end of the weekend, it’s because I’ve drowned.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 1:40 pm

    Yikes. You know, I once had my toilet make noises like that. The clean-out outside needed to be routed for tree roots (I don’t know if you’re far enough south for spring to be coming already, but that’s often when their roots go nuts). It happened for a little while until it started backing up…sewage flood, gross. Maybe have it looked at before it gets that bad.

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