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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Six Stages

The Six Stages of Coping When a Guest at Your Holiday Party Makes Your Upstairs Toilet Overflow, Sending Shitty Water Flooding into Your Living Room.

Stage One: Shock

You can't understand why the guest who just went upstairs five minutes ago, presumably to use the loo, is now running down the stairs at breakneck speed, whispering urgently to your husband, and running back up the stairs at breakneck speed with your husband close behind. Sitting amid your other guests in your living room, you are alarmed to feel water splashing against your arm and, when you turn your head, to see water running out of the ceiling and down the wall.

Stage Two: Frenzied Dealing

You are throwing every absorbent item you can find onto your flooded bathroom floor as your chagrined guest stands by, socks wet. Once you've gone through all the regular towels, the guest towels are the last to go, facedown in the muck.

Stage Three: Denial

You deny to your guest that this is a big deal, insisting that he has nothing to be embarrassed about. You stress that this is not his fault. You return to the party, putting the stew of soaking wet towels and toilet water upstairs out of your mind completely. You smile and chat amiably. You get up to wash your hands every five minutes or so.

Stage Four: Anger

Once the last guests have left, more dealing. As your spouse strategically places buckets to catch the toilet water still dripping from your living room ceiling and you don rubber gloves and haul two loads of towels sodden with shit water down to the basement, you begin to resent your guest. You think of your friends who have shy sphincters, unable to shit anywhere but home. Suddenly a shy sphincter no longer seems like a neurosis, but an admirable trait. You wonder what kind of a jerkoff deals with a clogged toilet by just continuing to flush until the thing overflows. You begin to resent the holiday season itself. If it weren't for the fucking holidays, you never would have had this party in the first place. Fucking shitty holidays!

Stage Five: Acceptance

You admit to yourself that no one is to blame for this situation. Your house is 100 years old. The toilets clog sometimes. Your guest had to take a shit. We all have to shit sometimes. The toilet clogged, and he dealt in a totally understandable way: Aaagh! Make this go away. Flush! Down! Down, socially unacceptable turd clog! You realize that you'd likely do the same thing in a similar situation. Now you have water stains and a few pucker marks in your ceiling. You'll have to call some sort of handyperson to come and fix the damn thing.

Stage Six: Inevitable Thoughts of Sedaris

You think of the David Sedaris story "Big Boy," where an embarrassed narrator tries to deal with someone else's stubborn turd in the toilet of a house where he's a guest. You can't remember how he ended up jettisoning it, but you recall a scenario involving throwing the turd out the window. You know that no toilets overflowed in this story. You wish somehow your guest could have just thrown his turd out the second floor window. It would've been gross, sure, but better than the holiday party toilet overflow debacle of 2008.


Blogger Orange said...

We should all post a notice on the bathroom wall:

"If your turd is too giant to flush,
please be a dear
and throw it out the window.
There are disposable gloves under the sink."

5:54 PM  
Blogger DoctorMama said...

I read this aloud to the whole family -- perhaps it can be a new tradition. Reminds me of Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo.

2:38 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Okay, next time I have a holiday party, I am definitely putting up a sign, and I think I'll have the message coming out of a dialogue bubble from the mouth of Mr. Hankey.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Mytwords said...

Gives "Shit happens" a whole new meaning, eh?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Imez said...

"You get up to wash your hands every five minutes or so."

Honestly laughed out loud there, best mental image ever. Lovely hostess, chatting smiling, washing her hands desperately...

What a great blog.

2:12 PM  

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