So Here’s a Funny Story…

Historically, our dog Cody has been a light sleeper. Possibly his Sheltie’s herding/watchdog instincts cause him to spring into action at the slightest sound and bark his head off. Possibly it’s because he’s a doggie a-hole. I have joked for well over a decade that we really should have named him “Rooster” because he would wake us up before any set alarm so often. It got so bad that we often tried to mitigate the early morning barking as much as we could. This involved such thoughtful compromises as setting the water softener to cycle during the day instead of at night and pumping expandable foam insulation in an interior wall to reduce sound coming in from the outside. Another one of those adjustments was, if we needed to pee during the night, to not flush until morning because that was a sure-fire trigger for both dogs suggesting it was time to rise and shine.

Jump forward to 2014. Cody is old, and mostly deaf. The pain and misery of those Rooster days has ebbed, but the habits remain. And over the years our children, who are now all toilet trained(ish) have picked up on these habits. So now I have three children who always drink too much water after brushing their teeth. They also tend to use too much toilet paper after they use the bathroom. So when all three of them use the bathroom once or twice during the night (I have very recently learned) and don’t flush, a mass of toilet paper forms at the bottom of the bowl, one which can clog and cause the toilet to overflow when at last a child flushes in the morning.

So I’m downstairs consoling my middle child because her breakfast is ruined because her imaginary coffee spilled and I need help cleaning it up!! when I hear my eldest daughter calling for me frantically. I run upstairs and see her hovering helplessly around our new porcelain fountain, eyes fixed on the shut-off valve but hand retracted in the same sort of terror one might have if they were faced with the prospect of reaching into a burning fireplace to save some precious document before it’s too late. 

Because the valve is being drizzled in overflowing toilet water and OMG there is NO WAY I’m reaching into THAT. Which is what I have to do, followed by jamming my hand in the toilet and breaking up the paper clog so everything can drain. And despite thoroughly washing my hands afterward in full view of my child, she suspiciously passed on a good-bye hug before she left for school and I set about mopping up and staunching water flow from the main and upper flows less than two days after I had to clean up water from the basement after a washing machine malfunction.

So, to summarize for the tl;dr crowd: My house got waterlogged again and it’s my damn dog’s fault.

Adding additional collateral damage to the event is that I mused that maybe all this flooding is a sign that I should go see the Noah movie. This was met with angry resistance because I have not yet taken the kids to see the LEGO movie, and how dare I suggest such a thing. I deadpanned that maybe we should compromise and go see the LEGO Noah movie. Their eyes got big and they started getting excited so I had to put a damper on it. So now they’re mad at me for giving them the idea that there was a LEGO Noah movie when there actually was not!

So if some studio would get on that, that would be great–I’ll be first in line. I’ll be the guy wearing a hooded raincoat and carrying a plunger surrounded by three young girls who won’t hold my hand in line.


Author of over sixty children's books, as well writer of textbook materials and standardized exam text. I may have helped teach your children...

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