Sunday, April 10, 2011

Toilets, Plungers and Knives

This story is an excerpt from my book: Melody of My Heartstrings.  I'm posting this especially for Nurjahan :-)  It still makes me laugh when I picture her trying to "keep the toilet water in".  This story is all true - I couldn't make this up!  Hope you enjoy it.  

Have you ever tried putting your chin on the dishwasher while it’s running?  It’s quite a nice feeling.  I recommend it to anyone who is feeling especially stressed out.  It causes a soothing sensation over your whole face.  I imagine, if I were only two feet tall, the soothing feeling might send little tingles down my entire tiny body.  I guess that is why Lulu is so enamored with the dishwasher.

I noticed Lulu’s strange fascination with the dishwasher one Saturday morning while I was sprinting with a plunger between bathrooms on either end of the house.  As I ran back and forth from one bathroom to another, I could not help but observe that Lulu had pinned herself to the dishwasher and was oblivious to the commotion all around her.  Her diapered behind was swaying back and forth with her face plastered on the front of the dishwasher.  At first, I thought she must have had her tongue stuck or something but, upon closer inspection, I saw that she was holding her chin against the machine as it vibrated.  I hoped the cycle had just started as it would keep her busy while I plunged.  Currently, there was toilet water “falling out” of two toilets simultaneously.

While Lulu was preoccupied with the dishwasher, Jennifer was in one bathroom screaming, “Mom the toilet is overflowing!”

And Nurjahan, our little girl from Bangladesh, was in the other bathroom yelling in broken English, “Oh my gosh!  My toilet water falling out!”

How could I deal with such catastrophe when I had not even had my first cup of coffee yet!  My eyes were still blurred and crusty from sleep!  I was unprepared for such a rude awakening.  I had to think fast.  I grabbed the first thing I could find in the kitchen; I reached for a spatula.  I ran to Jen’s bathroom and quickly jammed the spatula under that bulb thingy to stop the flow of water. (I have absolutely no idea why I did not think to turn the water off, but I didn’t).

Then, I rushed to Nur’s bathroom (stopping momentarily to grab a couple of carving knives while making sure that Lulu was still worshiping the dishwasher).  Quite a sight met me when I reached Nur’s bathroom: Nur was straddling the toilet pushing with all her might on the lid trying valiantly to stop the water from “falling out”.   Strands of her long jet-black hair dangled in her face and she was so out of breath I thought she might pass out from her herculean effort.

I quickly rushed into her bathroom with my knives to the rescue.  I wedged one knife under to bulb thingy and the water soon slowed to a trickle.  Nur slid off the toilet to the floor and started laughing.  I soon joined her on the wet floor giggling at the absurdity of using a kitchen knife to stop the toilet from overflowing.  Suddenly, the doorbell rang.  “Now who could that be so early in the morning?”  I asked myself as I made my way to the front door.

I opened the door.  I must have scared the bejesus out of the man standing in front of me.  I’m sure he didn’t expect to see someone in sopping wet smiley face pj’s holding a plunger in one hand and a large carving knife in the other.  The carpet cleaning man eyed me suspiciously then he spoke, “What’s that buzzing noise?”

“What buzzing?” I asked.

“That loud buzzing noise that seems to be coming from your back yard.” He said.

“I don’t know.” I said.

I threw him the plunger (good thing it wasn’t the knife).  “Hold this!” I yelled as I ran toward the backyard slamming the door behind me.  I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed the buzzing sooner as it was loud enough to wake the dead.  It was coming from the septic system alarm.  I deduced, even in my coffee deprived state, that the alarm might have something to do with the overflowing toilets.

I silenced the alarm, called the septic company, checked on Lulu (who was still stuck to the dishwasher), made sure Nurjahan and Jennifer were okay and was pouring my coffee when the doorbell rang.  “Now who could that be so early in the morning?”  I was thinking to myself when I suddenly remembered that I left the carpet cleaning guy at the front door holding the plunger.  I went back and opened the front door apologizing profusely for my oversight.  He was still holding the plunger.

“Rough morning?” He commented.

“Yeah.” I sighed as I opened the door for him and reclaimed my plunger.

After I had shown him all the carpets that needed cleaning, I said, “If you need me, I will be in the kitchen with my chin on the dishwasher.”