Liquid Force

Fair Warning: Before you even begin reading what’s below, I apologize. I’ve done everything I reasonably can to keep today’s post from running over with bad taste. But the subject matter may be messy for some. It’s toilet humor. Literally.

My criteria for purchasing a toilet used to include force enough to flush an eight-pound ham in one shot. If that seems excessive to you, you’ve gotta understand: I’m a man over forty years old. And I’ve seen some things in all that living. Terrible things.

At my old workplace, the site manager was constantly stymied in a game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious agent my colleagues and I began semi-affectionately calling “The Toilet Terrorist.” This stealthy bear-dumper managed to clog at least one of the toilets in the downstairs men’s room literally at least once every two weeks. (I’m not making this up.) The manager was even exploring the legality of setting up motion-sensitive cameras to catch the poopetrator. Needless to say, the laws covering privacy often trump the laws covering common sense. He was never caught—brown-handed or otherwise.

Most every (sensible) North American has a toilet plunger somewhere around their house. I like to keep mine within easy reach of the toilet. Certainly it’s not beneath me to flip it over and use the “stick” portion (perhaps you call yours a handle) to break larger waste into more manageable sizes.  (I’ve even sharpened my handle into a wedge shape to facilitate more efficient chunking. But you do whatever works for you.)

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and let me tell you: Unclogging a toilet can be a real mother. I think it was probably the fourth time (or fifth—they kind of run together) that my four-year-old had managed to compress a bowling-ball-sized wad of toilet paper tightly into the toilet’s “S” curve. I’d been elbow-deep in the stool for more than an hour, wrestling Jacob-and-angel-like with an augur, when the thought occurred to me: There has to be a better way.

And that was it. The moment when the simplicity, the beauty, the sheer grace of the solution just rained down on me in one brilliant instant, glistening like pristine porcelain: What every toilet needs, my friends… is a garbage disposal.

Now, bear with me here, and don’t freak out: Nobody seems to have a problem with a garbage disposal in their kitchen sink. But why not all the other appliances that have their drains connected to that very same “dirty water” system that removes waste from your house? (Toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.)

A toilet garbage disposal avoids all kinds of problems. Although people I’ve shared the idea with have raised all sorts of objections and tried to poke holes in my logic, none of the arguments I’ve heard holds water:

“Won’t waste splash out?”

Why? It doesn’t splash out of your sink, does it? Same principle: A rubber “sleeve” to separate you-know-what from you-know-where. Alternatively, have you seen those electric pool covers where you flip a switch and it rolls out across the surface? Same principle. Flip the switch, the cover rolls across the top of the bowl and, once securely fastened, the shredder kicks in. It’s genius. Misunderstood genius, perhaps, but genius nonetheless.

You’re welcome, world.

What’s the best idea you’ve ever had that will never see the light of day? Do you have a better idea than mine to solve the problem of clogged toilets? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen stuck in a toilet (that you’d be comfortable sharing, of course)?

7 Responses to “Liquid Force”

  1. Laura Stanlake September 29, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I think you are on to something here. Frankly, a good disposal would eliminate all the clogging issues I can think of.

    • Brannon September 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

      Were I a man of great ambition, perhaps I would pursue a lucrative agreement with a major manufacturer, savvily setting up my kids for life. Alas, instead I fear I shall simply take a nap instead.

  2. Joe Bednarz September 29, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    I regret to admit it, but I can validate Brannon’s experience with the toilet-terrorist… our manager was ever so frustrated that he planned on gathering travel dates for those of us out of the office, coordinating dates and try to eliminate suspects. Fine times…

    • Brannon September 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

      I never thought about it before, but Joe continued working there sometime after I left. I wonder: Did the porcelain abuse end after Mr. Bednarz’s departure? Hmm…

  3. Debbie Golden Miller Sewell (whew!) September 30, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    You, my brother, are an absolute GENIUS!!! I have passed your website along to several of my nearest and dearest friends. Angie in Florida added a link to your website to her Facebook page. She LOVED it!!! Suzanne loved it too. Haven’t heard from the rest of the posse, but they will most likely want to “friend” you or some such nonsense. Love you! Love your writing! GENIUS!

    • Brannon September 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

      FULL DISCLOSURE
      Debbie Golden Miller Sewell is my sister. She’s right, of course—I am a genius. Nevertheless, you should probably filter whatever she says (and I say) through the lens of truth.
      Love you. :)

  4. Debbie Golden Miller Sewell (whew!) October 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Bro, I pondered shortening my name to merely initials, but then when you sound it out as you would a license plate it is “dog mess” and that’s just GROSS!!! Love you too!

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