Thursday, August 03, 2006

100% Cotton Levees

Anyone familiar with the film "Crimson Tide" starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington will be familiar with the scene in which, after a hull breech, Rick Schroder (who is really Ricky Schroder in a vain attempt to be taken seriously post Silver Spoons) must seal a hatch, thereby sealing the fate a his fellow seamen. It's pretty emotional.

I had a similar experience this evening after trying to flush some old homemade hamburgers down the toilet; the only upside was that I was now cast in the role previously realised by my childhood hero, Ricky Schroder.

Delicious as they were, one man can eat only so many hamburgers before their appeal begins to pall. My limit was 6 meals in a row. Wanting to honour them with the reverence they deserved (and not wanting my garbage to smell of mad cow and crawl with e.coli) I decided that the remaining 4 burger patties should be buried at sea.

Something in the pit of my stomach told me that I hadn't broke them up into small enough pieces before setting them adrift in the toilet--but having no frame of reference, I ignored the pit of my stomach. Neither one of us had ever broken hamburgers up and put them in the toilet before, so my stomach and I had to agree to disagree, and wait and see.

It wasn't long after the first large chuck of chuck disappeared into the throat of the toilet that the swirling stopped, and the water level began to rise unchecked. The beefy funeral pyres were beginning to look pretty menacing; I had flushers remorse almost immediately.

Without thinking, I grabbed my personal towel from the rack and began to fashion a levee around the lip of the toilet bowl. Unfortunately, a bath towel lacks even basic similarities with a levee, and as the water rose I knew exactly where my evening wasn't going: down the toilet. And for once, I wished it was.

Toilet water surging over the towel, the triumphant burgers flirting with the crest, I began to cry and holler just like Ricky in Crimson Tide. It wasn't as dramatic as it could have been; without Hans Zimmer's soundtrack adding the appropriate flavour of heroism, I had trouble envisioning my Victoria Cross ceremony.

Trying to get a plunger into a toilet already full to over-flowing is another challenge in and of itself. You have to choke down the natural instinct to avoid any more toilet water spillage, because when the toilet bowl's volume is so close to capacity, the addition of any mass is going to create more, not less, mess.

When all was said an done, and with the aid of a plunger, I urged the burgers to face their destiny. Sure, it wasn't pretty--but you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, right?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to some Whitesnake and try to turn this evening around.

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