Monday, December 31, 2007

The Dirty South


Just got back from our annual pilgrimage down south for the holidays, Julie and me. It's always a whirlwind gig. So many people to see, catch up with, visit, and eat with in just a few days time. It's dang exhausting. Always interesting to hear what people have been doing, in my absence, back home. Best of which, is my dad's port-a-john tale.

About a month ago, my Pop noticed an abandoned port-a-john toilet turned on it's side on the shoulder of a country road (the kind used at construction sites, outdoor concerts, etc.). There it sat for weeks, unclaimed. So, reason enough, my Pop figured it was as good as his. Not sure why he would want such a thing, but it's really just beside the point. So Pops conned my brother into riding with him in the truck (said they were just going to haul off some trash) so he could grab this, he guessed, "unused" toilet stall in broad daylight. Pops claimed it was, anyway, "brand new." My bro's a bit more squeamish when it comes to this type of renegade act, thereby the fib on Pop's part. So, they got there, the truck was pulled over, and after a lotta roadside hemming and hawing, my brother finally slinked out of the truck and helped Pops heave it into the back of the truck. Blue liquid (sanitizer?) splashing all over. They high-tailed it on home, with the toilet stall dripping, pouring blue juice out the back of the truck. I'm not sure he'd realized it til he got it all the way home, but he was leaving a wet, blue trail all the way from the scene of the nab all the way back to the homestead.

Once he got it home, Pops was kind of at a loss as to what he wanted it for. Mostly, it seemed like it was a prop for a good story. A punchline to the end of a joke. He tried to pawn it off on the neighbors who just put in a swimming pool. "It'd make a heck of a 'pool house'." They wouldn't take it. He tried to give it to my aunt and uncle who have a pool in their backyard. Nope. Once it was played out, and sitting there for a good few weeks, his conscience got the best of him and he called a number stuck to the port-a-john door. Asked if they'd lost any toilets lately. They said they had and they'd be glad to come out and reclaim the thing. Several weeks have passed, and the toilet still sits in the backyard, behind the garage now. Unclaimed.

Maybe they didn't want it after all. Maybe it was laying there, on that country road, for a reason. Pops thinks, if nothing else, it'll make a good tool shed.

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