A Prayer For Plumbing
or: How to Annoy Your Spouse With Three Little Words.
Dear Lord, if, by some odd chance, I should suddenly be arraigned on the attempted murder of my husband, please place me in front of a judge of the married-female persuasion.
You see, Lord, it all started one frosty afternoon as I fought a futile fight against a particularly perplexing plumbing problem. The toilet was backed up.
My husband (who, for his own safety, we shall not call David), was about to leave for work when said essential bathroom item ceased to… shall we say… function.
Desperate, I asked (aka screamed loudly) for his assistance.
Unable to help before having to leave for work, he tossed a much-hated response at me: “Just do this…..” and then filled in the blanks with a solution that, in his opinion, was going to be so astoundingly easy I could probably achieve it while simultaneously getting a pedicure and resolving the issues of Palestine.
Then he fled.
Desperately hoping it would be as easy as “just do this.” I ran to my local store (which may or may not rhyme with “Tall-Cart”) and grabbed the required items. Grunting my way home, I thoroughly reviewed the six-point font instructions on the box, and began. Then I waited.
Noting that the advised time had now passed, I crept back to the lavatory (say it with a British accent—it sounds better), and proceeded with the next step.
I flushed. And then stared as the chemical-filled water came pouring over the top of the bowl like a Persian fountain run amuck.
Cursing my husband and his “just do this” quip, I frantically reached for the water knob, chanting “Lefty Lucy, Righty-tighty” as I attempted to keep the toxic spill from reaching knee-level.
“OK” I thought. “Don’t panic. If I just plunge, the clog will release and all the water will swirl down and out. Then I’ll just have to mop up Lake Ontario.”
So, I plunged.
I plunged more.
Water sloshed out over the top, mocking my attempts.
Up to here, Lord, I wasn’t yet ready to commit manslaughter. But then, muttering phrases that should never be heard by a soul who doesn’t want their ears to bleed, I grabbed the phone and called my husband.
“IT IS NOT WORKING!” I shouted into the speaker-phone.
“Did you follow the instructions?” he asked.
Did…I…. follow…the… instructions?
I clenched my jaw and inhaled.
“YES! I followed the instructions!”
“Well, did you do ‘X’?” he asked, as he, from memory, listed off the first instruction.
“Yeeeesss.” I hissed.
"Did you do ‘Y’?"
“Yeessssss.” I breathed again, waiting to feel smoke coming off my head.
“Did you do ‘Z’?”
I closed my eyes and imagined his head was a punching bag, “Yessss.”
"Then it should be working.”
It was at this point I realized the inevitable. He must die.
“If you think I am too stupid to do this, they why did you leave it for me to do?!” I fumed, trying to keep the nearby toilet paper from touching my skin, lest it catch fire.
“I don’t think you are too stupid.”
“You obviously do, because you are asking me if I followed the directions and then telling me that what I am saying cannot be true!”
(Somewhere in the middle of this exchange he may or may not have hung up on me, claiming I was screaming. I was not screaming. The speakerphone was not next to me, causing me to raise my voice, which then resonated off the tile walls. That is my defense, and I am sticking to it.)
Several hours and one migraine later, my husband came home and strolled back to the offending lavatory. After a few short minutes he appeared in the living room, a cocky grin on his face. “It’s fine. It just needed a few good plunges.”
His fate was sealed. Now I just needed to choose his manner of death.
I told him so.
Smirk still solidly in place, he dared to mock “No you won’t. Cause you women are all talk. And you need men around to help you fix your plumbing.” And then he sauntered into the kitchen, whistling.
As you can see, Lord, this is a clear case of psychological self-defense. It is beyond all reason that I should have to withstand such…. smugness… such…. hubris. At least not without wine.
Therefore, if the aforementioned crime should come to pass, I humbly ask that any assigned attorneys, judges, and jury members be filled with a merciful spirit and the knowledge that they have also felt the need to cause bodily harm to a cocky spouse.
Thank you, Lord, for your kind attention to this urgent matter.