Results tagged ‘ poop stick ’

Mrs. Disco’s Toilet Revenge

The lovely Mrs. Disco is not above toilet humor; after all, she married a guy perhaps best known to many for his toilet exploits.

However, for this story we will pick things up with Mrs. Disco exactly there, above a toilet … or more correctly, standing on a toilet.


The quick back-story:

Immediately after surgery, functionally, I was down an arm and a leg.  Why a leg, you ask?  In Tommy John surgeries, the graft for the new UCL typically comes from the Palmaris Longus which, for you latin fans, means it is located somewhere below your Palmus and runs Longus-ly into your forearm.

The reasons are many why this tendon is used for typical TJ surgeries, but perhaps the most important is the fact that it is essentially biomechanically irrelevant.  As a result, something like 1 in 6 people don’t have it.  Going into surgery, it was noted I was Palmaris Longus-deficient in my left wrist, but my right wrist showed promising signs.  The story changed in surgery and it was determined my right PL would not suffice, so the doctors got a monster, hog-of-a-graft from my left hamstring.

Surgery went perfectly, but my Palmaris Wimpus resulted in my walking–er, waddling–out of the outpatient procedure with my right robot arm and my left leg able to (reluctantly) bear some weight, but with little to no ability to flex.  My left knee was badly swollen and any activity of the hamstring sent a nice electric-cattle-prod-shock down my hamstring, across my knee, and down my shin.

After a few days, I was proficient in contact lens removal/application left-handed, amongst many other tasks.  Most things were more daunting, but with the help of my amazing wife and some extra effort and patience, my daily life was mostly carrying on like normal-ish.  Except that, typically, I shower daily.

My sense of smell was un-effected by the surgery and after some time I decided I was past due for a shower (reports vary on how many days had actually gone by).  Maybe it was because she is insanely helpful and a godsend, or maybe it was because she didn’t want me to change my mind and go another day, Mrs. Disco immediately offered to help.  With that, I asked her to meet me in the upstairs bathroom in fifteen minutes or at the base of the stairs when she heard a thump-roll-roll-bang-thud; whichever came first.

In the bathroom, we started up the tub for a bath, figuring keeping my leg and elbow wounds dry would be easier if the water was more or less at rest.  As the tub filled, it was time for the undressing ritual.  This is just the back story, so maybe I’ll leave this for another post, but undressing involved me holding my right arm (sans brace) with my left arm and balancing on my one free limb, my right let.  Yeah, we won’t get into more details, lets just zoom forward to just before entering the bath, after applying water-proof bandages to my arm, wrist, and leg, Mrs. Disco passed a roll of Saran Wrap around my right arm to protect it from any errant water.  The tub was surrounded by walls on three sides and the water spout was on the right when facing the tub from the bathroom.  Left foot in, right foot in would be the ideal method of entry for this type of tub, but since my left foot could barely bear any weight, let alone all my weight while standing on a slippery tub floor, this was obviously not an option.  (Side note, and you cannot make this stuff up, as I’m writing this, Mrs. Disco’s iTunes account just fired up some Right Said Fred I’m Too Sexy.  Guess it’s time to just jump right in to how to enter a bathtub with a wrapped, braced, numb, swollen, and useless right arm and left leg.  If you have the song, I’d recommend finding your iPod and playing it now to get the full visual, if not, just by me saying I’m too Sexy enough times, the song is probably playing in your head right now.  I think the scene is set…)

So it was right foot in, spin around, slowly lower body so left arm can push bottles of shampoo and body wash off the ledge against the wall and brace my weight while Mrs. Disco carefully holds my right arm since I am sans-brace for the bathing.  Once slowly lowered down, use the left arm to hold up the dangling right arm and keep it out of the water.  Then, with no free hands, make sure the left leg stays elevated and ends up on the left edge of the tub and out of the water.

And I do my little turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk, on the catwalk, yeah
I shake my little tush on the catwalk*

*I’m not at all kidding, this is actually happening.  That’s what’s playing in the background right now as I type.  I hope you’re in the moment as much as I am.  To acquit Mrs. Disco from any scrutiny for her music selection (and indict me for much worse offenses), I downloaded the song a long time ago to turn it into a ring tone I could use as an alarm clock.


Let’s digress.  You’re caught up; the stage is set for the Toilet Revenge.  I’ve Patrick Swayze-d my way into the tub and have my leg awkwardly hovering up the wall.  Not quite a model, if you know what I mean.  I’m Too Sexy aside, when poor Mrs. Disco signed up for this baseball wifery, needless to say, I don’t think what she had in mind was the scene taking place.

So how do we end up with Mrs. Disco on the toilet?  The tub method just wasn’t working.  I think it was a combination of my incessant nervous laughter as Mrs. Disco tried to make some progress with a loofah and the fact I just couldn’t hold myself in a position with my arm and leg out of the water long enough without getting electrocuted by that missing tendon in the back of my leg.  So we decided to go with a shower.  The plan, as it was suggested to me, was we’d drain the water from the tub and Mrs. Disco would start the shower while aiming the shower head down to not get me wet.  Once the shower was running, she’d help me up.

The plan was flawless, yet at this point I still had the nervous giggles and Mrs. Disco was now cracking herself up with comments (however inaccurate they might have been) about how it was probably cold to have a tub drain out from around you.  My laughter made her laugh harder.  Her laughing meant we were still sitting in the cold bathroom, which only perpetuated more laughter.  We were an absolute giggling mess.  A brief thought-collecting sigh only preceded more laughter, but gave Mrs. Disco enough wherewithal to mount the toilet and from her tip-toes, she could reach the shower head to begin to execute the plan.  The shower head was one of those hand-held heads that “docks” onto a base high up in the shower so you can pull it down if you chose to, or leave it up like a normal shower.  She carefully kept it balanced in its dock, but aimed it down so when the shower started to spray, it wouldn’t hit me.  While holding on to the shower head and leaning against the wall, she then balanced on one tippy-toe and reached with her free foot to turn the water back on and then to shift the flow of the water from the spout to the shower head.

You know that brief moment of silence after you flip the switch in a shower to start the shower flow?  The time where there’s no water flow coming out of either outlet?  The time where you can quickly pull your head out of the shower and escape the shower’s downpour?  The calm before the storm, of sorts?  Yeah, at that moment, that exact moment, just as the water was gaining momentum vertically up to the shower head and about to unleash a spray of water across the entire shower that the lid to the toilet Mrs. Disco was standing on slipped a few inches away from the shower and she lost her balance.  Her foot was still dangling into the shower to keep pressure on the switch, and her only course of action to try to regain her balance was to quickly grab the shower curtain rod.  The plastic, spring-loaded, “tested to approx. 0.6 Newtons of force” curtain rod.

As I sat watching all this take place in the empty (potentially cold) tub, still with leg up in the air and left arm cradling my dangling right arm over the tub wall, waiting for my wife’s help to lift me up to a standing position, the shower curtain and rod came crashing down onto the tub millimeters before Mrs. Disco who crashed down milliseconds before the toilet seat broke and flew off the toilet and the flow of shower spray rained down.

Thankfully, Mrs. Disco suffered no injury in the fall and somehow she was athletic enough to fall clear of my limbs which were probably draped everywhere she would have ideally been able to land.  There was a split second of silence to assess the damage level, which upon realizing was nil, gave way to an eruption of hysterical, wet laughter.


If you were to walk in to the bathroom at that moment, you would have found a toilet seat and lid on the ground by the door, a fully-clothed, soaking-wet wife in the push-up position heaving with laughter while straddling a bathtub covered with a shower curtain and rod twisted up diagonally against the wall.  The hand-held shower head had been knocked off the dock by the shower curtain on the way down and now, powered by impressive water pressure, was swinging wildly across the shower like a live electrical wire.  Rugs, towels, walls, toilet paper, mirrors were wet.  After the dust had settled, we noticed standing water in the trash bin.  Back in the tub, the naked, wet, perhaps cold, baseball player with one leg elevated up the shower’s side wall and a heavily-bandaged right arm covered in a disheveled mess of Saran Wrap held by his left arm dangling out the side of the tub would have only been noticeable by the belly laughing going on under the shower curtain.  Thankfully for us, no one did walk in the bathroom at the moment.

But they came close.  The story ends here with an ironic twist.  Remember the amazing host family from Arkansas who we desperately did not want to saddle with a clogged toilet as we were getting moved to another city?  Yeah, them.  Well, since we’ve blogged, they happened to move to Cincinnati and were again hosting us while we were in Cincy having surgery and rehabbing.  The mom, who was at the store while we started the shower-scapade, had come home and undoubtedly heard a loud crash from the shower and ran up the stairs.  “Everything OK in there?”

It was all I could do through my laughter to hold back from eking out, “Yeah, we’re fine.  But we finally broke your toilet.”

Fan Mail Friday, July 10th

Dear Disco,

Did June’s blog rankings irk you as much as they irked me?  5th place?

Your awesomeness is insulted by any number greater than zero in an ascending ranking format.  But, if we must speak in rankings for your blog (and mlblogs.mlblogs.com seems to insist on doing so) you should be ranked solely in rational numbers with enormous denominators.  I can hear it now, “In three-one-millionth’s place, Disco Hayes.  Way behind in 1st place was Reed Johnson, and congrats to Rick Ankiel for climbing way out of contention to 2nd.”

And as long as we’re on Rick Ankiel, what is going on?  As your readers already know, Reed Johnson’s blog being ranked first for a second straight month is an insult Al Gore and those crazy clair-loving Ivy Leaguers that invented the internet with him.   In case you’ve yet to read Reed, I’ll save you the trouble with an excerpt, nay, an entire blog post of his (entitled Monday Monday):

I’m Back
– – Reed


Forty-one people gave this two-word (is it three?  Contraction faction, what’s your subtraction?) post an average of 4.74 stars out of 5.  41 people!  On the other hand, Disco, your Poop Stick story literally changed my life–changed my life, yet was rated by only 25 people (for the expectedly perfect average of 5 out of 5, but we’re going for quantity, not quality here for the rankings…well, really not even that because the 4 guys ranked ahead of you posted a total of 13 times which is 2 less than the 15 posts in June you made on your blog alone).  There’s something fundamentally wrong with this, and I can’t stand for it.  I doubt you can either, right?

I’m not done with my question yet.  Back to Ankiel, the guy posted twice in the month of June and passed you.  If this were a golf tournament, he started out Sunday 60 strokes behind you and after 2 holes packed it in, but they counted the round and awarded him a 64-under 6 to pass you on the leader board.  Well, that’s not a good analogy because we aren’t talking about golf at all, and we all know you went at least 4-under par on your round on Sunday–er June.  And since you had a 60 stroke lead we would have to assume you teed off after him.  This isn’t really working.  Well, you know what I mean, right?  Makes no sense?  I’m Ron Burgundy?

See, the thing is, it’s not even that I hold anything against Reed or Ankiel or Hunter or Molina (Bengie!  Chalk it up Berthiaume), it’s that the powers that be don’t respect the blog.  If you visit mlblogs.mlblogs.com (and I’m sure you do), there’s a column on the right that lists the pro blogs in the mlblogosphere.  Fourteen players are listed, three of whom are players ahead of you in the rankings.  The other eleven players listed posted a combined total of ONE post in the month of June, 2009.  Most of them have not posted at all in 2009.  Yet they are advertised blogs and your genius goes unnoticed.
 
In another side note, how do they get off convincing all these really good players to blog?  I mean like really good.  Holliday, Papi, Hanley, Ankiel, Torii, Lowe.  I take it Albert, Alex, and Manny were busy?  Come on mlblogs and Sharp (we’ll get to you soon enough, Sharp, don’t think you’re getting off easy on this one), how do you expect a dorky un-drafted free agent in Nebraska to get any blog love?  I can see how it went, “Hey Disco, come write a blog with some other players, it’ll be a blast, everyone will love you.  [Pause] No, just some other guys, players, you know.  [Pause] Oh, yeah, well, [Pause], if you have to know, it will be the Hall Of Fame classes of 2018-20 [Pause] and you, but I’m sure people will read your stuff.  [Pause] No, keep your chin up, buck-o.  You’ll be fine.  So it’s a yes?”  Perhaps it went like this, “Hey is this Zack Greinke? [Pause] [Pause] [Muffled voices in background with hand covering microphone] Alright, fine, can you blog anyway, Mr. Bannister? [Pause] Well, shoot, good thing we got a discount on URLs and server space.  Whatever, go ahead and write, Charlie. [Pause] Not even Charlie Hayes?  [Click] [Dial Tone]”

Sharp, it’s your turn; step on up to the table.  Forget everything you’ve just read.  This isn’t a conspiracy where mlblogs is trying to keep Disco under the radar for as long as possible to try to lock him up in arblogtration this off-season for an uber-discount.  No, his blog is famous and it’s getting more and more famous by the post.  What we have here is a situation where your marketing team has grossly misunderstood where the advertising market is and currently is barking up the wrong tree.  You have invested in Ankiel, Holliday, Hunter, and Lowe.  You probably spent decent money on them too.  But you are missing the real cash cow here.  You see, without any advertisement, without any help from anyone but his own fingertips and ego, Disco has carved out a decent piece of pie in the mlblog market.  He has the most loyal followers (unless you tell me something crazy like Julia comments religiously on other players’ blogs too) and is expanding his fan-base around the globe, not just local markets along team lines.  He appeals to the every man and woman, not just the baseball fan.  He’s done some studies on his nickname alone, but with his blog as a whole, he kills the 60-80 demographic with his donut advice (OK, admittedly kill was a bad verb choice here, but I’m rolling, so backspace is out of the question) and mothers 25-40 can’t get enough of his feces…wait that came out wrong, too…and his 1 Minute Mondays appeal to, well, um, probably someone…aha! perhaps non-English speakers because it’s less to translate.
 
So, Sharp, if your own name could in any way be used to describe your marketing strategy, I suggest you jump on this bandwagon sooner than later.  Jump on it, put billboards on the sides and fill it with loads of cash.  I’ll ask you to think of this.  What will happen when Disco makes the big leagues?  Huh?  Think of the blog then.  Think of the Peter Gammons ESPN special about his fairytale story from college walk-on to big league phenom.  “…aside from the fastball which resembles a local fair’s speed pitch booth, this kid is also a smart guy.  He scored an 800 on the math section of the SATs, dabbles in sabrmetrics and he’s quite witty, check out his blog at discohayes.mlblogs.com.  In Kansas City, Peter Gammons, [pause][wait][sneeze from Rachel Nichols][pause][chin nod][dramatic cough], E-S-P-N.”  Think of the traffic his site will generate when mlblogs begins to pretend like it exists.  Think of the possibility of Disco Music coming
back in vogue.

Perhaps don’t think of the last thought, but the first few are some legit points if you ask me.  Which you aren’t because I’m asking a fan mail question.  But seriously, Sharp, you should sponsor the guy.  Besides, who needs money or a TV more, Torii Hunter or Disco Hayes?  The guy tried cutting his own hair because he couldn’t afford a haircut.  I get the impression he and his (hilarious, talented, well-written, independently famous, and beautiful) wife don’t have a house, so stick with cash instead of TVs.  If you gave them a TV for every 100,000 hits to the site, he would probably start writing an Ethieresque blog to cut down on mounting storage costs.  Stick with cash and he’ll actually have interesting things to blog about like “making it rain” and not just “making it flush”.  Amazingly his blog is “on the verge” AND “off the heezay” at the same time.  The snowball is in motion.  Get behind it, or, as they say, die in the avalanche.  Something like that.
 
So, Disco, my question is, do you ever think this stuff?
 
Disco H., Omaha, NE

 
 

Um, no?

 

Promotions, Payback, and Poop Sticks

I haven’t written as much for a week or so now and I feel the need to explain why.

With the Royals’ Double-A Affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the travel isn’t that bad because you play 116 out of the 140 games within a three hour radius.  But when you play outside the radius, it’s way outside.  Like Corpus Christi or Midland, TX which are 16 and 13 hours away respectively.

Two weeks ago, the Naturals were at the end of a week long trip to Texas.  At the very end of this trip, I got the exciting call up to Triple-A Omaha.  On the day the O-Royals embarked on a 17-day road trip (to make room for the CWS in Omaha), Mrs. Disco and I drove up from Arkansas to meet them.  So, despite not having a real home, we haven’t even been to our psuedo-home since June 1st and we won’t get to our new one until June 27th.  Not that I need to be at home to post a blog, but I’ve had some bad luck with the Internet in hotels and most of our mornings seem to be spent at airports now, so it’s been tough to get stuff out.  Don’t lose hope in life in general, though.  These are extenuating circumstances and I will continue to do what I can to make your day as often as possible.

Any time you get called up, it’s an exciting time, so I’d like to share the story of my recent promotion to Triple-A with you.  Depending on how much a fan you are, you may have a preconceived notion of what a promotion is like for the player.  This story is 100% true and hopefully will make you laugh and make you realize, it’s not always as glamorous as it seems.


In Arkansas, Mrs. Disco found a host family for us to live with and the people were amazing.  I’m not just saying this because they are probably reading (Hi guys, we miss you, btw!), but honestly, they were perfect hosts for us.  They had a gorgeous house, were there enough that we got to know them, but were gone enough that we got to enjoy the house like it was ours.  They made us feel comfortable and completely at home. They were generous, thoughtful, and perfect.  Oh, yeah, and did I mention they had a pristine pool in the back?

It was a perfect set-up and Mrs. Disco and I thoroughly enjoyed it our entire stay.  We loved every minute there and loved every square inch of that house…except for one single incident about a month ago.

Another bonus of the house was the neighbors had three adorable little kids (twins, age four, and a 14-month old).  One day we were playing with the kids and 4-year-old Connor told me he had to go potty.  Our host parents were not home, so I brought Connor in and asked him if he knew which bathroom he was supposed to go in.  He said yes and walked directly to one of the two guest bathrooms downstairs just off the kitchen.  I didn’t know how much involvement I would have, so I stayed within ear shot just down the hall.  I heard the seat go up and then heard the sound of a tiny stream going into the toilet.  I was proud of the little guy and was impressed.  I didn’t know how big a deal it was for him, so didn’t want to make it one, but he was doing great.  Kids are so easy, I thought.

“Mr. Chris?”

“Yeah, buddy, I’m here.”

“I need to go poopy.”

“OK, do you need help?”

“Yes, please.”

Unsure what was going to happen, I walked into the bathroom to find a tiny person with his bathing suit down around his ankles looking at me.  I put the toilet seat down and he picked up his hands in a motion I knew meant he wanted help getting up on the toilet.  I obliged and soon, we were in business again.  Ha, kids are so easy.

“Mr. Chris?”

“Yeah, buddy, I’m right here.”

“Mommy wipes me cause I don’t know how to yet.”

I walked back into the bathroom to find the little guy still sitting on the toilet.  I didn’t know what was about to happen, but didn’t want to seem confused.  I knew I would need toilet paper at some point, so I wrapped my hand and upper arm in toilet paper, took a deep breath and was ready for action.  I looked at him and he looked at me.  He didn’t move.

“You ready?”

“Yup.”  He took a quick look back at his bottom as if to say, “It’s still there, isn’t it?”

If you wake up in the middle of the night and the room is pitch black, your familiarity with the room is key.  If it’s your bedroom and you’ve lived there for years, you can get around without even a hint of a light on.  If it’s a hotel room and you just checked in late that night, odds are you’re going to walk into a wall.

I sighed and reached behind him.  I was 100% in a foreign hotel room and walked smack into a wall.  As a complete novice, my hand had no idea where it was going or what it was doing and before I knew it, I realized it was under water.  “Poopy” water.  I had gone too deep, overshot the target I was unfamiliar with, and dunked my hand in kid-poop-water.  It was mostly cold.  I made eye contact with Connor.  He was smiling.  His feet were dangling off the edges of the toilet, his little bathing suit resting on the ground below.

I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, dry heave, or play poop-a-boo with my little potty buddy sitting there inches from my face.  He seemed to be enjoying this thoroughly.

By the time this charade was over, Connor probably had some remnants between his cheeks, but I can guarantee you I had more between my knuckles after dunking my hand on two (and a half) occasions. Connor threw his bathing suit back on and ran outside to go play some more.  I threw up in my mouth and ran to the sink to find some bleach for my hand.  My right hand, no less!  It took close to a week for me stop getting nauseous when I was half-way into brushing my teeth and something would trigger the poop soup memory.  With every flashback, I would condemn that one toilet as being the only part of the house I would have a bad taste for when we left.  I cursed at it and grew a disliking for the room every time I passed it on the way to the kitchen.

I told you that story to tell you this one:

It was a normal day at our host family’s house; the first one in a long time, for that matter, as we had just gotten back late that night from our road swing in Texas.  After a nice breakfast with Mrs. Disco, we were sitting in the kitchen catching up with the real world and the on-line world on our computers.  I don’t know if it was the granola or the yogurt or the eggs, but I got the urge to go to the bathroom and had the foresight to know I wasn’t going to have time to get upstairs.  So, for the first time since we had moved in two months prior, the same bathroom I had cursed for weeks was my only salvation.

The gravity of my bathroom choice went unnoticed at first because it was out of such necessity.  But once I was settled and the situation was under control, I started to ponder the implications of being in the very bathroom I had shunned my entire stay.  It was a weird feeling to be in Connor’s shoes this time around.  After a while, perhaps my fears had subsided some, but I began to notice all my hatred had perhaps been unfounded as the bathroom really wasn’t that bad.  It was decorated with soft colors and an interesting decor that made it surprisingly pleasant.  I had hated this room for weeks, but now began to think it was all for naught.  The entire house was amazing, why would I think this one room was out to get me.  I shouldn’t let one bad experience ruin this room, right?

I stood up with a feeling of
a new sense of appreciation for the bathroom and flushed.  I felt in-touch with my fears and emotions and for this I was grateful and proud.  As I stood up, I felt taller than when I walked in.

I pushed the lever down and the normal flushing sound was absent.  Instead, I heard the sound coming from the toilet that makes your heart sink.  The sound is disheartening enough when you are in your own home, but as a guest, it can cause panic.  Thankfully this morning our host family was out of town on vacation for a week, so I didn’t have that embarrassment to endure, but regardless, it’s never a good feeling to see the level of water rise around your own waste instead of flushing the slate clean.  It had taken weeks, but eventually the bathroom had it’s revenge!  I gave it the opportunity and it did not waste any time in getting back at me for all the bad things I had to say about it.

Revenge is a stinky cologne.

My heart began to beat quickly and my mind raced to come up with a solution.  Sadly, a quick scan of my memory told me our host family had not outlined where to find a plunger.  A second and third attempt to flush did nothing, so I decided there was nothing I could do and I returned to my computer to see if Father Time could work some magic for me.

I collected myself, after all, though the situation was not improving, thankfully it was not getting any worse, so I returned to the kitchen.  As I sat at the my computer, the phone rang and our manager broke the great news I would be moving up to Triple-A!  Just like that the course of my morning took a 180-degree turn and everything sprung into action as the cheers and happy phone calls and hugs led to packing up and loading of the car to go to Omaha!  The clogged toilet of doom could not be further from my giddy mind.  Over the course of the next few hours Mrs. Disco and I happily skipped around the house packing our belongings and removing any fingerprints to leave the house looking the way it did the day we moved in.  After all, with our host family out of town, we wouldn’t even be able to say goodbye to them, we had to leave the house as nice as we found it.  Estimated Time of Departure: 3:00pm.

As the afternoon wore on and we got closer and closer to being ready to make the drive to Omaha, I ran a checklist in my head to make sure we had gotten everything out of the house.  Man, it was a big house.  ETD: 4:00pm.  As I gave mental clearance to the beautiful rooms on the first floor, I got past the kitchen and my eyes settled on the bathroom from hell.  It was far from fingerprint-free.  It immediately earned it’s way out of my good graces.  What a short-lived stay.

Now, I debated not sharing this story at all because social norms would suggest it’s a bit “too much information” and an over-the-top embarrassment.  There was a point for close to a week where I had actually convinced myself not to tell the tale.

But I began to think, “why do they sell plungers?”  If, in this story, I was the first guy EVER to plug a toilet, plungers would not be mass-produced.  There’s a number of Plunger CEO’s somewhere who have very nice houses that have been built by clogged toilets.  This eased my inhibitions a bit.  And not to get into too much detail, but I will add this disclaimer.  I am of the impression this toilet of doom is predisposed to clogs due to a small intake.  True, I have based this on one incident, but I can tell you my offering did not seem overly over-bearing.

Despite my reasoning that plungers are mass-produced, I was still apprehensive about posting this.  What finally made up my mind in favor posting was when I reminisced about the time in college when I ran into a girl I knew from class as I was checking out of Walmart at 11pm with only a plunger in my hand.  Nothing says, “I eat a lot of fiber and bran and have healthy bowels and stay very regular, and as a result, may or may not have my own feces seeping across my bathroom floor as we speak,” like being caught buying a plunger.  I felt terrible for myself and wanted to crawl into a hole (though, with my luck, I probably would not have fit), but had to feel even worse for the girl.  She had to make small talk with me as we waited in line at the only open register.  “Come here often?” Doesn’t really work in that situation.  I think she went with, “what do you normally buy here?” to try to change the subject but I brought everything full circle when I started talking about the knock-off Grape Nuts I had just discovered earlier that morning.  It was a traumatic experience for me, and my classmate as well.  But, if I can survive 5 minutes holding a plunger in line with my classmate, I can survive telling this story.  I just hope my audience can fully enjoy my embarrassment this time.  So don’t feel bad for me, besides, admit it, you’ve been here before!

Remembering the mess in the bathroom prior to leaving was bittersweet; I was grateful I remembered because I don’t know how to describe what it would have been like to be half-way to Omaha and remember I had left a toilet clogged for our amazing host family who would not find it for another week.  “Thanks for letting us stay in your amazing house for two months, guys, we left a little floating token of our appreciation in the toilet just off the kitchen…”  On the other hand, I had no desire to go in to the war zone and make amends.  ETD: 5:00pm.

I entered the bathroom with much the same approach I had weeks before with Connor:  I didn’t really know what I needed to do next, but I knew it wasn’t going to be fun.  I had no idea where a plunger was in the house and didn’t want to spend the time or money to go buy one at the store.  I tried flushing again; again to no avail.  I wanted to rip the toilet out of the wall.  It seemed to be smiling at me, thrilled to have gotten it’s payback.

I stood over the toilet weighing my options.  No plunger.  Flushing was doing nothing, but thankfully didn’t cause the water level to rise so I decide to try flushing a few more times.  The water level stayed the same, but none of the problem went away.  I had been packing all day and this was not the way I wanted my call-up to go.  I was so excited to get to Omaha, but this clog was standing in my way.  It had taken a year of success at the Double-A level to get to Omaha, did I really need this one road block?

Twenty-four hours later, I approached the mound in Des Moines, IA as the bases were loaded with no one out and the heart of the Iowa Cubs order coming up.  “Tough situation” our manager said and handed me the ball.  As the catcher walked back to the plate to receive my warm up tosses, I had a second to reflect on the statement and couldn’t help but think back…I couldn’t help but smile as I thought, “if only these eight thousand people could have seen me just a day ago.”

The pool looked as pristine and perfect as ever as I walked past it to the bushes in the back yard.  Within seconds of arriving at the bushes, I found the perfect stick.  Moments before, while embarrassingly weighing my options with Mrs. Disco, she suggested the “poop stick” method of breaking up the blockage.  It seemed to be the best option available at the time.  So I went in the back yard and found a stick about two feet long and about as thick as my pinky in the back yard and walked back into the house.  My day had gone from the penthouse to…well you know where this saying goes.  For Mrs. Disco, however, the day was looking up.  She had to spend several arduous hours (ETD:  6:00pm, btw) packing her pretty little heart
out, but now she was able to reap the reward of watching her husband use a poop stick.  She was laughing hysterically in the kitchen as I walked by, scowling.

In the bathroom, I shoved the stick into the toilet and started moving it around (ETD: 6:30) to break up what needed to be broken.  I was thrilled to have a tool to aid me this time, but I couldn’t help but be upset at the toilet of doom.  Mrs. Disco couldn’t help but be doubled over at the waist slapping her knees.  In a sick, karmic kind of way, though, it was a beautiful closure of our stay in the house.  As the sweat started to form on my brow, I did my best to effectively execute the PS method, all whilst not picturing what was taking place at the other end of the stick.  After what seemed like an hour (ETD: 7:00pm), a beautiful, resounding flush was successful!

I stood, Rocky-esque, with my hands up over my head (I left the stick sitting in the toilet to minimize drippage), victorious.  Mrs. Disco caught her breath and rubbed her sore abdominal muscles, which had been convulsing for the length of the procedure.

I washed the poop stick in the now-clean toilet and carried it outside to dispose of it where I found it.  As I walked to the bushes to lay the stick to rest, Connor came running up to me from next door, “Mr. Chris, what are you doing with that stick?”

I didn’t know where to start.  The same smiley eyes that I had been inches from weeks before had no idea what I was doing with the stick.  Connor seemed genuinely confused as to why we had said goodbye just after lunchtime
and yet were still here playing with a
(poop) stick in the back yard past his bedtime.  I debated telling him the story, but looked at the clock and saw it was close to 8:00pm.   He wouldn’t get it even if I did tell him, I thought.

So instead, we said goodbye and Mrs. Disco and I were finally able to get on our way to Omaha and tackle the next “tough situation”.