It’s impossible to buy a plunger and look dignified doing it.
It’s 10:00 PM in one of those multi-purpose grocery/hardware/toys/clothing/everything stores, there’s only one checkout lane open, and the store is full of ugly single people who don’t have anyone to go home to, cutesy couples who think that late-night grocery shopping is fun date night material, and one very tired guy with a pint of ice cream that you know he’s getting for his pregnant wife. And then there’s me, with a plunger and a bag of apples.
"Why apples," you ask? You’re so considerate. Thank you. Because they didn’t have Fleur de Sel Caramel Ice Cream (They’ve been out of stock for TWO WEEKS!!! GRRRR!) But really, the main reason is that, even if you really only need a plunger, it’s just not okay to go to the store and get only a plunger. No, because if you’re at the store, and you check out with only a plunger, the clerk at the store is going to think one thing: "What’s the matter Mr. Farty McPoopyPants? Is sumfin da matter wif yer toilet?" And even if, theoretically, that were true, that’s just not the kind of impression you want to leave when you check out at the store. I mean, really, there are standards.
Ergo the apples.
(I suppose now is the time that I should insert a disclaimer that the remainder of this blog post will be about poop. You can enjoy the obviously high-minded and scientific discourse, or surf on over to http://dailysquee.com to fill your head with pictures of cute animals instead.)
Apples are the perfect ruse because if you check out with a plunger and apples, the clerk won’t think, "It’s 10PM at night and you’re getting a plunger…obviously it’s for your up and coming Halloween costume." (The clerk inside my head can be very sarcastic.) Instead, the clerk will simply think, "This man must have needed apples for a last minute baking project to bring to a work office party. And how nice that he could get a plunger at the same time–he’ll probably use it to help his little brother from the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation build a science project for the school fair involving a baking soda and vinegar volcano. What a good man. I would have thought otherwise if it were just the plunger, but since he has apples, I’m absolutely certain that there is not some hideously unfortunate plumbing issue requiring immediate attention."
The simple logic of it is really quite astounding. The clerk needn’t think about about how the plunger may be used. He needn’t be disgusted by having an unprovoked mental image impinge upon his psyche. He needn’t know that my body is having it’s second straight day of a violent and bowel-wrenching reaction to a desperate attempt to eat healthily by incorporating fruits and vegetables into my diet that haven’t been wrapped in pastry, blended into ice cream, and/or deep fried first.
(As a side note: It was all I could do not to stop at DQ to get a mint oreo blizzard on my way home from the store just to settle my stomach. Then I realized how terrifying it is that a mint Oreo blizzard would, in fact, settle my stomach, and I continued on…thoroughly disgusted at myself for getting to the point where a fast food milkshake with cookie chunks could be considered an appropriate replacement for Pepto Bismol.)
And best of all: the theoretical "hideously unfortunate plumbing issue requiring immediate attention" resolved itself without any intervention from an upside down rubber bowl on a stick. So, now, I have a plunger. And I don’t need to clean it. And I need to figure out where to store said plunger so as not to give the impression that I am C. Everett Poop, Pooper Man, The Poop Nazi, a hula-poop, Poop Doggy-Dog, Poopie Goldberg…(I could keep going, but I’ll stop).
And speaking of poop (were we speaking of poop?), one time in college, I had a roommate named Shawn who had the unfortunate habit of farting loudly and on purpose…a habit he mistakenly believed was humorous. He also had the unfortunate habit of dancing hip-hop. One day, in the living room of the apartment, he was choreographing a routine for the halftime show of a Utah Jazz game, and he said, "Hey Guys," lifted up his leg, and farted loudly. Then he immediately said, "Uh-oh" and ran into his bedroom. His farting gag had gone horribly awry, and as a result, not only had he pooped in his pants, but said poop had also run down the back of his leg and had even gotten into his shoes, which were, after Shawn took a shower, thrown away. (I’d like to take a moment to mention how glad I am that I didn’t share a bathroom with Shawn while we were roommates.)
But this is about me, and my digestive issues. So anyway, now I have a plunger. I didn’t have to figure out how to clean it after usage. And best of all, now I’m not quite so full of s*#$