The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

Sammy the Septic System contacted me this morning. He was upset. And when 1500 gallons of s…, umm, stuff is upset, one should pay attention. Perhaps you’re wondering how it is that such things as washers and dryers and furnaces and even septic systems communicate with me. I don’t really know. It’s some kind of radio-television-single sideband-black hole escaping-light thing.

But it’s so strong that sometimes it wakes me up at night. Kind of like the smell from the drain field when Sammy is unhappy. Who doesn’t know that kind of communication method.

“Ten rolls of toilet paper!!” shouted Sammy. “TEN ROLLS!” He shouted it a couple more times. “What happened? Did some kind of intestinal apocalypse hit up there?” (I guess when you’re underground, everything else is “up there.”) Boy! Sammy was upset. He was more upset than when the toilet ball stuck and ran a couple thousand gallons of fresh water down his throat. On general principles, he detests fresh water. No taste, I guess.

No, I replied to him. We’re fine. We had a family reunion here over the weekend. Folks came from all around. Flushed from everywhere. Up stairs, downstairs, in the basement. Maybe we shouldn’t call it a “family reunion?” Maybe something about how the family that flushes together, or something else. Just a passing thought.

See, I think part of Sammy’s problem this morning is he’s a bit hung over, being as how there was some (maybe a lot of)  booze that got drunk. Without going too far into what went down the drain, all that booze goes somewhere.

“Ten rolls! You know how many flushes that was?” He went on to detail the math. 100 flushes a roll. Ten rolls. Ten thousand flushes.

What can I say, I told him. There were lots of teenage girls here. Everyone of them carried a currently-fashionable one-gallon water container, and seemed intent on drinking from it. Since there were so many of them trying to all talk at once, their throats were parched. There was a lot of quenching water being swallowed.

By the way, Sammy, I was in the grocery store to restock the toilet paper situation, and do you know that there are 15 different brands and kinds of toilet paper? I could see two brands or styles. Like maybe the canned bean aisle does it. But so much choice in toilet paper? 

I asked Sam: What do you recommend?

Sammy said: “Tell’em to use the outhouse.”

Oh, come on.

“Well, although most people don’t know it, there are two ways users use toilet paper.”’ Ummm. Do I really need to know this?

“Maybe.” He sounded pretty joyful about all this. But then he would.

“There are bird’s nesters and folders,” he exuberantly blurted. 

Okay. Stop. I don’t need to know any more. I never should have brought up the subject.

S. doesn’t register Sammy’s complaints, because she has her own–”You know how many towels They used?” “They” being my relatives.

Look, I told her. They don’t bathe, you know what happens! Things get ugly.

Let’s go back to so many kinds of toilet paper. When I was growing up, though, I guess I had over a hundred. (There were that many pages in the Montgomery catalog.) Back in the 50s, things were looking up when peach canning time arrived and we got to use those soft little wrappers that each peach was wrapped in. Never in my young life would I have ever thought I’d have so many choices of toilet paper.

But which to use. It seems to me that this many choices of toilet paper are due to subconscious memories of when the human race didn’t have any at all.

It was a good flushing  family reunion.