1432: One sunny afternoon my lovely bride, Kate, was in the back yard chatting with our neighbor, Laura. The ladies’ two five-year-old children (Tim and Ryan) played close by but soon lost interest and retreated into Laura’s house.
1443: Unbeknownst to the HGTV enthusiasts, their two sons had resorted to a creative method of entertainment. Our angels decided that flushing action figures down the toilet in Laura’s newly finished basement would be great entertainment.
1517: Kate checks on the uncharacteristically quiet children and, to her horror, finds the boys in Laura’s bathroom with several action figures and Happy Meal toys floating in the brand new toilet.
1518-1521: Kate apologizes profusely.
1524: Laura does the dirty dead. She fishes all visible action figures out of the toilet.
1526: With four action figures now rescued, but permanently out of commission, Laura plays on a hunch and declares the basement toilet “off limits until dad gets home.”
1133: Rusty (Laura’s husband) snakes out four more action figures from deep within the quarantined toilet.
1134: Rusty knocks on Kevin’s kitchen door and presents him the action figures sealed in a zip lock bag.
1135: Kate apologizes profusely once more.
1805: A little too much sauerkraut with supper takes its toll on Russell’s (Ryan’s brother) digestive system so he retires to the basement bathroom with his newest Pokeman magazine.
1823: It happens… The new toilet clogs in a most horrible way and is later found to be “unplungable” and “unsnakable.”
1857: Rusty invites Kevin to help him try to fix the toilet.
1905: Sporting a biohazard suit, Kevin arrives at Rusty’s house and notices a sewer smell befouling the entire newly finished basement. The new toilet is on its side with a plumbing snake hopelessly stuck in it. Rusty is not pleased after wrestling with the action figure wading pool for over an hour. The two “perps” find the whole situation amusing and are playing close by.
1936: Rusty and Kevin concede that, after almost 30 minutes of tugging, they cannot free the horribly wedged snake from the toilet. The toilet is unfixable.
1945: Rusty, dying to know what’s wedged within his toilet, takes a hammer to the apparent clog point.
1945:17: We have an unfortunate ricochet event–reference Day Three, 1823.
1945:28: We discover three little green soldiers and a Hot Wheels Happy Meal thing in the new broken toilet. Kevin says, “Hot Wheels leading the way!”
You may ask yourself “How could such a lovely afternoon turn into a horrific event with a toilet out of commission and over 10 action figures down?” That doesn’t even include the action figures that survived the ride to the Chesapeake. Well, all four parents from the incident asked themselves the same question and we grilled our children mercilessly to find out just what would drive two five-year-olds to flush their toys down a toilet.
Our interrogation revealed that our two angels got the idea from watching an unnamed children’s network. In one show, the boys had seen a character named “Stinky Diver” being flushed down a toilet.
I was aghast. In all my cartoon-watching years I never saw any characters take the nasty plunge. Speed Racer, or any member of the Voltron team, would never allow themselves to be filmed near a restroom. Cartoon characters had unions and standards back then.
I was so concerned I even considered the possibility of a PBS-only household. Even if my child did fall prey to the PBS fundraising juggernaut and dial in a $50 pledge I’d still be better off than letting him watch that other septicly-challenged network. A new toilet can run over $200. Plus, with the PBS option, at least I’d have a tote bag or Chia Pet in the shape of Teddy Roosevelt to show for my patronage, as opposed to a zip lock bag of Stinky Divers.
As much as I want to put this episode behind me, I’m afraid this story may not end here. Our guest bathroom toilet has been flushing slowly and easy to clog for some time. I have a horrible feeling there’s a Power Ranger action figure trapped in there valiantly battling the effects of a diet far too rich in chocolate milk and Little Debbie snacks.
I’ll keep you updated on that one.