Hyperbolic First World Problems Filled with Idiotic Interjections.

* Since I remodeled my bathroom, the toilet has a tendency to continue running after a flush. Like anything built by me, it "mostly" works; i.e. it only does this every twenty or so flushes.  So in other words, only when I wake up at 2 am in a somnolent state to cleanse my body of all traces of the Smirnoff Ice Screwdriver I unwittingly accepted at my in-laws house with dinner, does it decide to act up. (Note to all humans: never accept a Smirnoff Screwdriver; it is derived from Tampico Tropical drink and the lowest shelf alcohols that have co-mingled for weeks in a rusty fishing bucket after a beach party. It is the flavor equivelent of a 9V battery on your tongue).

Anyways, a running toilet doesn't bother my wife at all, as she can sleep through a class five hurricane mating with a road paver, but, I, on the other hand, can hear female butterflies in South America bickering about who has better ultraviolet wing designs. To add insult to injury, the cabinetry I built around the toilet (because we had no storage space) has conspired to become a sonic Dre Beats amplifier to my toilet's complaining. The sound is similar to an airplane overhead. Unfortunately, the headboard of my bed must be the airport landing strip, because the noise reverberates at around 140 dB.

Those physics majors at home are probably saying, "Now, Chris, that is so unrealistic.  140 dBs is close to the loudest measured sound levels. It would most likely rupture your ear drums, and prolonged exposure would probably melt your brain into Malt-o-Meal." And they are correct. I prefer my brain seepage mush with brown sugar and milk (I know, that makes me weird). But let's get another thing clear. Physics majors don't read, and they don't know how to articulate an argument...they just say things like, "according to my research," and "I have an IQ of 142."

Oh Camilla, you dragonfly, you.  
Now, at 2 am in the morning, my mush brain only computes two things: Sleep is glorious; like the ghost of Princess Di feeding unicorns my homemade Nachos--glorious; and I must make that noise stop. Stopping the noise is as simple as getting back up and jiggling the flusher, but that's easier said than done.  You've never had my nachos. Laying in bed at the witching hour, knowing, KNOWING, that you have to get up and do a CHORE, is perhaps worse than waking up next to the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla.  (See what happens, England, when you don't support the U.S.'s idiotic idea of getting involved in Syria...Plumbeddown.com makes TWO jokes at your expense.  Now get on board so we can ride this roller-coaster known as Armageddon, and collect our smiley-face photo while the world is burning in nuclear ashes).

The solution lies in the daytime. I just need to fix the ballcock assembly. Unfortunately, I am so immature that the idea of adjusting or fiddling around with a ballcock gets me all giggly and slightly homophobic. I don't touch ballcocks, especially, in the daytime. It's morally wrong (that is...until we're married...and my wife doesn't approve of my having more than one partner...so I guess that settles it.) So, the toilet will continue to exasperate me until maybe some night, drunk on Smirnoff Screwdriver, I can experiment with the plumbing, and the result will be bifunctional: a bidet.


* I ignored my backyard for a year, and it became Jumanji.

I will continue to reference Jumanji even as it lowers my Klout score.
Klout, you can't blackmail me! 

Eight years ago, when we first bought the property, I had dreams of the type yard that entertains hundreds. I thought about digging a pool, and letting inebriated people fly off my roof and into the shallow end of my pool. I figured to have the local EMT on speed dial and a multi-thousand dollar home insurance plan. My wife did not approve of my dream. So instead, I killed the weed and diseased grasses that the previous owner let fester, and bought a tractor.  Okay, it was a riding lawn mower.  I got the $1200 mower for under $300 dollars (because I worked the system at Sears) and built my own yard tilling tools.  I dragged three solid tine rakes attached to a 2x4 with u-bolts and weighted down with two 25 lb free weights behind the tractor for days. I could've hosted a pro-rodeo in my dirt backyard--it was so level and manicured. I bought the most expensive grass seed, and protected it under a layer of peat moss.

After all this hard work, I figured that being in a residential neighborhood (and being twenty years younger than any of my neighbors) it was pretentious to own a riding lawn mower. When the geriatric guy next door is pushing a manual powered mower with his Mexican/American War scars showing on his pasty bare chest, it was almost embarrassing to cruise around my front yard drinking a Shirley Temple and blasting Outcast's The Way You Move on my Ipod 3 (yeah it was 2004). So I sold the riding lawn mower.

WHY? I could mow the whole lawn in ONE SONG. It wasn't WORK! Why am I writing in CAPITALS?  Because I want you to know the significance of how EASY mowing the lawn is, when you drive a glorified MarioKart with giant clipping blades!

Now I push mow my lawn like a jerk like everyone else. And this last year, I was, well...not very religious about it. Hank Hill would've been so disgusted he would've stopped selling me propane and propane accessories.

Anyway, my yard became a place where black bears contemplated hibernating, and where two raccoons, finding the eternal rest they sought away from Billy and his rabid hound dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows, actually died of old age. I pay city taxes, and yet nobody I called knew what to do with dead raccoons! I contemplated cutting off their slightly rotting fur and making myself a hobo-ish Davy Crockett hat. But I like being married, so instead I concealed them in a box, walked to a huge electrical tower pole owned by the city, and dumped them.  Take that EUGENE! Perhaps in the vortex of electrical field below the tower, some kind of Tesla energy might regenerate them.  Regenerated raccoons are the ONLY kind of raccoon to make a family pet. Trust me.

In the last few weeks I have been waging war with the most evil of alien species: the blackberry bush. Hell-bent on taking over the world one acre at a time until we have to battle Maleficents while in her prickly thrones, blackberries are a bitch. Some people say, "Oh, I love blackberry cobbler."  and I say, "That's what she wants, you naive chowder head." The same people who are accepting of blackberries bushes because they offer average tasting fruit, are the same people who get STDs while on tours of duty in foreign lands. Don't be tantalized by the flesh of the fruit, when the byproduct is red swelling limbs.

Metaphorically, what my last few weeks have been like.  

My wife convinced me to let them grow this year until she could harvest the fruit. In that month or two, they sent a beacon out to all their alien friends, and my once glorious yard turned into a Chernobyl garden of interlaced evil.

We hacked it back to the depths of hell or Uranus or wherever these bastions of Beelzebub leech from, but not before my arms morphed into a sloppy bulbous red map tattoo of middle-Earth.  I wish I could hire a Hobbit to manage my property.

I'm a fairly capable handyman (when I'm not being lazy), but these last few years of homeownership have made me earn a new respect for frontiersman, medievalists, masons, natives, trappers, explorers, and anyone else who landed on mostly virgin soil, and tried to manipulate it into something less wild.  They did it with tools worse than I could buy at the dollar store. I could spend 1/100th of my monthly salary to have someone else make my yard a garden...but those ancestors of ours...they worked their evolutionary back hair off JUST to feed their families

They might have been epically hard workers, but they didn't know anything about hashtagging; and that makes them suckers.  #historyisfornerds #firstworldproblems #laughingbetterthanworking #physicsmajorsdontread


  1. Chris so many thoughts from this one. I'll let the fact you drank a Smirnoff screwdriver go, that's a "get out of jail free card".

    I also understand having issues with a ballcock, but isn't a shuttlecock a lot of fun?

    I also hadn't considered Hank Hill's stance on my own lawn. Crap, I better go mow it...

    1. I only drank one (for research possibilities); but I understand if my man-card has to be taken away for a few days.

      I love badminton, so I guess by default I also love a shuttlecock (oh, that sounds wrong).

      Hank's kind of a yard snob, but if Sgt. Bill Dauterive thinks your lawn is bad, you've got real problems.

  2. First, let me say, I feel your sleep pain. I too heard those butterflies arguing...
    Second, the idea of riding a glorified MarioKart and calling it work made me both laugh and jealous.
    Third, I love blackberries, but only when they belong to someone else - I can't imagine maintaining one of those thorny instruments of torture.
    Fourth, I feel like such a baby for having to maintain my tiny scrap of yard, though to be fair, my giant pit bull wreaks the same kind of havoc as an angry polar bear...it makes me want to bang my head against the deck. Also: garden spiders. Yuck.

    1. I never liked polar bears (which is also the reason I don't own a pit bull). My annoying Jack Russell Terrier is bad enough in my yard (and he looks like a 1/1000 scale polar bear).

      I too, want a MarioKart, and I want Yoshi to ride shotgun with me.

  3. Shuttleballcock. Bam. I said it.

    I gotta say, I lawled at this one. Probably even more than your prison music. I could really go for a full album of that stuff.

    Also, apartments. I hate mine, but as I read this, all I could think about was the comedy bit by the guy whose name I can't remember so I keep typing hoping it will come to mind but knowing it wont so this is where I give up and he said there should be an apartment depo. It would just be a bunch of people hanging out because they don't have to fix shit. Dammit, I still can't remember his name but I am fairly certain he was permastoned. He wanted to see a fork lift lifting a crate of forms because it would be so literal.

    Mitch Hedburg. Not gona lie, I had to Bing that one.

    1. Oh, I miss Mitch Hedburg (RIP). I can just image the apartment owning bunch hanging out at Home Depot: "Nope, don't need this either."

      I should finish my stupid music album, but it takes so much time (and the majority of my readers didn't care much for it). I actually don't really know what my readers like. I should do a survey. Actually, I think I'd still do what I like, and hope they like the ride.

      Thanks for reading.

    2. The problem is I work on shit anyways. Heater went out? Damn. What's wrong. Oh. That's above my payscale. Now it's time to call....the maintenance guys like it when I can tell them what's broken though. ...

      I showed friends. They liked it. Some as much as they liked "My Country Boner"

    3. When I lived in an apartment, I accidentally let a shotglass fall into the garbage disposal, and when I turned on the disposal...it was shot.

      I took the whole thing out, and it was rusted and falling apart...I took it to the maintenance guy and he was like, "hey, you're not supposed to take those...oh, that's a goner...i got a new one right here..." Saved myself a hundred bucks by removing it myself.