This morning I am going to exercise my prerogative to blog/babble/scribble about WHATEVER. The topic this morning is piss buckets.
About ten years ago I had a problem with the toilet in the apartment in which I resided for 30+ years. The toilet started flushing incessantly. And I did not have a cut-off valve. Nor did I know where the main cut-off valve for the whole building was. Plus I had to go to work the next morning.
So I had to let the damn thing flush for about 18 hours straight before I could contact the building manager and get the problem solved. Needless to say, this resulted in a very expensive water bill.
To make matters worse, about a half-hour after the plumbers left it started doing it again. At least this time they had installed a cut-off valve. So I used the valve and cut off the water to the toilet. Problem solved more or less.
Rather than bug the building manager again I decided to live with the problem. They had not really solved the problem the first time around. I had no confidence that they would do any better a second time around.
So I procured myself a piss bucket (three-gallon mixing bowl) from a local hardware store and set it up in the bathroom. I kept the water to the toilet turned off except when I needed to flush the toilet (usually once or twice a day). It was a practical if unconventional solution to the problem.
You may or may not have noticed that I am not the most PC (politically correct) person in the universe. Yet in my personal decisions I exhibit a certain amount of deference to PC.
For example, I have never owned an automobile in my 58+ years of existence on this planet. I accomplish 95+% of my transportation on my own two feet.
Utilizing a piss bucket is similarly PC. I would venture to guess that using a piss bucket and flushing the toilet only once or twice a day saves more of our “precious resources” (water) than some other strategies recommended by the PC police. It also keeps the water bill low.
So despite the fact that I bought a house with a perfectly functional toilet and moved in about three months ago, I still use a piss bucket. Actually I upgraded to a new piss bucket. The one I use now is a 20-gallon model (I am guessing). It is larger than the toilet itself and pretty hard to miss for that reason. Force of habit. I see no reason to change.
Some might even say that I am a hypocrite in this matter. After all, I make fun of PC but at the same time I conserve our “precious resources” by not owning an automobile and by utilizing a piss bucket instead of wasting a lot of water flushing the toilet many times a day.
Now that I think about it, I realize that using a piss bucket goes back to my high school years. My family lived in a small (three-bedroom) house back then. Mom and Dad had one bedroom, my sister had one, my brother had one, and I bunked down in the basement by choice (this was after my oldest brother had gone off to college).
Once in awhile I would have card-playing parties down in my basement bedroom. Naturally there was plenty of money on the table at these parties and plenty of beer consumed. Beer consumed translates into piss. So I set up a bucket out in our garage (adjacent to the basement) for pissing purposes. It worked out fine. It beat tromping upstairs to the toilet every time you had to take a piss. Once the bucket was full, I emptied it into a drain in the garage.
These card-playing parties were all-male affairs. But I remember one occasion when females crashed the party. It was toward the end of senior year or maybe the summer after senior year. I had a girlfriend then. Let us call her by her initials, LB.
LB and some of her girlfriends came over and crashed our card-playing party. LB and I ended up on my bed. I was pretty drunk and was groping her enthusiastically. She was successfully fending me off in front of all these witnesses, both male and female.
I even remember the album playing on the Sand and Glue Machine (stereo) at the time. It was “John Wesley Harding,” and the song was “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest.”
Now in order to appreciate this story you need to know this particular song. I will quote its last three verses.
“Now up the stairs ran Frankie Lee
With a soulful, bounding leap
And foaming at the mouth
He began to make his midnight creep
For 16 nights and days he LAID
But on the 17th he burst
Into the arms of Judas Priest
Which is where he died of thirst.
No one tried to say a thing
As they carried him out in jest
Except of course for the little neighbor boy
Who carried him to rest
And he just walked along alone
With his guilt so well concealed
And muttered underneath his breath
Nothing is revealed.”
A harmonica verse intervenes at this point, during which you think the song has ended and has ended in typical Dylan ambiguity. “Nothing is revealed.” But then comes a final verse.
“Now the moral of this story
The moral of this song
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong
So if you see your neighbor carrying something
Help him with his load
And don’t go mistaking paradise
For that home across the road.”
That “home across the road” refers to the whorehouse in which Frankie Lee made his midnight creep and LAID for 16 nights and days before dying of thirst. So here is a song which, if it has any moral at all, is a simple admonition against lust.
So I was unsuccessfully groping LB on the bed while participating with the Bob, as usual, including these last three verses.
One of my friends over at the card-playing table thought this was profoundly amusing. Let us call him by his initials, JB. JB pointed put to me the incongruity of my behavior. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of: “Dave, you might want to think about practicing what you preach.” And he had me dead to rights. JB was a smart guy and had other excellent attributes as well.
At any rate, JB was perfectly correct in pointing out my hypocrisy to me that particular evening back in high school. About the only thing I can say in my defense is that I think most people are innately hypocritical. Almost everyone has said one thing and done exactly the opposite at least once in his/her life.
I am as guilty as anyone. But, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”