A stranger in my own house

Don’t you just hate it when your toilet is clogged?

Of course you do.  Well, I hope.  If your first instinct was to say “No, I love it when I flush the toilet and giant amounts of shit water start rising to the top!  That’s the best!” you have a problem.  A serious problem.  And I’d rather you not associate with me.

This morning, the above happened.  In my own bathroom.  In my HOME.  I was all chipper and eager and started working shortly after 7am – a happy feeling that didn’t last too long.  I won’t get into the details on how the toilet got clogged up, but let’s just say I didn’t accidentally flush a sock or drop a Matchbox car in there.  This was a more organic blockage.

I spent an hour plunging the toilet.  An hour.  Sixty minutes.  Plunge, flush, plunge, flush, watch it rise, skim water out with a pitcher and pour it in the bathtub, plunge, flush, repeat.  For an hour.

Nothing helped.

“This course of action seems to be proving ineffective, I said to myself, “and I’m growing quite tired of these futile repetitions and their subsequent splashing of tainted liquids around my formerly clean bathroom.”  (I think I said that.  It might have been “FUCK THIS!”  I can’t be sure.)

It was time to go to Home Depot and buy a toilet auger.  I hadn’t showered yet for the day and didn’t have enough time to take out of my work hours to get a shower and get dressed, then go to buy the auger and come home and use it, so I chose to just suck it up, put on some jeans and a hat and get to the store.

This is a big deal for me.  I don’t even go outside to cut the grass without getting my morning shower first.  I won’t go to the mailbox to get the mail if I haven’t been spruced up.  It’s just how I operate.

I also never wear hats.  Ever.  I only own one because my dad gave it to me.  I’m under the impression I look like I have cancer when I wear a hat.  I also think my hair is my finest asset, and if you cover it up I’m powerless.  Basically I am Samson, and hats are my Delilah.

The hat I do own was pulled from the depths of my closet, nestled comfortably under a plush ladybug and a pile of ethernet cables.  I put it on and walked into the bathroom to wash my hands before leaving.  As I crossed the hall, the dogs started barking like maniacs, as they do.  I figured the UPS man was here, or someone was walking a dog outside, or an old lady was going for a stroll, or something neighborhoody was happening.  The dogs sit on the back of the couch and bark at everything that happens outside, because they are dogs.

But they just kept barking and barking.

I looked out through the blinds in the bathroom to see if I saw anything outside.  Nothing.  “SHUT UP!” I yelled.

They kept barking.


They didn’t stop.  They barked more and more.

I walked back into the office to gather my wallet and keys, since toilet augers cost money and require vehicles to get to them.  The dogs kept barking, and I heard them jumping from furniture to floor, as if someone was in the room with them.

“What are you idiots doing?  You are required to be less loud than this!” I shouted.  That’s actually how I yell at them.  Like how Data talked to Spot.

Then Betsy started to growl-bark and Luna did her tiny poodle howl-like roar.  That was unusual.  I peeped around the corner of the office door to check on them.

And then I finally noticed something.  They weren’t barking out the window.  They were both pointed at me.

Betsy was barking with a defensive tone and Luna had her ears back and was keeping her distance.

“What is wrong with you two?  Can’t you shut up?  Nothing is happening!”  They kept barking like they do when the pizza man shows up.  Then I came to a realization.  That’s just it.

I was wearing a hat.

They didn’t know it was me.  They thought a weird intruder was in the house.

I took the hat off and threw it on the couch.   “Look you stupid fool, it’s me.  I’m just wearing a hat,” I said as I leaned down to give Betsy a hug.  She instantly stopped barking and Luna ran over to fall on her back at my feet.  “You two are stupider than I give you credit for.”

I petted them for a few minutes as they shut up, picked up my hat, and went to get my shoes and coat.  When I picked up my coat, I put the hat back on, and before getting into the car realized I didn’t have my phone.  Trekking back through the house to get my phone, Betsy saw me with the hat on and started barking again.  I took it off and yet again reminded her that under this wild disguise was her human father, and she once again shut up.

And that’s how this morning, on the 26th of November, I became a stranger in my own house.

I don’t like it.

The moral of the story is don’t wear hats.  Your dogs will forget who you are.

Or maybe the moral is don’t eat a lot of pizza and fill your toilet with too much poop.  The eventual outcome is your dogs forgetting who you are.

Unless you always wear hats.  Then do what you want I guess.


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