C.G. Morelli

         People never sit around the dinner table and discuss that blocked and partially corroded u-bend which snakes its way from the rusty pipes of the toilet, slithering foot by foot over endless ceiling space, and terminates in the dank recesses of the septic tank. Lord knows, they should. It’s a common maintenance item that could, and probably should, dredge its way up above the everyday chit-chat.

         But somehow it never comes up amidst the tense quarrels over homework or the next morning’s carpool arrangements. At least that’s how I see it in the common, everyday household.

         “Kenny Tucker ripped a fat one in algebra class today,” Jimmy will profess while spooning fat shovelfuls of baked beans into his porky mouth.

         And Mom and Dad will gently admonish his observations with a slight chuckle and a slap on the wrist. “That’s not appropriate table talk, now is it Jimmy?” she’ll ask without expectation of more than a grunt from her pampered little pot-belly.

         No mention will be made of the pipe, or of the thick, brown fluid leeching with slow but constant intensity through the ceiling tiles overhead. No one will notice the slight bulge in the framework which borders the chandelier and coincides quite nicely with the frankfurter feast and its various accoutrements seated cozily beneath it.

         But Suzie will announce with youthful bliss, “I saw two dogs doing tricks in the park today.” Jimmy’s face will redden and a few beads of sweat will poke out from his pimply forehead as he stifles a laugh.

         “Doing tricks?” Dad will ask, his brow wrinkled and his psyche unprepared for the impending response from his untarnished angel.

         “Sure,” she’ll say with a few bits of chewed sauerkraut clinging to her lips. “The big one was riding on the little one’s back. And their owners didn’t even have to command them to do it.”

         And Mom, the ever-omniscient conversation prognosticator, will quickly shift gears. “So, Jimmy, aren’t football tryouts approaching?”

         “Sure thing, Mom. I’ve been working out all week and eating right. I’m up to two bowls of bran flakes every morning.”

         “That’s nice, Jimmy.”

         But again, the pipe will remain a topic most elusive to the conversation—grand pas de faux; muy insignificante—even as the tattered threads of Teflon tape stretch to space-aged proportions and the copper soldering buckles and warps against the mass plugged up inside. There is no mention made until a few slimy drops speckle Dad’s hot dog bun, or until a stream of raw sewage and half-digested baked beans and spent bowls of bran are raining down from the lit chandelier.

         And Mom and Dad and Jimmy and Suzie are stuck without an umbrella.

         My point: sometimes we’re too busy talking about crap that we forget to talk about shit. Or is it the other way around? You’ll figure it out.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

  1. MM welcomes C.G. Morelli. I enjoyed this piece. I like its tone and, of course, it’s funny.

  2. Yuk! Yep, we like to forget about shit, and we talk about crap a lot.

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