King of the Toilets


Well I am in New Hampshire, my "home state" as we like to say in North America as if by saying so the effects of deracination will be ameliorated. I've lived in Helsinki, Finland, New York, Ohio, and twice in Iowa with a brief sojourn to North Carolina all of which is to say that I have no proper place that "feels" like home unless its New Hampshire where I lived as a boy until I was nearly old enough to shave and where I own a summer cabin or "camp" as they call these places hereabouts.

My house is currently undergoing sonstruction and lots of it. The contractor is building two new decks that wrap around the house. In turn the house sits high on a hillside on the north slope of Rattlesnake Island on Lake Winniepasaukee. It is a treacherous place for a house and a helluva spot to dig and pour footings. So my house is currently not a place of rest. Lucky for me my sister is here and she lives on an adjacent island and I was able to escape to her house. Now, two hot water heters and a toilet repiar later I'm back at my computer.

These summer houses decay like Miss Havisham's wedding cake. They are quietly infested with spiders and the pipes and electrical wires and associated fitings go bad after several winters and consequently you arrive to discover that things are not wht they seem. And you spend two or three days on shore at Lowes getting to know the difference between a Moen shower fixture and a Symmons Temptrol and of course you learn that the parts for either one ae rare. Oh so rare! Then you go back to the island only to dscover that the toilet and the hot water heaters have blown. So you're back to Lowes. "Soon I shall relax," you say, as if magical thinking can take the place of rational suspicion–you will spend your precious time making flanges and flaps and pissant, Little Bo Beep Gizmos work or by God you will gnaw a pine tree clear through.

I wave my plumber's helper skyward. I talk to myself. Picture me as Klaus Kinski on that raft with all the monkeys. There are no monkeys here. But there are spiders. And loons. And the loons are very beautiful when you're not repaiing the pipes.

The Dalia Lama once said that if he had to come back again he's like to be an American house cat. I should prefer to be a loon.


0 thoughts on “King of the Toilets

  1. Yep, I checked, loons need never leave the lake for Lowes. “The nest consists of reeds, sticks, grasses and muddy vegetation from the bottom of the lakes. This material is loosely formed in the shape of a mound, roughly 1.5 feet in diameter, with a slight hollow in the middle. Both the male and female participate in nest building which is completed by mid-May.” No mention of a plumber’s helper there!
    Here are two sites that describe the life of the loon:


  2. If the Dalai Lama wants to know, my dad’s theory of evolution is that cats were originally the rational species. They trained homo sapiens to do their bidding, and then de-evolved so that they could enjoy themselves. As with any theory, one way of testing its veracity is that it explains unexplained phenomena. This theory explains virtually ALL unexplained phenomena, so it much be right.


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