For several weeks now, I’ve been living a double life. One where I spent most of my weekdays at an undisclosed location, where I sleep on a couch and use a shower, and wash my clothing. Occasionally, I’d get a night in my own house, where I could enjoy my own bed, but, need to limit the number of times I flush, and could not consider washing anything: pots, hair or underwear. I’ve been living the life of a sewer hostage.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to turn this ongoing tragicomedy into a something suitable for this venue. I considered that I if I were to embrace my inner 12-year-old boy, where jokes about body humor are the pinnacle of playground jocularity, I might find something that I could elevate to more tasteful and sophisticated style, that would evoke the basics of bathroom humor and yet set a higher standard. I had tried to use all the techniques I knew to come up with a way to frame the whole mess into this form, but exaggeration? No one wants a mountain built out of this schmole-hill. It’s an unpleasant image, and a somewhat awkward lingual construction.
I’m not particularly adept at the vulgar, and I think it’s rude to unleash upon my readers a Shih Tzu-nami of unpleasant images, especially ones that are likely to last longer than whatever weak smiles might have been invoked before the image landed.
I do like word play, and while I can disguise a few references under a well-placed shiitake, those are very small jokes, and they seem far too obvious for a “professional” humor writer to employ. Those jokes have probably all be thought of by the audience before the joke appears in the narrative, and they don’t really contribute much to sustaining a story-length set of punch lines.
There were a few moments when I considered unleashing some dark humor, where I could be glad that all that schhhhtuff has mostly stayed in the pipes and hasn’t escaped. And, I am glad about that. But as honest as it is, it feels too gloomy.
Even after looking at all the tools in my arsenal, all the tricks of turning an unpleasant topic into something people were willing to laugh at and not feel like they needed to bathe afterwards, I realized that I could no longer find any humor in the form of solid waste matter. Something as expensive and unhygienic as the system of removing waste matter from a home is no longer capable of inspiring even a microscopic upturning of the corners of my mouth.
I guess you could say I am tired of those particular mushrooms.
I’ve spent these weeks trying to find something funny about my hostage situation. Everyone told me I had this terrific topic, easy to write about, and they insisted that there was nothing but funny in this subject matter. And all I’ve been able to do with this golden topic is fail miserably. I am certain this is not actually a success, yet, I could no longer avoid the subject entirely, because, the parade of plumbers and pipes kept me from my usual deadline.
And I’m sorry.
And still a hostage. At least for a bit longer. The light is coming.