insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

[ Swap Article ]

Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Car radio

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

[ Swap Article ]


Advertise Here

My seven-year-old daughter, Anna, takes forever in the bathroom. It’s her private time. I respect that. But with that respect comes a lack of knowledge about what’s going on. Why in the world does it take 30 minutes to take …...

[ Swap Article ]


Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

[ Swap Article ]

A Reasonable Explanation

Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

[ Swap Article ]

That's a Mouthful

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

[ Swap Article ]

Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

[ Swap Article ]

When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

[ Swap Article ]

As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

[ Swap Article ]

Toilet Queuing

Filed Under , , on December 20th, 2014

Sabotaging the Throne

By Seth Kabala

My seven-year-old daughter, Anna, takes forever in the bathroom. It’s her private time. I respect that. But with that respect comes a lack of knowledge about what’s going on. Why in the world does it take 30 minutes to take a shower? You’re friggin’ tiny! I’ve thought about (jokingly. Well, half-jokingly) installing a timer on the shower that would stop the flow of water after a pre-set time limit. But after a recent visit to a business client’s office, I may have a better solution.

Working on-site at a client’s office is always interesting. It’s slightly better than when I worked for the State of IA, and I once had to perform an audit while standing up working inside a barn, and, yes, livestock roamed around the grounds and inside the barn (ah, nature!), separated from me by a flimsy fence, which I’m sure they could have trampled (and me included) had they possessed the presence of mind. I didn’t see this, so I can’t swear to it, but I’ll bet if satellite footage were viewed of the property owner, he was running around with cattle prods doing all he could to bring the wrath of the herd down on the G-man. Ah, the life of your first job out of college.

So that was kind of inside-outside, upside-downside, watching your rear and stepping over cow pies all the time. I said it’s slightly better now that I have clients for whom we perform business consulting. That’s true, but a lot of our clients are manufacturers, and a lot of the work is (how do I say this without sounding like a total jerk) performed by those members of society who believe showering should be done only for weddings and funerals, and even then, it’s a case-by-case basis. (Outdoor wedding? At a farm? Screw it, Cletus.) With many uncouth, albeit hard-working, individuals staffing the production line, it’s common to have bathroom facilities that mirror something you might have seen on Dirty Jobs. In many of these places, I wouldn’t feel safe relieving myself with a hose connected to my hose while I resided inside a hazmat suit that was capable of resisting the Ebola virus.

The client I worked on-site for this week was one of those cut-from-Dirty-Jobs-because-*gagging*-the-CDC-is-looking-into-annexing-its-restrooms-for-research-purposes places. But when nature calls, you have to answer. I have yet to be arrested for indecent exposure, and I don’t intend to start now, so when my number (two, to be exact) came up, I braved all manner of infectious diseases and entered one of the stalls.

I’ll set the scene only by saying that hanging on the inside of the toilet stall was a laminated, color-coded chart titled “Are You Dehydrated? Take the Urine Color Test”. No period after “Test”. I guess when blood appears where it should not appear, punctuation is of little consequence. Still, my arm hair stood on end. Were they saying it was optional to take the urine color test? If one decided against taking the test and succumbed to dehydration and died, would one’s family have the right to sue for grammatical negligence? So much at stake here with a missing period.

Rolling the dice and opting out of the urine color test, I grabbed a piece of toilet paper, used it to latch the door, grabbed another piece of toilet paper, and attempted to use it to lower the toilet seat.

Then things got interesting.

I pushed down on the seat. It pushed back. I pushed again. It pushed back again. Hoping I wasn’t the victim of a hidden-camera hoax for creeps (have not Googled this. Don’t want to know), I inspected the fulcrum on the seat. Turns out, the seat not only pivoted on a hinge; it was spring-loaded and would only remain in the down position if force was applied, i.e., if your ass was on the throne. Ok, fine. Normally a non-issue. After all, have you ever tried to do your business while standing up? While hovering above the seat?

Public restroom? Fair question, but even I, an admitted germaphobe, haven’t attempted that. If the stall lacks paper seat barriers, I use toilet paper.

But toilet paper isn’t self-adhesive.

How do you get it to stay on the seat when the seat won’t stay down unless you apply pressure, and if you’re applying said pressure, how do you get your pants down? A conundrum I solved by separating three strips of toilet paper of appropriate length from the roll, one for each side of the seat as well as the back.

I held onto these, pantsed myself, used the very tip of the pinky finger on one hand to push the seat down while using the other hand to gingerly place the strips in their respective places, lest one fall in and render the whole thing an exercise in futility, hung my naked ass over the pressure-held seat, and lowered said naked ass in as slow a descent as my thigh muscles could handle, so as to avoid creating a breeze that would dislodge the strips. I had a few scares where the strips shifted position, requiring me to pause the descending mode, reposition, and try again (imagine this the next time you see someone going at it doing squats in the gym), but eventually I landed atop the throne. Sweet victory.

So what does this have to do with Anna? I hypothesize that a household toilet could be retrofitted to spring load the toilet seat. That way, if the reason Anna is spending too much time in the bathroom has to do with the toilet, she’ll grow frustrated and speed things up. I envision a spring-loaded shower curtain, spring-loaded shampoo and conditioner bottles, spring-loaded toilet-paper dispenser. The possibilities are endless.

Braving environmental conditions synonymous with those portrayed in The Walking Dead is only for the bold, or reckless, of spirit. If you’re one of the chosen few, you, too, might reclaim your bathroom from your kids.

The journey is worth it, my friends.



Leave a Reply

Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0 Comments Load Comments


Shuffler's Luck

I never knew a card game could change my life. I'm not talking about a high-stakes poker game, where international gangsters vie for dominance in a world of chance, and if chance doesn't go their way, bullets will do as a nice substitute. I'm talking about a simple card game with suggestions for the...

[ Swap Article ]

Bully man

Meter Mensch

A co-worker of mine dropped her bus pass in the hall. Someone picked it up and handed it to her. She thanked the person, saying she was sure glad she hadn't lost it for good. I poked my head out of my office and said, "You just ruined a fare inspector's day." Got a good laugh, and it got me...

[ Swap Article ]

Chess board made of white and brown sugar with King

Sweetness and Dark

The street is dark. Cars line both sides, hugging the curbs. Streetlamps reflect off of glossy paint jobs and squeegeed windshields, creating alternative perspective art pieces from flipped aspect ratios of bent light. A breeze blows the evening fog up from the water. It lowers the ambient...

[ Swap Article ]

Holy Cow - handgezeichnete Illustration mit Pastellkreide in türkis

Couch Etymology

From where you sit, do you understand seated origin? The reason for said sitting? If not, you soon will. ...

[ Swap Article ]

Pop-art style poster with hipster deer dressed in yellow glasses and scarf, telling I am cool.

Toxic Bambi

Yesterday while I was writing, Ella, our seven-year-old, came up to me and said she had thought of a joke. "My first joke," she announced, pride streaming from her voice and face. I asked her what it was. Here's what she said, "What does [we'll say Bob] want to do for school? Me U. Get it? Me U...

[ Swap Article ]

World Map in Typography word cloud concept, names of countries

Plan for the Journey

Toastmasters is moving away from its physical manuals and static speech-making program into a dynamic program called Pathways. On January 10, 2019, I delivered my first speech in Pathways: a re-imagination of my ice-breaker speech. If you don't know me, know this: if you give me a rubric, I will...

[ Swap Article ]


Battle of the Sarcasticons

I’m raising a band of Little Sarcasticons. Defined term? Yes, yes it is. You can find it in the Kabala Book of Sarcasticisms. New chapters available daily. No longer must we be constrained in our sarcastic witticism production. Oh, no, folks. Netflix has joined the charge with their resurrection...

[ Swap Article ]

Secondhand word cloud

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #20

Some vehicles bring lackluster competitive spirit to dancing competitions. Despite their nimble construction, most compact models lack the energy to stick it out in the most heated scenarios. Then you've got the ones who were made for dancing. Made for not just cruising down the road, but for...

[ Swap Article ]

Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Speed Plumbing

The pipe masters ascended the stairs and entered the arena. They'd come a long way, building rudimentary structures to escape cribs and punish bullies as children, graduating to more complicated designs as adolescents and adults. Mario had been especially proud of his design that transported him...

[ Swap Article ]

Fortune cookie bad set. death and robber on paper prediction. Vector illustration

Imaginative Cookies

The executive stepped to the lectern, his stomach churning with nerves and the remnants of last night's authentic Mexican food. Wonderful flavors. Wonderful and punishing, that is. This moment was shaping up to be a repeat of that theme. Investors, the public, the press--if he could convince them...

[ Swap Article ]

Businessman Drawing on the Whiteboard. Pop Art

Editor's Note--TFF Issue #19

A few months ago, I decided to write a daily quote on my office wall. No, I’m not an irascible child who will not be contained in my creative fury. I have a whiteboard that I use for quote purposes and other work stuff. ...

[ Swap Article ]