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Advertise Here

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 …...

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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...

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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....

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Plumbing Speed Logo Icon Design

Filed Under , on November 3rd, 2018

Speed Plumbing

By Seth Kabala

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 from one room in his house to another. He tweaked the design over the years to take him not only to other rooms but to other worlds, other dimensions.

Lucky for him, based on the multi-verse theory proving true, his other iterations of self had also been working on similar pipe-based transportation designs, and he’d found his way back to his own dimension—eventually. It’s a good thing time is a fungible thing when it’s used in a dimension crossing context. Otherwise, by his calculations, Mario would be 4.378 years old by now, or, rather, his corpse would be that old, his sentient mind being long dead.

With the magic of pipe physics, he’d seen much, traveled far, and stood up among some of the best designers in multiple worlds. But not THE best. That was why he was here, at the Grand Masters Pipe Convention, to prove once and for all who was the Master of Pipes.


I had another encounter with an auto-flush toilet. I entered the stall, placed the toilet seat cover on the seat, turned around, and *ahem* disentangled myself from the encumbering apparatus so I could sit and do my business. I was no further than unbuckling my belt before I heard a jet engine roaring to life and swooping though the stall.

In addition to scaring my nature calls sensibility back into I’m-good-I-can-hold-it territory, this premature flush also tried to suck down the toilet seat cover. If that happened, I’d have to start over with placing another cover on the seat, which could only happen after reassembling the apparatus. I was already bumping up against the hour, at the top of which I had a meeting, so I couldn’t afford to waste time with the sanitary routine again.

This seat cover had to work. 

You ever see Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins? That scene in the painting with the penguins where he pulls down the crotch of his pants so he has to waddle? Yeah, that was me, confined in movement, trying to do a quick 180 to save my seat cover from the abyss. I managed it, clapped my hand onto the cover, and saved it from going down. The center section wasn’t so lucky. Since I always detach that part from the side before I place it on the seat, it hangs into the water, putting it at risk for the jet plane whirlpool that can occur at any time thanks to an overactive flush sensor. 

I finished disassembling with a renewed sense of vigor, sat, and did my deep breathing. That’s not a metaphor for shitting; it’s literally what I do during. Oh, the wonders of an Apple Watch. 

Overactive sensors, seat covers, complicated pants dropping processes, pressed for time, crunched for space in the bathrooms on my floor and having to go up to 7th to use their bathroom—it was the perfect storm of events to give me an actual metaphor for life. 

If you go to an unfamiliar place, and don’t take time to research the pitfalls, you can wind up with your pants down, as the saying goes. Try as you might, you’ll be constrained from fully flexing your muscles, leaving you with limited options for how to proceed. All this time, noise will circle around you, sapping your strength, draining your confidence, threatening to spiral into a whirlpool of self-doubt.

Unless, that is, you make quick decisions.

During The Office fire drill, Dwight said, “Use the surge of fear and adrenaline to sharpen your decision making.” Granted, you shouldn’t trick people into frenzy, nor should you run headlong into impending disaster, unless you’re fully prepared to accept the consequences.

Today’s speedy plumbing is tomorrow’s political firestorm.

How fast are your pants?


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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