Finalist No. 2: My pot overfloweth

Cleanup time (and a little revenge) for a dad who tried not to bother the in-laws.


Queen Elvis
June 15, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)

A young, broke couple with a gorgeous little baby boy decided to move in temporarily with the baby's maternal grandparents. It was generally an agreeable arrangement, but the dad felt a bit uncomfortable sponging off the in-laws and went out of his way not to be any trouble or bother.

One day the mother happily went off to an office far, far away to get something productive done while the dad stayed home with the 1-year-old child to practice the domestic arts. All was going just fine until, during baby's bath time, Dad felt a rather urgent call from nature. As he was already in the right room supervising the child's ablutions, he patted himself on the back for his efficiency, settled down, and went about his business. When everything was satisfactorily concluded he happily flushed and turned his attentions back to washing the child.

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The first clue that something was amiss was the child's delighted squeals and pointing. What he was pointing at is the one sight that strikes terror to very core of any houseguest -- it was the toilet filling, and filling, and filling and not stopping until it overflowed. As the waves broke over the porcelain rim, poor Dad, reeling from waves of humiliation, darted from the room in desperate search of a mop. While counting off the seconds he was absent, he raced through the house, skidded to a stop outside the kitchen where the unsuspecting in-laws were enjoying a snack, composed himself and strode casually to the broom closet, making some off-hand remark about how the little cherub had splashed a bit of water out of the tub.

Once on the stairs, he raced back up to the scene of the crime and had the presence of mind to grab the portable phone out of the bedroom on his way. On re-entering the bath he found that the situation had deteriorated dangerously. The child had climbed out of the tub and was now splashing happily in the indescribable mess on the floor. With one hand he scooped the child up and popped him back into the tub and with the other he dialed the number of the office where the mother was ensconced. Just as she answered the phone, he heard the in-laws walk up the stairs and pause outside the bathroom door to debate the merits of repainting the hallway. Trying to mop very quietly, and aware that anything he said would be overheard, he casually told the mother that things were getting a bit hectic and he would appreciate it if she could just pop back to the house for a minute.

The mother, not knowing what he was knee-deep in, nor understanding how badly he needed someone to keep the child in the tub while he mopped, made some smart remark about idiots who can't do something as simple as bathe a child without assistance. She declared quite emphatically that though she was less than five minutes away she was quite busy, thank you, and would not be returning to help some twit who apparently couldn't operate a washcloth unsupervised.

Dejected, forced into muteness by the presence of the in-laws just outside the door, the father snapped, "Thanks a lot" and slammed the phone down (as well as one can slam those portable models). Then began the grueling process of mopping a few feet, retrieving the child and putting him back into the tub, mopping a bit more, putting the child back again, all while trying not to say or do anything to set off an offer of help from the in-laws.

Finally his work was done; the floor was clean and the child had been bathed anew.

He thoughtfully left the toilet for his wife to use on her arrival home, and he expressed great shock when he heard her screams of horror as it kept filling, and filling, and filling ...

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