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Davis, California

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The shining plunger

“Have I unclogged this toilet before?” he asked. I stared into the face of possibly the best-looking plumber on the planet. He stood well over six feet tall and towered above me. He had olive skin, dark brown hair and large bicep muscles peeking out from beneath his fitted T-shirt.

I was mortified that a handsome, 23-year-old guy was in my apartment because our toilet had overflowed. In my nervous, embarrassed state I replied without thinking, “Yes. We’re the apartment with infamously large turds.”

He flashed a gorgeous smile at me as I attempted to grasp what I had just said. The plumber walked into the bathroom and started to work on the toilet with his plunger. The toilet bowl was completely filled with water which made this job particularly challenging. Suddenly he exclaimed, “I can’t figure out why it’s splashing me so much!”

He took a step back from the toilet, using one hand to plunge and the other to cover his face to prevent our urine water from hitting his countenance. Just as I was about to run away in embarrassment, I took a look around.

I saw this scene and realized that in actuality, this was hysterical. I mean, the sheer humiliation, the awkward exchanges — all of it was just incredibly funny. So I began to laugh uncontrollably at this good-looking man being sprayed with water from my toilet.

I requested a picture of him, insisting that I would like to “document the moment.” He laughed and agreed to pose for the photo. With a click I captured the smile of possibly the best-looking plumber on Earth.

He kept plunging and ultimately I heard the growl of a toilet begrudgingly being flushed. I cheered on the hero of the scene and watched as the knight who rescued us from overflowing toilets now held up his dripping, shining plunger.

He requested permission to wash his hands in our sink, which I gladly granted. As he walked over to wash, I said, “Well, it looks like we’re going to be meeting each other often, so my name is Marci.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” he replied politely. “I’m Ben, and I would shake your hand, but … well, my hands are kinda covered in … well …”

I can think of no better way to woo a lover than to entice them with oversized feces. I strongly desire to go to an event with Ben just so I can be asked by some stranger, “So how do you two know each other?”

I wonder what reaction I would get when I explained the real situation. This could be the absolutely perfect “How I Met Your Father” story.

As he prepared to leave, he noticed that the slightly wet floor of our bathroom had moistened the dirt upon his shoes. He said, “Uh, my shoes are a little muddy. Should I take them off to get across the floor?”

I explained that I had been planning to clean anyway and told him not to worry. He was still concerned, though. He decided to try to avoid getting mud on the floor as much as possible so he started to take wide leaps across the carpet from the floor of the bathroom to our front door. I had to hold back laughter as I watched this scene. He looked like a pixie, leaping across a magical lawn of carpet with a plunger for a wand. As he went to close our front door, I exclaimed, “Bye Ben! Thank you! I’m sure we will be seeing you soon!”

Sometimes life throws unpleasant situations at people. In my case, specifically, life prefers to spew urine water and chunks of toilet paper directly at my face. I do my best to clean myself off, soak up the mess and simply laugh at this crazy, clogged, beautiful, imperfect life.

MARCI MONTANARI thought the best way to introduce herself to the UC Davis community would be a story about her toilet. The events depicted are real but the names were changed to protect the innocent. You can reach Marci at mcmontanari@ucdavis.edu.

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