Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Simple Joy of a Sturdy Toilet Seat



I think the most brilliant actors are those who perform in television commercials. Their incredible talents leave me in a state of awe. A woman, an on-the-go working mom, removes a glass from her dishwasher. She inspects the glass closely, her face awash with worry, as if she’s about to receive her biopsy results. But when she sees the glass no longer has water spots, she leaps with joy. She becomes an evangelist for this brand of dishwasher powder, telling all her neighbors the wonderful news.

It’s amazing. How does that actor do it? How does she go about inhabiting a character that ascends to a state of unbridled ecstasy when she no longer has water spots? What elusive muse does this actor beseech? It seems to me that would be harder for an actor to do than Shakespeare. Do they have a gala awards show for these actors? They sure as hell ought to. Fuck the Oscars. Fuck Olivier. 

Last month I broke down and bought a high end toilet seat. I’ve always bought cheap ass toilet seats because why not? But before long the plastic bolts crack and the damn seat shifts around under me while I sit reading on the crapper and it’s irritating as hell.  It takes the sacredness out of my nightly dump. So I got a toilet seat with metal bolts and to this day it’s still sturdy.

But I resist the urges to get all worked up with happiness about my new toilet seat because I wouldn’t want to risk becoming like one of those people the actors portray in commercials. I wouldn’t want to become the kind of person who sees a bottle of dish liquid named Joy and takes it literally. Because if I buy into that whole idea, then the next thing I know somebody’ll try to sell me a bottle of dish liquid named Orgasm. And won’t I feel like a chump when I find that about the only way using this product is reminiscent of the actual event is when it squirts out a sticky white substance.

But maybe I should go ahead and surrender to consumerism. Seeking spiritual fulfillment in household products might harmonize well with the sedentary cripple lifestyle. But it’s hard for me to give in because one of the things I inherited genetically from my mother is her hypersensitive bullshit-ometer. My mother did not suffer bullshitters well. I often thank her for passing that trait on to me. It’s kept me from falling prey to most of life’s sinister sales pitches. But often, and especially lately, the needle on my bullshit-ometer stays pinned at the far end. My bullshit-ometer crackles incessantly with static, like a crazed Geiger counter. The alarms sound and the lights flash. It’s an excruciating din. And I don’t know how to shut the damn thing off.

I fear the only way to find relief may be to have a complete bullshit-ometerectomy. But wouldn’t that leave me completely defenseless, like a declawed cat? Maybe I’d be better off.  Maybe life would be a lot more free and easy if I just tossed away all skepticism and let myself experience that kind of unconditional love known as brand loyalty.

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