Have you missed me, Dear Reader? Joe, Gracie, and I spent the weekend at my Grandma's house.
My Grandma is an interesting lady. She lives in a farmhouse that is almost two hundred years old, and it requires constant repair. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, but her second husband thought buying a farm was a nice idea. They bought nearly a hundred-fifty acres in Clarion County in 1958, and she's never liked the house that came on it.
She's lived in a house that she dislikes for fifty years.
There's a lot she doesn't like about the house; some other day, I'll make you a list.
One of the things Grandma dislikes about her old farmhouse is that flying squirrels live in the attic. The squirrels run around and squeak during the night. Occasionally, they come down into the house and visit. That's always a thrill, especially when they get in the beds. Generally, people are sleeping in the beds at night, so things get crowded. I'm not kidding. It's happened to me.
More than once.
From time to time, Grandma gets annoyed with the upstairs tenants, and she puts rat poison in the attic. She was contemplating that today, as a matter of fact.
So, anyway, we were all relaxing after breakfast this morning when Grandma emerged from upstairs and said, “The toilet's all blocked up. I have to go get the plunger from the basement. I'll be right back.”
Joe and I looked at each other, but neither of us said anything. “What happened?” I asked Grandma.
“I'm not sure. I was cleaning the counter earlier today, and I dropped a whole paper towel into the toilet,” she said. “Usually, I tear up the paper towel into little pieces before I drop it in so that it doesn't get stuck in there.”
“Oh,” I said, satisfied with her response, but she wasn't finished.
“It sometimes happens when I flush the squirrels, too. It's hard to say what plugged it up, but the plunger will push it down and clear everything out.” With that, she was off towards the basement door, leaving both Joe and I, mouths agape, in the living room.
When we recovered from the initial shock of her statement, Joe said, “Wouldn't it be better to take the squirrel carcass up to the tree row and toss it in the brush?”
But, by that time, Grandma was in the basement and out of earshot. When she returned, I asked the obvious question. “Grandma, why do you flush squirrels down the toilet?”
“You don't think I'm going to fish them out of there if they fall in and drown, do you?” she responded, just as serious as she'd been earlier.
I couldn't argue. She went upstairs and cleared the drain, and Joe and I never learned the real cause of the clog.
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