While my wife assembles granny’s stuffing using seasoned bread and broth, I clean house using Murphy’s Oil Soap and water. I slosh it around with a white sock, envision the shine, wipe dry with a Material Girl Tour t-shirt and, for quality assurance, feel the sheen. In my mind, our old oak gleams like the Lincoln bedroom.
I am summoned to bathe the turkey and empty its cavities for stuffing. Should I leave my wash bucket on the floor where Randy the dog might drink from it? Shall I leave it on a chair where Mulligan the cat might slosh in it? I stand, bucket in hand, indecisive and silly.
Then I march into the bathroom, dump the soapy water into the toilet and, as I press the flusher, realize that the white sock has gone, unseen, from the bucket into the bowl and down the hole. “No, no, no!” are the first words from my mouth, followed by every monosyllabic four-letter word in my vocabulary.
My fear is that a Thanksgiving dinner guest will emerge from kitchen or bath and announce that the plumbing is moving the wrong direction. My antidote to this fear is to envision clear water flowing unimpeded to the sea, to Lake Michigan, to the Chicago water treatment plant. This image calms me.
Each Thanksgiving, I intend to prolong our tryptophan glow by preparing turkey soup from the pan drippings. That never happens. Each Black Friday, soupless, I sneak the full roasting pan to the dumpster. Jeff’s mythical turkey soup has become a family joke. This year, my wife proposed a dual approach: “Pour the fat down the toilet,” she said. “That way, the sock will just slide through the pipes.” Move over, Liquid Plumb’r.