Magic Mike 6XL: For outdoor use only

Michael D. Davis

Alright, let’s get the compliment out of the way right now, then we can move on to the fun stuff. Ya see, the old one, my father, can fix about anything if he puts his mind to it. He’s fixed furniture, cars, mowers, doors, you name it. The thing is he doesn’t always fix it the way one would think it should be fixed or expect it to be fixed.

I’ll focus on the bathroom with this one. Narrow all this down to one room of the house, a very special room, may I add. Because with four people in a house with one bathroom, that room becomes like a shrine.

If something starts to break in there, we’re all in big trouble. My father of course is always the man for the job when it comes to the upkeep, the mechanical, plumber-like skills that the bathroom demands.

Throughout the years, I have been woken up more than once by the sounds of his swear words emanating from the can. He’d have tools of various sorts strewn around him as he cursed and went on while either being bent over the back of the toilet or lying under the sink.

Our house is around a century old, with a thousand little kinks and intricacies. The bathroom sink, for example, is porcelain and was probably installed before the house was even built — my best guess would be sometime after President Lincoln’s assassination and before President Garfield’s.

The faucet itself has been replaced a time or two, the current one though has emblazoned on it the K-mart symbol, so I think it’s been a while. Anyways, a year or so ago, the old one noticed that the sink was starting to tilt down. He said not to worry, he’d fix it.

What my father proceeded to do was make a stick out of a larger stick, then use this wooden dowel-like stick to prop up the end of the sink. Granted, the sink no longer tilts down. It is technically fixed, but now we have a wooden stick coming up from the floor to hold the thing at a better angle.

The stick solution is only the tip of the iceberg here. The shower is the real pièce de résistance of the turlet. I forget how it began. I assume that one day the shower system just broke down and went to crap, and the old one had to fix it. But I can’t say that for sure.

I’ve lived with this for so long, it’s like it’s always been this way. The shower is a three-foot by three-foot fiberglass box straight out of 1983. On the back wall is a hole; from this hole comes the pipes to the shower head. The shower head isn’t flush against the wall, nor is this one straight pipe, this is several little pieces of pipe that have been screwed together.

The pipe comes straight out of the wall two inches, then goes up into the air six inches. There, it turns again, coming forward another two inches before going down three inches where, finally, the shower head is attached. I don’t know where the old one acquired the pipe used in this insane invention, but for the longest time, a sticker was stuck to the side of one of the pieces of pipe that read, ‘For outdoor use only.’

To operate the shower, one must first turn a metal pipe valve that is attached in that six-inch up and down stretch of pipe going from the wall to the shower head. All this will do is simply turn the water on — if you want to adjust the temperature, that’s another thing.

Firstly, there is no cold water knob. All you have to work with is the hot water knob, and the truly bad part is if you turn the hot water knob too far, there is a good chance it will simply come off in your hand. But ya know, the shower’s fixed I guess. I mean, the water’s still drippin’.

Anywho, my Father’s birthday is coming up this weekend, and I am grateful to the old man for many reasons, including fixing’ these things, God knows I couldn’t.

But something tells me no other household has a stick holding’ up the sink and a Frankensteined ‘For outdoor use only’ shower. And remember, that’s just the bathroom.