Look, I’m not going to lie to you. This story is going to be hard to read if you are a grandparent. It’s going to be even harder to read if you’re a mom of boys. But it’s going to be especially hard to read if you’re a guy. A guy of any age. It’s not pretty.
But you need to read it, nonetheless.
I don’t know if this story will just make you feel better about whatever is going on in your life, or if you are in a position to use this painful knowledge as a cautionary tale for a small boy or boys in your life. I hope the latter is the case, since, as you will soon agree, we as a people never want this to happen again.
I was told this story by family members, and I recently spent the week with the young man in question. He is a brave lad, but to keep his story anonymous we’ll call him Cooper.
Cooper is kindergarten age now, courageously moving on with his life after that fateful day a few years ago.
Cooper’s grandparents had rented a house in Tahoe for a fun week of summer vacationing with their kids and grandkids. They were there a few days early to get everything ready. They could never have known what dangers that innocent-looking vacation rental was hiding.
When Cooper and his family pulled into the driveway after a long car ride, Cooper needed to pee. He needed to pee bad. There was no time to waste.
He jumped out of the car and ran past the open arms of his loving grandparents, making a beeline for the nearest bathroom. A fateful decision that haunts the entire family to this day, but none more than little, innocent Cooper.
Cooper had spent his entire life to this point in a modern house. One with modern toilets that had modern features. Unbeknownst to him, he had just sprinted into a rustic Tahoe toilet time warp.
These toilets had wooden toilet seats. Heavy wooden toilet seats. Cooper’s toilet seats at home were the light plastic variety.
Cooper had recently graduated to big boy status and was all potty trained. He exercised his God-given ability as a male of the species to pee standing up. But Cooper was a tiny little guy still, and as such, he wasn’t much taller than the toilet itself. The geometry of bowl height and leg length lined up just wrong on that fateful day, and the bowl of the toilet was just the perfect height to rest his little ding-a-ling on while he peed.
His Grandma made her way to the bathroom just about the time he was finishing up. Now Cooper, as most boys his age are, is always in a hurry, and that day was no exception. Add to that the fact that Cooper’s modern toilet seats at home have another feature that the hellish, deathtrap of a vacation home bathroom did not – slow-close technology.
Cooper was used to reaching up and ripping the toilet seat back down when he was all finished, because at home it lowered slowly and safely back down to the bowl. His grandmother screamed “Nooooo!” in vain as she helplessly watched the poor young lad innocently do what he always did after rocking a whiz in the big boy potty.
Cooper reached up and slammed that heavy, wooden, non-speed-buffered, bastard of a toilet seat right down on his poor little ding dong that was still positioned on top of the hard porcelain edge of the bowl.
The howl could be heard clear across the lake. When they got his grandma calmed down, it was apparent that Cooper was crying as well.
That poor, brave little man spent the entire first day of his Tahoe summer vacation week with his pants down and an ice pack on his goodies, nursing one heck of a blood blister.
Gentlemen, take as much time as you need and just breathe. There you go. Deep breaths in and out. Good.
Like I said, I don’t know what you will do with this knowledge now that you have muscled your way through this tragic tale, but I pray that we can all use this difficult information to make sure no other boy ever has to go through anything like that again.
I’m happy to report that Cooper came out of the situation with a healthy and perfectly functioning plumbing system, but the emotional scars remain. Two years after the fact, he still asks the owners of any new house he visits if they have “hard toilets.”
We love you, Cooper. Be strong.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2021 Marc Schmatjen
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