Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Oldie but a Goody... "Poop Soup"

In my last post I told you I had some stories waiting "in the wings" that I would share with you. Here is one such story.

Let me set the stage for you.

This happened almost 11 years ago. Crazy it was that long ago! Where does the time go?

When Dan the Man and I moved back to Nebraska, we originally had intended on working full time at my piano tuning and rebuilding business. We needed to go look at a couple of pianos that were out of town. Since the boys were still too small to be left home alone, we all went on this outing. Those were the days, back when our kids actually wanted to go places with us! Those days when all four of the could fit in the back seat of the pickup truck. Back when they had books and Gameboys to pass the time traveling.

Seems like eons ago when they were that small. Sometimes I find myself missing those days... but them I remember what it was like with four little boys, endless loads of laundry and hungry mouths to feed, stomachs that never seemed to get full, dirty little bodies from head to toe...

... and stories like this!

The cast of characters are as follows:

Boy 1, Nick who was 11 years old
Now serving (in his 4th year) our country in the United States Air Force and stationed in Japan

Boy 2, Colton who was 9 years old
Now about to finish his sophomore year at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota

Boy 3, Chris who was 8 years old
Now about ready to receive his associates degree in Powerline Construction and Maintenance from WNCC in Alliance, Nebraska

Boy 4, Skyler, a mere 6 years old
Now a sophomore at Morril High School

And and Dan the Man along with myself

The Story:

"Poop Soup"

which begins like this...

More piano tuning stories for your enjoyment (or not?) ...

Dear family,

I hope I didn't offend anyone with the headline, but sometimes a certain word is the "key" word and "poop soup" is the key word. I will warn you, that the faint of heart may not want to read this article. But if you are a true
Manville, I have no doubt that you will read on!

It started out as another fun family adventure on a beautiful Saturday morning. Our mission: to look at two pianos and meet a fellow piano technician in Big Springs, NE. After the news article ran in the papers, we have been receiving a few calls from people who have pianos either for sale or for free. The first piano we were going to look at fell into the "free"
category. The guy said he didn't know if it was worth any thing and hoped that he wasn't wasting our time, but he just wanted to get rid of it.

I was a little skeptical when he said that, but figured it was on our way to the other piano
tech's place so why not stop and look. Turns out to be a beautiful piano in pretty decent shape so we tell him we are willing to take the piano off his hands.

I was really anxious to get to our next destination, Oshkosh, NE where a lady awaits our arrival to look at her piano. She wrote us a letter stating that she had a beautiful upright piano (1893) in great condition and with beautiful carvings! She also just wanted to get rid of it and was willing to take $50. I had visions of this piano in my head as being a beauty from this time period where they would carve beautiful heads on the legs and beautiful flowers and things on the music rack. Pianos from this time period can be VERY ornate. We arrive at her house (an old farm house that will not be easy to move a piano out of). My hopes are still high though, because this could be a really unique piano. She leads us to the room where the piano sets. The piano is nothing special and is in horrible shape. It needs tons of work, but I figure for $50, what the heck, it might turn out really nice.

We start planning how we are going to get the piano out of the house and realize it is not going to be an easy task. If we go thorough the living room, we need to watch out for the "soft" spot in the floor and if we go out the side door we'll have to come through the yard... you get the picture. This is not going to be easy. Oh well, we'll deal with it when we come back for the piano.

Next, lunch in Oshkosh at the only diner in town. Actually the only place open in town besides the Texaco across the street. Every one must have decided to eat there because they were pretty full. The kids were starving and so were Danny and I so we decided we would eat there. It took quite a while for the waitress to get to us, so all the boys decided they would all go to the bathroom to kill time while we were waiting for our food. Don't forget there are 5 of them including Danny.

After 45 minutes of hearing "when are they going to bring us our food" and "I think I'm going to die I'm so hungry" and "Don't drink all your drink before your lunch comes..." we finally are served. Within 15 minutes we are ready to hit the road again.

Bathroom time again. One by one the boys are sent back to do their thing. Boy 1 goes and comes back, Boy 2 goes and doesn't come back for quite a while, must be because he is boy 2 doing #2. When boy 2 finally comes back to the table, I decide to take boy 1 and boy 2 out to the truck and wait out there. Danny waits in the diner while boy 3 and boy 4 finish up.

After about 5 or 10 minutes boy 3 finally comes out. I quiz the boy wondering why it is taking so long to go to the bathroom. He informs me that there was a problem with the toilet, but he used the plunger and fixed it. Another 10 minutes pass and I'm still waiting for boy #4 and Danny.

Just as I'm about ready to go back into the restaurant and see what is taking so long, Danny emerges at mach speed with boy #4 almost having to run to keep up with his father. Danny says, "Get in the truck, lets go!" It was just like a scene from a movie where someone has just robbed the bank!

What the heck took you guys so long, I demanded to know as the truck was peeling out of the parking lot. Then I find out the whole truth as to what was taking so long...

Boy 1 went #2 and clogged up the toilet. Instead of telling us, he ignored the problem. Besides it wasn't his problem, he was done.

Boy 2 unaware of the problem went ahead and used the toilet and added to the problem. Boy 2 also hasn't learned that you don't need 4 feet of toilet paper to adequately do the job. Flushed and nothing happened except for an unusual amount of water that just about flowed over, but since it didn't, he was safe.

Boy 3 enters this very hazardous situation totally oblivious to the problem and contributes to the cause. Just as he is ready to flush, he realizes there is a problem. But Boy 3 is "Mr. Fix-it" and sees the plunger! He's seen me use it before so he proceeds to stir the toilet and flushes! Not wanting to get in trouble for the mess that is now on the floor, he heads straight out to the truck.

Boy 4 enters the bathroom and has a terrible mess on his hands (and feet.) This boy is so blown away by the predicament and all that he wants to do is just go to the bathroom, but can't decide if he should or not.

By this time Danny is tired of waiting and enters the bathroom to see if a problem is occurring or what. Horrified at what he sees, he tries the plunger but just manages to make poop soup that won't go down and just keeps coming up!

So, quick to think as to what the best solution to the problem is, he thinks to just leave and quickly! (Why can't men/boys just tell someone when there is a problem?) I figure the toilet cops are going to soon be on our tails, but we manage to get out of town before they call the cops on us!

First Lesson learned: Never let all four boys use a cafe restroom assuming that the toilet will hold up to their demands! (Hope I left a big enough tip for the waitress!)

As for the rest of the story, we met the piano tech in Big Springs and boy is he an odd fellow (could be another story with him!) And when we got home, Danny made me promise to call the one lady and tell her that we really didn't want her piano and hoped that she would understand! She did. Second Lesson learned: never take a piano you really don't want! Even if it is only $50!

Here's a picture of the boys that year!

Waiting for the Bus, First Day of School 1999
Skyler, Colton, Chris and Nick

Nick, Chris, Colton and Skyler

1 comment:

  1. I've been waiting for this story! I still get a laugh out of it! I guess I'll have to start looking for our "Mystery of the Bleached Bones" that helped many of us in our neighborhood pass English classes in high school!

    Did you rewrite the story or copy and paste it? I couldn't get it to do that for me so I'm guessing it has something to do with html.