Man hides in commode from grandkids

By Larry Alan Brown

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28 2014 6:27 p.m. MST

Grandpa’s only chance to escape his rioting grandkids is to hide in the commode and defend himself with a plunger. In the end, Grandpa is forced to surrender to the marauding munchkins.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

There is one word to describe why I’m cowering in the commode. The word is “sanctuary.” I escape to it when the grandkids invade, like right now.

When the little rascals get together at our house, they dance and hoot at the decibel level of a Justin Bieber concert, then look around for an easy target to toss to the volcano god. That would be me.

When it comes down to a choice of fight or flight, I gallop through the storm, eyes bulging, and fling myself through the privy door.

My sanctuary is also my fortress, which is a gross exaggeration because its flimsy door could be breached easily by a 4-year-old with a chopstick. My only weapons are a plunger, a 2-year-old Readers Digest, and a can of mace-like deodorizer. Oh, and a roll of tough, steel-belted toilet paper to tie up prisoners of war, in the slim chance that I catch any.

Don’t underestimate the importance of toilet paper. Wars have been lost over it. Shakespeare wrote that Richard III lost his kingdom when a near-sighted archer shot his horse. That’s nonsense. Richard ran out of Charmin to squeeze and hollered, “A roll, a roll, my kingdom for a roll!" I wasn’t going to make Richard’s mistake.

I cringe in my cramped hideaway, listening nervously as the mob of marauding munchkins twists through the house like a hungry tornado, screaming and ranting, their tongues darting through the gaps where their pointy little front teeth should be. They are pint-sized zombies on steroids, only faster.

The co-commanders of this mutiny are Jarom and Riley, conniving cousins who lead the local chapter of the mac-and-cheese militia. Jarom is nicknamed “J-Man,” after the Juggernaut who crashes through walls in "X-Men 3." He is a self-styled warrior with a passion for tearing around with a pasta bowl on his head and a stick in each hand. Riley’s nom de guerre is Bride of Chucky, after the wife of a demon-dominated doll with zippers on his face.

Soon, they are scratching and gnawing at my sanctuary door, their eager fingernails grinding the wood into sawdust. In a squeaky voice, I croak, “There’s nobody in here but a talking can of deodorizer.” The scratching stops while they consider this new possibility.

Jarom: “Is there such a thing as talking deodorizer?”

Riley: “No, Grandpa’s lying.”

Jarom: “Why would Grandpa lie?”

Riley: “He’s a coward.”

Riley presses her face to the door and, in her sweetest voice, asks, “Grandpa, would you come out and play with us?”

I put down the plunger, resigned to my fate.

Volcano, here I come.

Larry Alan Brown is a resident of Alpine, Utah. Email: larry@processproud.com

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