Saturday, October 23, 2010
I am inordinately pleased with myself. It does not happen often, so I am giving myself high fives and posting this in celebration. Doubtless you are wondering if I won a Pulitzer, Nobel, or Academy Award. Well, no. While those would all be nice and surely lead to unthinkable earthly delights, statuettes are nowhere near as useful as the award I gave myself, the one that will keep on giving. I changed a toilet seat.
I have had no previous plumbing experience. Flip and I spent seven years renovating an old house, but he did the plumbing and wiring while I ripped out paneling, painted, tiled and landscaped. He is no longer able to do mechanical things, so I am learning despite a decided lack of natural ability. Or interest. Necessity, as everyone knows, is a great motivator. In the grand scheme this is a pretty small achievement, but it reminds me that I can still learn new things. I won't say it shows that I can do anything because I'm a bit too cynical and self-aware for that, but I'll happily settle for being educable at an age when sadly, many people are resting on laurels. And while I hope that my epitaph will be a bit juicier, no accomplishment should be sneezed at.
I would like to commission an occasional poem to commemorate this extraordinary event. Where is that damn poet laureate when I need him? W. S. Merwin was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2010-2011 by the Library of Congress. I had to look it up. It seems odd that we are all familiar with the names of our leading generals in Iraq and Afghanistan, but our nation's leading poet is virtually unknown. I wonder if Merwin can change a toilet seat.