From The Land Of Running Waters

We invited my dad and Lois to our home for Super Bowl Sunday. We were in the den watching the half-time commercials when my dad said that he remembered how, when he was a kid, his favorite beer commercials were the Pabst Blue Ribbon commercials that featured cartoon bears. He sang the jingle, “From the land of running wa-a-ters.”

Of course, we just stared at him and chuckled when Lois stuck another hotdog in his mouth. He faked having hurt feelings, but, honestly, everything he sings sounds like “Jingle Bells” anyway. So he’s used to the treatment. My poor, tone-deaf father.

When Mel was a baby, he decided to rock her to sleep. When she was mostly asleep, he decided that he’d try out his lullaby singing.  Mel promptly woke up and started screaming and crying. When he held her closer to try to soothe her, she promptly upchucked all over his shirt. No one could convince him that Mel just had gas, but he vowed never to sing another lullaby.  Funny thing was, when Eddie came to live with us, he tried again. With the same results.

So, on this particular day, he tried the old beer commercial jingle, and out of nowhere, Freckles appeared and barfed on the den carpet.

We had just gotten it cleaned up when Mel burst into the kitchen, where I was pulling cold sodas out of the fridge.

“Mommy, Momma!”

“Mel, calm down. What is it?”

I think my voice might have sounded impatient, because she stopped in her tracks and put her finger in her mouth and mumbled something. So I put everything in my hands down on the counter and bent over until I was at her level.  “What is it, Sweetie?”

“There’s water everywhere upstairs, mommy!”

“What?  LEX!!!”

Lex came in from the den with dad and Lois right on her heels.

“What? What’s going on?” my wife demanded.

By that time, I was moving quickly toward the staircase. “Mel says there’s water everywhere upstairs. I’m going up.”

“I’ll be right there. Let me get the tools from the hall closet.”

By the time I got to the head of the stairs, I could hear Eddie’s voice as he sang “no no socks”. I could also hear wet, slapping sounds. I rounded the corner to the hall bathroom and found the floor flooded and a young Master Edward Lee Walters sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor in nothing but his training pants and t-shirt. He was slapping at the water on the floor, and laughing and singing.

Lois nudged my dad aside and carried in a stack of towels to sop up the water. The tub was empty, but it was clear that the toilet had overflowed. In the toilet bowl, there was one of Eddie’s socks swirling in circles.

I picked my sodden child up and sat him in the bathtub to strip him and give him a bath.

“No sock, Mommy,” he said, and proudly pointed to the toilet where dad was using the toilet plunger while Lex was supervising each plunge.

The light dawned.

“Eddie, honey? Did you flush your socks down the toilet?” Lois asked.

“No socks!” He wiggled his toes and grinned up at me.

Fearing the worst, I asked, “Eddie, how many socks did you flush?”

Okay, so I somehow expected my toddler to be able to count. “Mel, can you go see if Eddie’s sock drawer is open and tell me how many socks there are, please?”

Mel’s footfalls could be heard as she ran down the hallway. A minute later, they could be heard running back in our direction.

“Mommy! No socks! Like my brother said.”


The plumber just left and billed us his Super Bowl rate, which is three times his normal weekend rate.

The bathroom floor is finally dry, and, fortunately, will not have to be replaced.

Eddie is asleep upstairs, and Mel is on Lex’s lap while we watch the DVR’d version of the game we recorded.

Lois and I started washing a load of damp towels in the washing machine and had taken seats at the kitchen table to enjoy some hot tea.

The front door opened and Lorrie came in, having spent the afternoon and evening at Charlie and Martha’s. She plopped herself down on one of the kitchen chairs and pouted. “I hate Super Bowl Sunday. It’s boring!”

I noticed that Lorrie’s complexion didn’t look good and was just about to put my hand on her forehead when dad strode into the kitchen and began singing, “From the land of running wa-a-ters!” Then he pulled Lorrie up out of the chair and gave her a hug while still singing the jingle.

“Uh-oh,” Lorrie said.

And history repeated itself.