Monday, February 21, 2011

Use Product Only As Intended

The Cuban people find many treasures in life. American senator and spaceman John Glenn once said that, “Cubans live like thirsty men drink, tugging eagerly at the tit of existence. They laugh, they cry, and they keep their friends and family close. Just don’t let them near your pets.” While the combination of an active lifestyle, sunshine, and plenty of subsidized rum seems to do the body good, I must report that one achievement of my imperialist forefathers still eludes this island: powerful toilets.

We arrived blissfully accustomed to the porcelain behemoths of the United States, those massive, hotel-powered things that could suck a malnourished four-year-old to a watery end. Here, we have adapted well enough to the routine of discarding used toilet paper in a basket, and we are no longer surprised when any visit to the water closet requires more than one flush. Unfortunately, one problem persists: our toilets lack the necessary conviction and fortitude to dispose of firmer deposits. When this problem first presented, my powers of logic drowned in a humid panic. Too embarrassed to ask my host family for a plunger, my eyes settled on my Incredible Hulk™ travel toothbrush. My brow lit by a naked bulb, reggaeton from next-door thumping in my temples, I subjected my spare toothbrush to the unmentionable.

Unts pa-doompa. Unts pa-doompa. Swish. Swish. Swish.

I tried to salvage what I could of the Hulk’s dignity. I gave him a thorough cleaning and placed him carefully on the shelf, where he remains, bulging green veins and bloodshot eyes waiting for the next time we call on him to Hulk Smash.

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