Flush the Toilets and Turn Out the Lights – Niles Reddick

I told my wife and kids to make sure and flush the toilets when they finish. I realize it would save water if we give it one flush a day, but it would smell and breed germs, and no one sitting would want something splashing up on a leg or behind. My wife said her daddy claimed they were so poor, they flushed once per day to save on well water. I found that disgusting even though it might save. Weigh the smell, filth, and disease against a few extra dollars, and I’d bet most would flush.

I also told them to make sure they turn out the lights when they leave a room and try to avoid turning them on unless it’s dark and they need to see. I’m not Trump with money to throw away and don’t have anyone paying my electric bill. Yet, I came home last night, and everyone was gone to spend money on things they want and don’t need, and toilets weren’t flushed and lights were on.

They weren’t home when I went to bed, and when I got up the next morning, I went through the house flushing toilets and turning off lights. After I gulped coffee, took a shower, and got dressed, I left for the office and was at my computer when I saw a custodian go into the restroom to clean. When I heard him leave, I saw the door open, lights on, and when I go to check the toilet, I saw all the pink chemical mixture and bubbles, like someone threw up Pepto-Bismol, and I flushed, turned out the lights, and convinced myself that we could put all those electric savings toward homelessness and hunger and put all those flushes toward community health, if only everyone were more like me.


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Niles Reddick is author of the novel Drifting too far from the Shore, a collection Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured six anthologies and in over a hundred literary magazines all over the world including Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Spelk, Cheap Pop, The Arkansas Review: a Journal of Delta Studies, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The Miscreant, Slice of Life, Faircloth Review, among many others. His website is www.nilesreddick.com


Image: Marco Verch via Flickr

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