>Yesterday I tsked tsked about the state of the United States in the twilight of the Bush administration. Not long after that, I was confronted by an even scarier situation: the state of my toilet. For as much as I dread being spied on by the FBI (and what a fucking waste of precious limited resources that will be), the possibility that my toilet is losing flushing power far more dramatically affects my daily life.

Husband and I are heavy toilet users. For the first five or so years that we resided at this apartment, our industrial-type toilet (it has no tank) dealt very effectively with the digestive abuse we hurled upon it. Then last year, I noticed a change. After I flushed and the water settled, wisps of toilet paper drifted back up from the pipe, like ghosts haunting the bowl. Even the most basic uses of the toilet required an after-flush to send the restless toilet paper souls back to their watery graves. Still, the hardier matter went away and didn't reappear.

The only slightly distressing situation changed to worrisome yesterday morning, when I made a large deposit in the toilet bank. I flushed before I even wiped, knowing that the teller could barely handle the load as it was. The water swept it down to the vault, but as I threw in my deposit slip, a chunk of my change reappeared.

"Oh shit," I appropriately swore, and flushed again. The toilet paper and poo went away and stayed that way, which was good. I'm hoping the condition of my toilet doesn't deteriorate further, but I fear for the future.