How My Computer Wound Up in the Toilet

How can you flush something that's already the same thing as the thing you want to flush? In theory, software upgrades and toilet cleaning are best left to others. In practice, most of us wind up doing these things ourselves, because IT departments and maids generally resent the idea of working for free. There are exceptions, I know, but then you'd need a lawyer.

The most important difference between the two activities is that, when your 754 MB download has been corrupted and won't install, it's easy to flush the computer down the toilet. This isn't possible with the toilet, because . . . well, because it's a toilet, and you can't flush something that's already the same thing as the thing you want to flush.

After the plumber has gone, I like to linger awhile and savor the glint of the shiny porcelain bowl. For some reason, it always reminds me of my hard disk before I began installing all the updates and patches required to patch and update the software that worked, sort of, before someone decided it needed cleaning. It was never really clean in the sense that you'd want to eat spaghetti out of it, but it worked.

I've always been fond of the old if it works don't fix it adage, so I have no explanation for attempting to clean something that wasn't entirely dirty to begin with. Now that the madness has passed, I understand the need for buying a new computer every six months, and a new toilet every four. Clean is good, and not everyone is handy with a pipe wrench.


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