Incredibly Suitable For Work
  • Incredibly Suitable For Work
Barnabas Cromwell is a Ballard based plumber. His plumber’s crack is vast and deep. He had a call this morning where he unclogged a toilet in the master bedroom of a married couple's home. He snaked out twenty used rubbers. The husband, who was there, became upset when Barnabas showed him what was stopping up the commode. The husband, you see, is fixed, and hasn’t used a condom with his wife in ten years. “Sorry man, but I need a minute,” he told Barnabas, then he collapsed against the wall on his knees and began crying uncontrollably. “I LOVE MY WIFE SO MUCH!! I can’t help it if my prick’s the size of a cricket. I can’t help it if sex is like throwing hot dogs down a hallway.” Barnabas hugged the husband to console him and the husband held him tight, weeping like a baby that’s having its fingerprints burned off with a lighter. Tears splashed against the withered pile of prophylactics.

A neighbor who was outside walking her shihtzu named Bianca looked in the window and saw the men embracing. She heard the screams and thought they were having sex. The wife happened to be pulling into the driveway in her beige Subaru Outback, and the neighbor told her that her husband was having a raging affair with a man.

Barnabas had packed up his things, leaving the rubbers in a bucket as per the husband’s request. He passed the wife in the kitchen on his way out making no eye contact, but she did look at the big tear stain on the front of his flannel. The wife walked upstairs to the bathroom where her husband was still writhing and wailing and said, “Are you having an affair with that large man downstairs?”

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As soon as she finished the question, the condom bucket started vibrating, and the wrinkled condoms rose up, levitating, and spinning in a geometric aerial pattern. Then sounds of musket rifles could be heard cracking off, and horses charging and neighing, and soldiers at war. There was a snare drum and a flute. Someone far away shouted commands. Barnabas had unknowingly roused the spirit of a dead Union Civil War soldier when he unclogged the rubbers from the toilet. The house was built next to an old cemetery, and a soldier from the Union Army was buried there. His name was Jed Marcellus and he died in the Battle of Bull Run in William County, Virginia on July 21st, 1861. After the war, Jed’s brother moved to the Seattle area to run a lumber mill, and he relocated Jed’s gravesite so he could be close to him.

Barnabas’s snaking and clamoring and suctioning the rubbers out of the pipes had woken Jed’s ghost. Something about the snaking popped a bubble into the the next dimension. Jed was twenty when he died at Bull Run. He was running across an open field. He never fired his gun. Jed’s ghost face floated in the bathroom mirror plain as day, swathed in a blood-soaked bandage, and he said to the wife, “Your husband ain’t fuckin’ anyone one other than you, ma’am. But as long as we’re all here, why don’t we tell your husband about how you’re fuckin’ your daughter’s soccer coach? He really shouldn’t flush his condoms down the commode, they just stay in there forever, you know.”