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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Goal with the Flow

It’s amazing how quickly our goals can change. Or be changed for us, in the blink of an eye.

Just for instance — the missus and I are taking a few days off this week for a long weekend getaway. As I mentioned recently, she’s starting a new job soon — as in, on Monday — so she wanted to take advantage of her brief freedom to sneak in a mini-vacation.

And me? Well, I’m along for the ride, of course. So I set a few goals for myself — get some rest. Leave the office behind. See the sights of Newport, Rhode Island.

(Which was particularly prescient, since that’s where we decided to spend a few days. It would’ve sucked if I’d set a goal to see the sights of, say, Venice, Italy, when we’re hanging out here in the littlest state. That would’ve been a bit of a challenge.)

So I had these goals in mind as we toodled down the highway this afternoon, winding our way to our inn. We arrived, had a quick tour, pulled in our bags, and I took a quick trip to the bathroom.

“That’s where my goals went right out the window. Or if you prefer, circled down the drain.”

That’s where my goals went right out the window. Or if you prefer, circled down the drain.

Because right there, taped to the top of the toilet, was a sign. A sign reading:

“This toilet is equipped with a water flow alarm.

If your alarm sounds, please turn off the water and use the plunger nearby. If you need further assistance, please call the inn keeper by dialing 0.”

Clearly, this changes everything, prioritywise. I no longer care about rest, or work, or not thinking about work, or seeing the sights around wherever the hell it is we drove this time. No. As of the moment I read that sign, my singular goal for the next four magical getaway days and nights is this:


And under NO circumstances, come hell, horsemen or backed-up sewer water, am I calling the inn keeper. The flow in this toilet is going in one direction, and one direction only, until we vacate the premises on Saturday afternoon. No alarms. No plunging. Not on my watch, sunshine.

So the vacation diet plans have changed a bit. No spicy food. No roughage. Nothing that might lead to an unfortunate late-night — or mid-evening, or early-morning — alarm sounding. Not happening.

(Also, how loud do you think these alarms are? I can’t risk finding out. It would be mortifying enough to set it off with my wife in the room — but if it sounds like a fire alarm and the rest of the floor parades past our door gawking in, I might as well just climb into the thing myself. Maybe I can swim to Venice.)

In the meantime, I think I’ll see how the meatloaf is around this part of the state. Dense, thick, heavy, take-five-days-to-make-the-trip meatloaf. Now that’s vacation, baby.

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