Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lynn's Comments: In this scenario it’s Elly’s father-in-law who unplugs the toilet, but this story really belongs to my dad. My grandparents lived in West Vancouver. Before we had a car, the trip was made by bus and it took the better part of a morning to get there. My grandfather (Mom’s dad) was a severe man, used to giving orders and making demands. Because my dad’s family was not as high in the British caste system as he was, Gramps treated my father with disdain, often calling him by his last name. “Ridgway! Do this! Ridgway! Do that!”

My dad was hurt and offended. He was gentle soul, however and always tried to avoid conflict. He kept his feelings to himself until the day we arrived to a distraught Gramps and an impossibly plugged privy. Dad was pretty good at fixing things and was soon pressed into finding out what had caused the system to back up. Dad stood before the offending bowl, scratching his head. Gramps, desperate to resolve the problem, offered to pay Dad to fix it. Dad looked at my grandfather and said “I will unplug your toilet if you will call me by my first name.” With some effort, Gramps agreed to do so and the waters flowed once more. Amazing, isn’t it, that the price gramps had to pay was simple courtesy.

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Originally Run: 1981-12-17
Appearing: , , ,
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