IT WAS EARLY Saturday morning when I burrowed beneath the covers, my lips turned up in a self-satisfied smile. This would be the weekend that my dream of sleeping in would be realized.
As I settled in for a long winter's nap, familiar sounds filled my home. My wife, LaVeta, the early riser, was downstairs, moving about. My daughter, Eve, who'd hurt her ankle in gym, was resting comfortably down the hall. My son, Solomon, walked out of his room for his morning bathroom pilgrimage.
That's when everything went south.
I should've known something was amiss when I heard the toilet flush right away. Solomon's weekend bathroom extravaganza is normally an event, complete with games, humming and magazines. He's a lot like his father that way. But this time, it was quick. Plus, I didn't hear any humming.
It took only a few minutes to learn why.
I heard LaVeta climbing the stairs as I closed my eyes tighter, hoping to fall asleep. But alas, it wasn't going to happen for me, because the Great Flood of 2015 was about to begin.
"Solomon, why didn't you say anything!" LaVeta yelled in her shrill mom voice.
"I didn't want to wake up Dad!"
I groaned and tried to tell myself it wasn't that bad - that LaVeta could handle it while I slept. But then I heard the sound of sloshing water, and I knew this was more than a simple accident.
I tried to run heroically down the hall, but I was so tired I kind of wobbled like Fred Sanford, hoping I wouldn't find something terrible at the end of my journey.
When I made it to the bathroom, however, it was like a scene from "The Ten Commandments." Our toilet had overflowed, unleashing the Red Sea onto the bathroom floor. For a moment, the three of us stood there, frozen and disgusted by the sight of water pouring out of the commode.
I almost considered building an ark and ushering out my family two-by-two. But there wasn't time, so we ran to try to contain the flood. I got old rags. LaVeta got a mop. Solomon got towels, and as the water made its way down the walls and into the dining room, we ran up and down with buckets.
It was then that I understood why "Waterworld," a big-budget film featuring Kevin Costner, was a monumental flop. Watching water isn't entertainment. It's a parlor trick that makes you want to pee.
Thank goodness we were able to contain the overflowing toilet before our home turned into the Costner flick. Things could've been a whole lot worse.
By the time we cleaned the bathroom, washed and dried the rags, and set our world back in some semblance of order, I was tired, so I went back to my room, thankful to have escaped the Great Flood.
I closed my eyes believing that justice would prevail, and I would finally get some sleep. Unfortunately, justice is in short supply these days.
"Dad!" Solomon said, knocking on my bedroom door.
My eyes snapped open in a panic. "Huh, wha-"
"Eve needs you!"
I limped down the hall once again, and found my daughter on her hands and knees, trying to sop up water with a towel.
"What happened?" I asked.
"I was soaking my ankle and the bucket tipped over," she said.
I balled my fist tightly and bit my knuckle, screaming inwardly at the sight of more water. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my daughter's bedroom window. For a moment, I considered opening it and jumping.
I knew my children needed me more than I needed to escape the water, so I pulled myself together, gathered up some towels, and did my duty as a dad.
If I never see another waterlogged towel in my life, it will be too soon.