Hitler hiding behind the door
If someone is old enough, poor enough, or nowadays “green” enough, you’ll know about cloth diapers and possibly the “rinsing” process involved.
Well, I’m old enough, and was definitely poor enough to experience those old cloth things. For a while back when I was young, my mom would work a lot and party a lot and I was responsible for taking care of my little sister. I got to be a master at the folding and pinning of those things as required as part of the changing process.
I also learned the “dookie dunk” where one takes the diaper, dispatches of the turd into the bowl, and sort of dips it in and out of the bowl to remove “extra” from the diaper. I was trained in a manner to do a flush during to process to allow the water pressure to help rinse and cleanse the diaper. In addition, one could let the diaper sit in there and “soak” before the final swirlie cycle.
I don’t ever recall losing one to suction, but somehow they managed to get flushed. I’m thinking perhaps mom was a little high and didn’t realize she was flushing them. Regardless, they got flushed which led to a backup and a call to the rooter man.
So, the rooter man shows up, and to my amazement he was black. Keep in mind, this is small town Idaho in the very early 80’s. In addition, the amazement on my part was from me being a youngster maybe just busting into double-digit years who lived “away” from things most of my short life at that time. I could count the colored folks I’d seen in real life on my fingers without spilling over to my toes. This was a big deal for me.
I proceed to chat the dude up as I’m showing him where the john is, and he prepares to go to work. We’re hitting it off pretty good and he then gets to work. Being a tiny little house, there wasn’t a lot of room in the can, he ends up having to close the door to get things done. After a while he comes out quietly, no longer the chatty friendly guy he was, gets my mom to sign something, packs up and splits.
You see, in our bathroom on the back of the door my mom had a picture of Hitler pinned up. Not really sure why the bathroom, but it was just there. I remember she really got a kick out of it when she realized what happened, and as a young kid eager to please his mom, I’m sure I got a kick because she did.
This event is when I first realized the power of this sort of imagery and symbolism, though admittedly I didn’t really quite understand what was behind it until much later.
Please note: This is just a regurgitated memory so don’t read anything into this that isn’t there. I will say though that my mom ended up passing in the presence of many black friends in a black neighborhood after a life of being a “featherwood” and sharing such beliefs with her children.