The Carlington Summit
by H. J. McClemens.

Every once in a while a story comes along that cries out to be retold. I have these friends who have daughters, one of whom is married. For Christmas, one of the daughters (not the married one) got an unusual present. The present was a large bag of clumping cat litter and a plumbers drain auger. To protect the identity of the innocent and/or guilty (your choice) we shall refer to the daughter as “J..”. and the son-in-law as “M...” .

Now you may be wondering why J... got these presents. Well it goes back to some time before Christmas when M... was at the house doing some repairs/damage (depending who you talk to...). This family has several pets including two cats, one which is quite old. Having two cats requires a large litter box and one cat being old sometimes does not quite made it to the litter, so under the litter box is a large tray which M... refers to as the Sea of Pee.

M... noticed the litter box was in bad shape and got on J...'s case that she should clean the box. On his next trip to the workshop he noticed the litter box gone.

“Now that's a milestone,” he thought, “She's taking my advice.”

On his way upstairs to where he was working he noticed water coming from under the bathroom door. Now it was not clear water, but had a grayish colour to it.

“J... , is something wrong?


“Are you sure?”


“J... , open the door.”






As the door opened, M... saw J... standing in the middle of the bathroom holding a drain plunger. The toilet looked like an erupting volcano of slimy ash and water.

"It won't go down!"

“J... ,” said M..., “clumping cat litter turns to solid lump when a cat pees on it, didn't you realize what would happen when you add clumping cat litter to water?”

J... , “I never was very good in chemistry.”

“Well, your going have to get it out of the toilet before it solidifies.”

J... got a pail and a can and started scooping the mixture from the toilet. As time went on the mixture became harder to get out of the can. M... went to a neighbour who was a plumber to borrow a drain auger.

To make a long story short, the drains were made to flow again and the litter box was cleaned and refilled, but J... didn't appreciate being reminded of the adventure.

I believe that in the next few years that the term "street calming" will be replaced by "traffic flow." That is, the obstacles being put in place to slow traffic will be removed to move more vehicles in less time. Guess who will be paying for it?

You know you've lost it if --