So one night Pamie and Dan and I were watching TV, and just finishing up dinner. I took my plate and disappeared out of the living room, then came back and put my plate in the sink, now empty.
"What did you just do?" asked Pamie, a disturbed look on her face.
I thought for a second and realized what I'd just done. Mechanically. Automatically. Without thinking.
"I put the rest of my pasta in the toilet and flushed it down."
"Ew!" said Dan. "No!"
"Dan! Not you, too," I yelled. "You're from New York. You're supposed to understand."
"My friend used to do that all the time," Dan said. "She'd finish a meal and flush the rest down the toilet. I begged her to never do that while I was around or I'd leave."
"I don't understand what the big deal is," I protested. "We're battling ants right now. It's best not to attract them. And anyway, putting food in the toilet is just like-"
"Don't say it!" shouted Dan, covering his ears.
Pamie jumped in. "He once flushed a sausage. And I saw it."
"That's it. I'm leaving!" squealed Dan.
Honestly, I'd never thought too hard about it one way or the other. When I lived in New York, I had a tiny 3-bedroom on the first floor of an old half-commercial block in the West Village. And we had roaches. Tiny ones, but they were always there -- in the kitchen only, thank God. Whenever I'd come into the dark kitchen, I'd turn on the light and keep my eyes shut for a few seconds to give the fuckers time to skitter under the sink or into the rice or wherever they lived. Honestly, for all my love of New York, roaches are the one thing I can't deal with. A month ago I was being considered to write for a new midseason TV show. The catch was I'd have to move to New York for a few months at least. And aside from missing all my friends and my wife like crazy, the one thing that gave me serious pause was the knowledge that I'd once again be living in Roachland. So anyway, in that 3-bedroom, we had roaches and no disposal. That's living in a left-over food quandary.
Let's say you're eating something like soup. Chunky soup. And there's a bit left. What do you do with it, I ask you? Throw it in the garbage, only to have it leak everywhere? Try to shove it down the sink, only to get stuck in the pipes? Take it out to the curb? Dolphins don't like Chunky soup. No, there is only one obvious choice. The toilet. Right?
Once I moved to Los Angeles, I had a disposal in the first apartment I shared in the Valley. But then once I found my little one-bedroom in the last block of the Hollywood Hills (where I would live for seven years!) I was thrust back into the same left-over quandary. Roaches weren't a problem, but ants were. And they liked left out food just as much as roaches. So I was back to putting unwanted food down the toilet. Mostly soup-ish things that wouldn't fare well in a paper garbage bag under the sink, or, yes, I guess the occasional meat product. Seven years. It became second nature. Until I started dating Pamie.
And the sausage incident happened. And I was informed that it was disgusting. We debated the point, but I couldn't make her understand my side. So I stopped doing it. For the sake of the woman I loved. Cold turkey. (Which, incidentally, is something else I might have flushed down the toilet.)
Anyway. When we moved in together, the house we rented thankfully had a garbage disposal. As does the house we bought last year. And so until that one night, during Six Feet Under, a few nights after we'd learned the hard way just to what insane degree ants are fans of scrambled eggs, Food Down The Toilet hadn't been an issue for a few years. Until that night.
So help me out here. Pamie and Dan think it's the grossest thing in the world. I don't see anything wrong with it.
So, people: To flush, or not to flush? That is the question.