Blog: In the Belly of a Whale

Burt Ross

No, no, no! I was not literally in the belly of a whale. I am just going the metaphor route once again. The other day, I found myself in what is commonly referred to as “The Blue Whale,” a humongous building situated in an even more humongous complex called the Pacific Design Center. For the first time, I understood how Jonah felt when he, too, was in the belly of a whale.

Now, you who have an inquiring mind might want to know what I was doing there, and I am willing to share the sad tale with you. Believe it or not, I was looking for door handles and faucets for my home to be, which hopefully will be before I am not. (My English teacher just rotated in her grave.) My life has been reduced to selecting door knobs in the belly of a whale. It has come to this.

I actually believed, albeit mistakenly, that door knobs and faucets came in only two kinds, but you can spend the rest of your life reviewing the infinite variety of hardware that we poor suckers have to choose from.

Many Americans feel that there is far too much government regulation. I, on the contrary, believe there is not nearly enough. If government were to severely restrict the choices we have, let’s say to no more than two, just imagine how much less stressful our lives would be. There would be two phone companies, two cereals, two door knobs, two toilets–now that’s what I call real progress.

Once I got done searching through the hardware selection, it was time to look at toilets. I could not believe the selection of toilets and the sad fact that I had to sit down on each one before making a final choice. 

There was one for $5,000 and another one for $500. The saleslady asked me if I knew the difference between the two toilets. Perhaps this was a trick question, but I answered the best I could, “one zero.” She was not impressed with my quick math nor my attempt at quick wit: “A significant difference is that when you approach the $5,000 toilet, the lid rises.” 

I assume that you can program the toilet to play music once the lid has risen. I think I would like to have my toilet play “Hail to the Chief” before I sit down.

I sat on a couple of less expensive models and finally picked one. “Mr. Ross,” the saleslady explained, “I don’t think you want that one. You are sitting on a bidet.”