An Unlikely Conversation

Picture this: a conversation with your toilet. It's the ultimate horror/suspense/extraterrestrial tale. I heard Dennis McBride read his oddball, hilarious story, "The Toilet," recently at the Richard Brautigan event in Vancouver (hosted by Christopher Luna). Immediately I was hooked on this guy's writing. He knows how to make you laugh, think, squirm.

An excerpt (by permission): "I'd never heard of a toilet being haunted, but then I thought who's really to say that there aren't ghosts wandering around with low self-esteem? Then one day, suddenly and rather unaccountably, in one of those random fantasy freefalls, I turned to the possibility that it could be something trying to make contact from a parallel universe.

It occurred to me that the toilet does sort of resemble a small wormhole, and I thought what makes us so complacently sure that contact from aliens will always come from a spaceship in the sky or some mathematical logarithm on a government oscilloscope? Besides, I often detected what seemed a faint but frequently suggestive tone of hostility in the sound coming from the toilet. Which, if you think about it, would be perfectly understandable if someone was always flushing into your universe."

Today's ordinary thing. For Britishness, call it a loo; if you want to sound sophisticated, a commode.

Write a story about a toilet. Or, about some ordinary object as a conduit for alien communication.

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