What had started in a moment of frustration led to a long string of bad decisions.

At least, that’s what my attorney was going to say.

I didn’t really care what he was going to say but was glad that I’d get out faster than if I hadn’t agreed to the plea bargain.

They don’t know…nor would they understand the sentiment…that it was pure joy watching the aftermath of my efforts.

I just regretted that I couldn’t stick around to watch it in person.

I figure, what the heck, there’ll be a mess any way I look at it, so why not have some fun with it?

Nobody was hurt, which is why I think they took so long to find me.

No apparent motive, so no idea where to look.

It’s not like there’s some institution out there watching for some signs of it. Heck, I think they even talked about naming a new syndrome after me – post modern hysterical something or other.

How cool is that! I can’t remember what it was exactly, but it did sound impressive.

Seems like I did something right in my life after all!

It all started that one winter. Everything was frozen for weeks, and with sub-zero temps for many of those nights, things started to happen.

The ancient septic system in our house didn’t approve of the ice cold water running through the pipes, and overnight a large block of ice formed in what we’ve affectionately come to call “shit creek”.

Of course, any plumber can tell you what happens when the stuff can’t get to where it’s supposed to go…it goes where it wants to go!

Which in our case, meant the toilets would back up at least once every day.

Both of them.

So what’s a housewife to do?

Stand guard all day by the toilets to make sure her kids don’t use too much toilet paper or clog the toilet with their…?

Housewives, you know what I mean!

My husband didn’t see it at first. When the cops showed up to take their report they assumed that my husband had been careless with his inventory, but he showed them the paperwork and opened the cache for them to compare.

Everything seemed in order, so they chalked it up to some random vandalism and called it a day.

I should have been more careful – if I had, I’d probably still be doing it, I’ve got to admit, but that’s the breaks.

I knew that it was wrong, but it was just so much fun. I felt vindicated every time I did it. In their heart of hearts, I know a lot of people would agree with what I did, they just didn’t have the nerve…or maybe the thought never occurred to them, who knows?

One day I was in IGA and overheard old man Timmons talking to Mrs. Jones as she was picking over the fruit. “I know what you mean…the neighborhood just isn’t the same. Why in my day, that kind of thing never happened.” I saw him shrug, “Guess they just don’t make ‘em like they used to…”

That made me smile.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that conversation that the cops started looking my way.

The last time, just like the other times, I waited until the kids were on the bus and Tom had left for work.

I’d decided that the Andersons’ house would be next.

I’d just placed the putty under the basin rim when Tom pinged me.

He’d forgotten his lunch and asked me to drop it off at work.

When I met him at Dozers’ he wasn’t alone – he was surrounded by cops, all of them staring at me.

I found out later that Tom had been under investigation for the vandalism, but when the cops received a call from Karen McNaulty, they shifted their focus to me.

You see, I didn’t know that Karen had installed a bathroom cam in her home…I mean, who puts a camera in their bathroom anyway? If you ask me, they should investigate that household…

So anyway, when the recording showed the toilet explode shortly after I’d placed something in it, they knew they’d found their vandal.

Mrs. Handy?”

It was time.


You’ve been sentenced to 3 years house arrest and ordered to pay restitution for your crimes. You’re hereby also ordered to 30 hours community service at the Atlanta Visitor Information Center.”

The sound of the gavel hitting its mark shot chills through me.

More toilets and no plastic explosives…what’s a housewife to do?