The Legacy of “Pat the Bunny” or Why My Plumber Still Remembers This After 18 Years

Story is a powerful, consequential thing.

When my son was small, like so many good parents, I read him all kinds of stories. The one that had the biggest bang for the buck, I’d say, is PAT THE BUNNY by Dorothy Kunhardt. It’s available on Amazon for $10.79, but that damn bunny cost me over a thousand dollars.

My garbage disposal is leaking. So I called Brian, our plumber for the past 18 years. I asked him if he remembered what kind of garbage disposal we needed, and he laughed and said he could never forget our garbage disposal … it’s one of his two favorite plumbing adventure stories.

While our house was being built, it was Brian who ran the plastic pipes through our shell-of-a-house while his BFF/dog, Grizzly, roamed the neighborhood. I love dogs. Like truly, madly, deeply, I love dogs. I’m not allowed to have a dog, because of this little guy here (which is another story for another time.)

Who, me?

Who, me?

We were the 5th out of 24 families to move into this neighborhood, so there was construction going on for a long time after we moved in. I noticed that Brian liked to work at night when the other workers had left, but more important, I noticed that Grizzly liked bologna.

Which is why I stocked up on bologna (which is a really pretentious way to say baloney). Jerry (my husband) was traveling a lot at the time and Jerry (my son) was only three, so after little Jerry went to bed, I hung out with Grizzly on the front porch and we chatted and ate bologna/baloney.

Brian knew if he couldn’t find Grizzly, she was probably on my front porch.

One busy night, about three weeks after we moved in, I was talking on the phone, washing lettuce for salad, and running the dishwasher, when little Jerry asked if he could try on my rings. Because remember PAT THE BUNNY? Paul tries on Mommy’s ring. Now YOU try on Mommy’s ring. Jerry loved to try on my rings and I was trained to hand them over.

I finished my conversation, hung up the phone, stuffed the outer lettuce leaves down the garbage disposal and flipped the switch. There was this horrific grinding sound and then something plinked out of the disposal. Then something else plunked. Then another something. Finally, I got a clue and flipped the switch off and looked at the clumps of metal that the disposal had spat at me. I figured there must be some mechanical problem and the disposal was spitting up metallic bits of itself before I realized those clumps of metal were my crushed engagement band. And my crushed setting! AND MY CRUSHED WEDDING RING!

I know there was a diamond on that ring when I handed it over. Where the heck was it?!?

So I learned something that night. I can primal scream REALLY LOUD! Loud enough that my poor child ran upstairs and hid under his covers.

Who? Me?

Who? Me?

I don’t know if Brian heard me scream, but my phone rang within 3 minutes. After I told him what happened, he came right over and took everything apart, right down to the pipes in the basement, to see if he could find it.

Gone. Gone. Gone.

If I hadn’t had the dishwasher running, he said he probably could have found it. You would have to know Brian and my ring to know that there is no way he found it and stashed it to hawk on eBay. First of all, Brian is one of the most trustworthy guys I know (which is why he’s been my go-to-guy for plumbing stuff for 18 years) and second, when Jerry and I decided to get engaged, I told him he wasn’t spending a lot on the diamond because I’d rather he spent money on furniture for our home-to-be. Yes, my ring had sentimental value, but it wasn’t the type of diamond you’d sell your soul for.

Jerry offered to buy me a new diamond, but I said no. I bought a new wedding band, but I told him if I ever had a baby girl, I’d rather buy her a sapphire ring to inherit. I did have a baby girl two years later. She was a planned C-section, and coincidentally, I was offered two dates … September 28 or October 5. What I heard was … sapphire or opal?

And no, I still don’t have a puppy (yet). But after a long and happy life, Grizzly has passed on to doggie heaven, and Brian will be bringing his new BFF/dog with him to install our new garbage disposal. I don’t have any baloney. But I have some chicken 😉

About Gina Rosati

YA writer - My debut novel, AURACLE, was published by Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan in August 2012. I am represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. Dashboard photo credit - Marc Nozell
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