The alarm clock is always loud and obnoxious. It makes certain that I wake up in a bad mood. I snooze it a half dozen times, but it always returns, making me even angrier.

Then, like every morning, I remember that I need to sprint to the bathroom or suffer the twenty-minute wait that is the result of my wife beating me there. I notice that my wife is not in the bed beside me. This is not a good sign.

Jumping out of bed and running downstairs, I find the bathroom door closed. I really need to go to the bathroom.

I knock on the door, “are you almost done?”


I knock again with slightly more force.

“ARE YOU ALMOST DONE? I really need to go!” I exclaim in discomfort.

“I’ll be out in a minute. I just got in here,” came the voice from inside.

I let out a growl and begin swearing in my head.

“STOP SWEARING! I SAID I’LL BE OUT IN A MINUTE!” came the voice from behind the door again.

Apparently, I was swearing in my head loudly enough that it could be heard coming out of my mouth.

Just then, my older daughter, Hannah, appears at the bottom the stairs with an expression on her face much like what I would imagine Jack the Ripper would have on his face in the morning.

She barges past me and begins knocking on the bathroom door.

This signals the official start to the morning battle.

“STOP KNOCKING! I SAID I’LL BE OUT!” my wife screamed from within the bathroom.

“THAT’S THE FIRST TIME I’VE KNOCKED,” Hannah replied in a demonic voice.

I rolled my eyes and began swearing in my head again, only this time I made sure it stayed in my head.

The dog looked up at me, smiling, and mocking me for my discomfort at not being able to use the bathroom.

“Shut up, you stupid animal!”

“WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?” demanded the bathroom voice.

My daughter chuckled.

The dog wagged its tail.

“I was talking to the dog.”

With the flush of the toilet, the bathroom door burst open and my extremely angry wife stormed past my extremely angry self and my extremely angry daughter.

Hannah scurried into the bathroom and slammed the door.

“JERK!” I yelled.

The dog was smiling even bigger now.

I could hold it no longer, so I ran out the back door into the backyard, and relieved myself behind our lilac bush, the only spot in our yard hidden from the windows of all the neighbors. I know this, as it was not the first time I had been forced to urinate in the backyard because the bathroom was being occupied by people who had no compassion for someone who had been waiting a half hour to pee.

Back inside the house, I wandered toward the bathroom, once again, to see if it had become vacant, but the door was still closed, and I could hear the sound of the shower running.

The dog had vanished, but there sat a pile of poop where he had been mocking and smiling at my discomfort just moments before.

“STUPID DOG!” I yelled, and went to the kitchen to get something to clean up the poop.

As I pulled a wad of paper towel from off the roll, I heard a footstep on the stairs behind me. I turned to see HHHHer Royal Highness, the Morning Princess of Darkness, my younger daughter, descending with a particularly evil aura emanating from her.

No one in the family would be described as being all that pleasant in the morning, but my daughter Natalie gave new meaning to the term “not a morning person.” She elevated it to the level of a rabid psychopathic pit bull. She could be so nasty that even I try to stay out of her way in the morning. She has been this way for as long as I can remember. So much so that when she was four, I tried giving her a cup of black coffee to see if it would improve things like it does for adults, but to no avail. It only seemed to supercharge her wickedness.

Natalie’s arrival meant that the battle was now entering its peak viciousness. Walking straight to the bathroom door, Her Highness pounded violently on the door and commanded, “GET OUT!”

“I’m not done!” came Hannah’s voice from inside.

Natalie grabbed the doorknob and gave it a turn. To the surprise of both the wicked one and me, Hannah had failed to lock the bathroom door…a serious oversight on her part.

So, in barged the younger sister, slamming the door behind her. This immediately added a few levels of intensity to the already normally intense morning conflict.

“Where’s my hair straightener?”

“I have it, and it’s not yours; yours is the blue one.”

“I HATE the blue one!”


A loud crash could be heard from inside the bathroom, followed by what sounded like a scuffle.




“Tell your mom. I’m cleaning up dog poop,” I answer in between gagging from the smell of the poop I was cleaning up.



I have been waiting for my turn in the bathroom for thirty-seven minutes now. My wife, angry over the girls’ argument, storms into the bathroom and slams the door. There are now three females in a bathroom not big enough for one person and they are all in a rage.

There is screaming and more loud crashing sounds of an even bigger scuffle.

Then the door bursts open, and the three females stomp out, sobbing and muttering terrible things about the others.

At this point, I have given up on getting a turn in the bathroom and have already started heading out to my truck to wait for Her Highness, whom I take to school each day.

“I’m heading to the truck, Natalie. Hurry up, or we will both be late.”

“I can’t find any clean socks,” she grumbled back.

“I thought it was decided that we would find clean socks the night before, so we don’t have this problem anymore.”

Natalie ignores me, so I continue out the door to my truck.

After fifteen minutes of honking, Natalie finally emerges, sockless, and we are finally able to leave.

The final results of the morning battle looked something like this:

Hannah got to shower but sustained a burn to her forearm while deflecting a red hair straightener that was thrown by Natalie. The red hair straightener was damaged beyond repair from hitting the edge of the toilet bowl after deflecting off Hannah’s arm. Hannah’s hair was not straightened because of the red hair straightener’s demise and her lack of confidence in the viability of the blue hair straightener.

Natalie was the only female who was able to straighten her hair, but went to school sockless and with a ripped shirt that was the result of my wife trying to wrestle the hair dryer from her hands. Adding to her list of injuries was the fact that her iPhone was dead because she lost the battle over the only working phone charger the night before.

My wife did not have time for a shower so she applied an extra dose of deodorant and body spray to compensate. Her hair was “splash” washed in the kitchen sink, but not straightened.

I was never able to get a turn in the bathroom at all. Other than urinating in the backyard and gargling with a bottle of mouthwash (that I keep in my truck for mornings when I don’t get to use the bathroom), I was heading off to work in my original awakening condition.

All four of us were late to school and work. All four of us were in terrible moods and were convinced that we had been severely mistreated by the other three.

Overall, I would consider this an average morning. You don’t even want to hear about a bad one.

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