Last week, my friend Muri introduced me to a poetry form called The Bop.  A Bop consists of three mono-rhymed stanzas.  Each is followed by a single-line refrain.  The first stanza is six lines and presents a problem. The second stanza is eight lines and expands on the problem.  The third stanza is six lines and documents the resolution (or failed attempt/s at resolution).

That said, The Bop is an ideal form to address daily life in 2020.  There are huge problems all around us.  But it’s the pesky little problems that seem to demand most of our attention—dead batteries, overdue books, mosquito bites, etc.  When COVID-19 became a threat, I made it a habit to flush, then wash my hands until the toilet stops running, which takes about 20 seconds.  This approach works well as long as the flapper valve closes properly.  I dread when it doesn’t because I might have to put my hand into the tank.  And even if I don’t, I’ll have to touch something that warrants another 20 seconds of handwashing.


I wipe my mucky tush,
toss paper in and flush,
and hear the water rush,
a robust cleansing gush
Down goes all the mush
but trickling, unhushed

whooshes in my ears

I wait a minute more
Quit running, I implore
A hit-the-flush encore
is weaker than before
and still the filler roars
Jig-jiggles are ignored
A loud and clear call for
internal maneuvers

whooshes in my ears

Let the games begin!
With clank of porcelain,
lid lifted, hand plunged in
dodging chains and pins
reseats valve seal again
A sweet but fleeting win

whooshes in my ears

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14 thoughts on “JUST BOPPIN’ ALONG

  1. murisopsis June 27, 2020 / 10:50 pm

    This is a universal problem! Our downstairs commode flapper likes to stick. It will be fine for weeks and then it isn’t! The clank and thud of the lid and a flick of the flapper and all is well until the next flush. Then it is an encor!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 28, 2020 / 9:01 am

      You said it, Muri. Our water is hard, so it causes build-up on rubber seals including the toilet flapper. The running toilet issue is random and most likely to occur when I don’t have the time or inclination to deal with it. I know the water in the tank is clean, but I hate sticking my hand in there and touching its rusty, murky, slimy inner workings. Thanks for the introduction to a fun, new form. 🙂


  2. Tippy Gnu June 28, 2020 / 7:40 am

    Running toilets are damned annoying. I’ve gone so far as to buy kits for $30 that converts the flusher from ball and chain to a mechanism that slides up and down. That works well if you install it right. I also bought a pressure-flush toilet, and that works well too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 28, 2020 / 9:18 am

      I agree, Tippy. I may change up the inner workings of the commode at some point. I think the problem is hard water build-up on the flapper. It breaks the seal, so water leaks out and prevents the tank from ever getting full enough to activate the doo-dad that stops the flow. I have to rub or scrape off the build-up, then it works fine for a while. I love pressure flush toilets. I had a top-of-the-line one at my old house, an American Standard Champion 4. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zakiah July 11, 2020 / 8:40 pm

    WOW! I smiled all the way to the end of the poem.
    Thank you for the comment at my response to Val (murisopsis). I appreciated that… a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan July 12, 2020 / 9:03 am

      Glad you enjoyed it, Zakiah. Muri’s blog is a favorite of mine, we have similar poetic tastes (rhyme, a wide variety of forms). It’s rare that I comment on a comment, but I liked yours a lot. 🙂


    • Just Joan July 20, 2020 / 6:48 pm

      Thanks, JR. I was doing the “sing Happy Birthday twice” handwashing method and realized the toilet stopped running in about the same amount of time, so that became the cue. Which works fine until the toilet DOESN’T stop running. And then I’m like, Hey, I’ve been washing so long I’m about to scrub my skin off! What gives? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan July 23, 2020 / 2:18 pm

      In this case, Murisopsis introduced me to a new form. I tossed that info into the hopper and a few days later, my brain zeroed in on a situation that fit. All that was left to do was work it out on paper and come up with the rhymes. Our lives are rather boring right now, so we have to take amusement where we can get it. Sticking my hand into the tank may be gross, but it’s nothing compared to the porta-potty pumper’s job. At least the toilet paper shortage has resolved. 🙂


  4. circumstance227 July 25, 2020 / 1:52 pm

    This poem of yours will whoosh in my ears for a long, long time!
    (Do I need to add a smiey-face here?)

    Liked by 1 person

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