Out of Patience
by Brian Meehl
YA fiction. 292 pp.
Twelve-year-old Jake Waters is mortified by his dad's dream of opening the American Toilet Museum. Jake's heard enough about antique toilet seats, royal chamber pots, and vintage plumbers. Toilets have caused enough turmoil in Patience, Kansas, already.
You see, Patience is cursed. Has been ever since 1877, when Jeremiah Waters installed the first flush toilet west of the Mississippi. The Dolphin Deluge Wash-Down Water Closet caused a mighty big stink, and since then Patience has been drying up like a cow pie in August. Sure, Jake likes playing work-up baseball with his pals Howie and Sira, but he's tired of waiting for the curse to finish off their tiny town.
Jake wants out of Patience.
Sure enough, when Jake's father brings an ancient relic back home for his museum, it triggers the curse's last promise: "The day the Plunger of Destiny returns, the final destruction begins!" As clouds of doom gather, Jake is torn between the urge to run and the desire to do the one thing that might save Patience: solve the mystery of what happened the day Jeremiah Waters last sat in the water closet of doom.
Join Jake and his friends as they try to flush out the truth in Brian Meehl's twisted tale of pipe dreams and toilet trouble.
I got this book a while ago because it sounded quirky and fun. Then it ended up on the To Read Pile of Doom, and eventually settled down to the point where it finally winded up shelved and unread. While I was shelving the books I've bought and read in the last few months, I remembered that I had this book as I put Suck It Up, also by Meehl, in its place. This weekend, because I finished a couple books and Mothstorm still hadn't come in from the Devil's Den and I was just having a hard time getting into Inkdeath, I decided to pick this off the shelf.
I'm so glad I did.
Out of Patience is delightfully quirky in the same way that Holes is quirky, though not quite as complicated. And what's not to love about a story that revolves around the history of toilets and plungers and a bizarre curse? Where the local baseball team gets up for the Seventh Inning Stench as the trucks from the local fertilizer company drive by making their deliveries? The characters are realistic and truly likable. I think this is something Meehl does well, as I compare his two books. He creates protagonists that are quirky and lovable and who you really want to succeed.
Anyway, I recommend this book to those who enjoyed Suck It Up or Holes.