Small Talk

Water pineapple

May 27th, 2011

My friend Paul Drewes always likes the soothing sound of a babbling brook. On his desk at work, he used to have a small fountain. When it broke, we went during one dinner break to the store to pick out a new one because he had to have white noise.


Recently, he gave me a water feature. It's a plug in waterfall, about four feet high, in which water flows down a concrete mold featuring a pineapple impression. He used to have it on his lanai, but after he moved to his new house, he has a waterfall with a koi pond, so he has no need for a dinky plug in like that.

I thought I would take it to work, but after I took it out of my car to dust it off and test it out, it never made it that far. I placed it near the back of the living room, the closest I could get to the great outdoors without risking errant high winds knocking it over and breaking it.

I happily filled it with water and plugged it in, and started enjoying the white noise of running water. I haven't owned a water feature before, so I was curious to see how this new decoration would fit into our acoustic and aesthetic home design. Not bad, I thought. Like having classical radio playing in the background.

It was all great, until Claus came home. He's really a quiet guy, so he didn't complain until I solicited his opinion, and even then, it was very passive. "I'll remember to ask Bob at the office if he wants to put a water feature around the building."

"You were thinking about that?" I asked.

"No," he said.


Then a trickle of sarcastic comments over the next few days: "It used to be so nice and quiet in this house. Now I always feel like I have to pee." "Even with the heavy rains the loudest thing in this house is still the waterfall."

The night of the thunderstorms, I told him, "Now you can't hear the waterfall."

"What?" he teased. "Yeah, when the rain is over 100 decibels is when you can't hear it. That's right."

I was still determined to ignore my husband, until my dad came over. "What is that noise?" he asked, not knowing I had this new contraption."Is your pipe broken somewhere?"

I pointed out the waterfall. My dad considered that, but later, still commented that it reminds him of when his toilet broke.

I give up. I thought I was being all Zen, but apparently the only ambiance I'm fostering is that of a small bladder or a commode in need of repair. I might have to take this out of my house... and to the office.

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Posted in dad, family, mom | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Water pineapple”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    I'm with Claus. I treasure aloneness which protects me from other people demanding my immediate attention; and I treasure silence, which allows me to hear that "still, small voice within." Some monks live under total silence for nearly the whole day, every day, so they can concentrate on meditation and prayer.

    But then there are people who simply cannot tolerate aloneness and silence. They feel a need to fill every moment with activities. And if there's ever a time when nobody else is around and no chores await, they then invent some hobby to keep them busy, or get a pet to interact with, or make a baby. And if there's any chance of silence, they destroy it by playing muzak or running an artificial waterfall. I think they're afraid to face themselves or to have a relationship with God.

    It's very hard to find solitude and quiet, especially when we live in a city with so many people nearby, punctuated with the sirens of ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, etc. I choose Shhhhh when possible. It's better than blub-blub-burble as the fake waterfall guarantees I won't need to hear myself think.

  2. Rosette:

    I prefer quiet no sound ...sometimes hard..I am use to being alone then add everbody around me I go nuts...! My husband he likes all sorts of things and he constantly bother me...I keep telling him I am use to being alone quiet then all of sudden when I am around people hard to get along..I prefer no talking during supper and everybody talk..but anyway I learn to go with the flow....if the water fountain drives me crazy and my husband likes it I plot to break it in half..voila problem solve! I have a pretty fountian my husband wanted I HIDE THE PLUG..funny then we argue..I ACT INNOCENT I WIN ANYWAY..peace quiet at last! I can tolerate things...I have patience.

    FOUNTAIN OR my husband SNORE! I cannot unplug my husband..I tell him oh I am happy you are off to work..quiet again..funny!

  3. Rosette:

    anyway...we visited this couple with a water thingy in their fancy living room...kind of loud and husband like it...good thing we just visit or I go nuts! I even plotted to throw my husband noisy water filter thingy for his fish..I plotted to kill the fish when he goes to work but I feel bad so I took out the noisy filter and I put the fish in his room..the fish still lives my husband said it wont live but the fish is fine no noise! WHY HE HAS THINGS HE DOESn'T EVEN TAKE CARE OF THE FISH I feed it behind his back when he is not around. I feel bad for the fish I toss or break things slowly if things annoying me ... Same thing with our dogs loves dogs then I am stuck with dogs..lucky I know how to train dogs I find you have to tolerate and learn to be at peace...OR BREAK IT PROBLEM SOLVE!

  4. Rosette:

    I learn to be with noisy things and quiet things..I have to when no one is around put my own quiet music and be at peace with the dogs and when everybody is around I learn to get along with noise..I can tolerate both so long as I can yell at them SHUT UP!

  5. Rosette:

    the funny thing I can sleep in the noisy bar..I can sleep all sorts of noise but snoring to block that rioght in my ear!

  6. zzzzzz:

    In this day and age, quietness is a precious commodity.

    Perhaps a white noise generator like this is most appropriate in an environment that is not very quiet, like a working newsroom.

    At home, it might prevent you from knowing whether your toilet is operating properly.

  7. moiman:

    I like the silence also. But I know that I need to make the concious effort to talk to my wife. She is a talker. Oh goes on.

  8. Rosette:

    oh speaking of noise ..just wait until you are sitting in the emergency room and they have a fridge machine thingy sells drinks LOUD HUMMING OH IF I CAN GET MY HANDS ON THE PLUG I UNPLUG THE DARN THING!
    Even at home any white noise drives me crazy..I am use to very quiet alone time..then I walk by the fridge..OMG! I even turn off my computer it humming driving me crazy!
    I often tell my husband I am not use to noises so any talking drives me nuts sometimes...I ENJOY ALONE TIME ..he talks about annoying things...honestly who on earth would talk when I just get up in the morning I mean noon..I get up at noon. I relax I have my usual schedule of doing nothing and here I get commotion !

    it is good to have kids and dogs if you train them properly...I figure I put in my tiem raising kids so now my oldest does the shopping food and he pays for the vet for dogs and my dogs I train to pee and poo in one I relax ALONE PEACE AT LAST!

    I found my best hobby doing nothing but sitting alone outside!

  9. Rosette:

    yes who would put noisy drink machine in emergency ....I bring and pack my own apples and youngest son had ear issues...

    great to have kids my oldest can drive me around and keep me company and he not the yappy youngest OH DEAR...!

  10. Rosette:

    reason why you marry a person opposite so you balance each other

  11. Rosette:

    oh I get it you need that waterfall to drown the crying tantrum fits!

  12. Rosette:

    this is funny test a monk and see if he can pray with water flowing and noisy if the monk can do that he is tranformed a MOTHER ..funny!

    I can block things if I have to.

  13. Rosette:

    I don't mind waterfall if someone cleans it...I tell you next time we visited the couple with waterfall the thing wasn't working BROKEN more junk to collect in the middle of the room if you don't clean that you have work to I pick tiny water fountain that can be unplug outside!

  14. Titus:

    That's an unusual water feature. I've never seen one like it.

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