A problem of plumbing

Bellarosa, James

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Jan-12-1999


The narrator, a cultured, educated man who happens to require a wheelchair, describes the start of his relationship with Marcia, who is beautiful, refined, and equally well educated. The narrator tries to impress Marcia with his personality and intellect, and the sparks between them are obvious. But all the while he grows more frustrated and embarrassed at the lack of accessibility of toilet facilities during their date. He argues that his disability should not diminish his capacity to conduct a normal conversation and that getting access to toilet facilities should not necessitate a public discussion of his need to urinate.


Despite its rather angry tone, this story is effective in conveying the frustration of a disabled man trying to live a normal, civilized life.

Primary Source

A Problem of Plumbing


John Daniel

Place Published

Santa Barbara, Calif.



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