Flying Porta-Potties and Other Curiosities
Written by
Ann Lineberger
September 2018
Written by
Ann Lineberger
September 2018

After reading the morning headlines, I like to scroll Facebook for funny videos. Recently, I’ve found two memorable ones.

The first one is of several Porta-Potties that took flight in a park in Colorado. It was a windy day in Denver, and it blew them into a series of parked minivans and then sky born. Incredibly, no one was hurt as flocks of parkgoers ran for cover while waste spewed from the sky. The second video is of a white minivan towing a U-haul. The camper wasn’t correctly hitched, and after it slammed into the minivan causing considerable damage, it flipped on its side. The driver didn’t stop to right it, and it’s seen being dragged down the highway with sparks flying. As the camera zooms closer, I expected to see Clark Griswold behind the wheel.

Curiosities fuel my writing. Of the two videos, I can relate to the second one the most. One summer when I was a sophomore in high school, my mom and I towed a fourteen-foot Laser to a sailing regatta in Long Island. To get to the competition, we had to cross five highways and the Throgs Neck Bridge. The turn signal of the trailer hadn’t been adequately connected, but we didn’t know it. Every lane shift or attempt at a lane shift was met with furious beeping followed by lunging middle fingers as cars roared past us. My boat rattled and bounced along, miraculously, still attached.

Then my mother got lost, and we ended up at a gas station in Harlem. I remember in vivid detail her attempt at a fast turn around that temporarily jammed the trailer hitch causing our car and the trailer to be positioned in a perfectly immobile V. When we finally arrived in Long Island, my sailing instructor questioned why we were late. The explosive interaction that followed led to my boat being towed home by him and to and from every race for the rest of the season.

After watching the U-Haul video, I wondered if my mother would have kept driving if my boat had flipped on its side while we were on the highway? The answer is a confident yes. And I also wondered what I would have done in her position. She was a single mother of three children, and until she was in that arrangement, she had hauled little in her life. I imagined that I would keep driving, too, if I thought no one would get hurt.

My next book, Sunday Best, is due out in September. It’s a darkly comic mystery that revolves around a clairvoyant named Eleanor Powers who starts an alternative church in the 70s. Her daughters, Lauren Mark and Brooke Edwards, have long suspected she’s a con artist. Her “gift” arrived too neatly, appearing within days of their father’s sudden death when Eleanor was most worried about finances. The sisters are largely estranged from their mother and her church, Unify, as adults but when their employer, real estate and publishing mogul Walter Bloom, is the victim of a sex crime, which is linked to the unsolved, decades-old, murder of one of Unify’s original members, they’re thrown into an investigation revolving around Eleanor, Unify, and the secreted sex clubs he frequented. Sunday Best offers a satirical look into these unique worlds as a study of the selling of hope in contemporary America.

This is my first post on She Writes, and the ones that follow are meant to amuse, but some will cover serious subjects. Prominent journalist and novelists will be featured. I hope you will read along.


If you liked reading this post, please let me know. I'm working on a series of personal essays and short stories (memoir and fiction) to be published next year and the ones I get positive feedback on will be included.


Additionally, if you liked this essay, please check out my website, novels and follow me on social media: 

Sunday Best  and The Adjustments

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Thank you for your time! I know how precious it is and how much competes for it. Thank you!! Thank you!! 

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