Thursday, July 23, 2009

Imagine my Discouragement

I have a knack for fixing running toilets. So I'm pretty much in charge of fixing toilets at our house.



I've had lots of experience. I've fixed the toilets of friends, family, neighbors... I once fixed a stranger's toilet over the phone and even invited her to call me if it gave her any more trouble. She never called back, so I assume all is well.

I should say here, that fixing a running toilet isn't particularly difficult: tighten screw, reattach loose chain, untangle chain, lift stuck floating plunger thingy, add a little WD40, etc...

My knack for fixing toilets does not come from me being especially clever, it comes from my willingness to stick my hand into the toilet tank.

Toilets are disgusting. They're necessary evils, and if they weren't necessary, we'd want nothing to do with them. We despise them. We turn our backs on them. We read borrowed books on them. We clean them from five feet away, using long plastic tools with flushable scrubbers on the end. Vomiting is the closest we'll ever come to them, but when that passes, we turn our backs on them once again, the disgusting creatures.

My point is, most people don't want to get up-close and personal with their toilet, and that includes the toilet tank, despite the fact that it's full of drinkable water*. So if it starts running, they ignore the problem for as long as possible. By the time I offer my services, their toilet may have been running for weeks, even months. I proceed to fix the problem in 0.5 minutes, and then I get to be present as the owner enjoys the silence for the first time in a long time...

Imagine my pride. Imagine their gratitude. Imagine my satisfaction.

A few weeks ago, the toilet in my master bathroom started running. The moment I noticed it, I removed the tank lid without missing a beat and assessed the situation. Screws looked tight, chain was attached and untangled, floating thingy was floating in place... I couldn't figure out what the problem was.

The best I could do was get it to stop running in between flushes, but a permanent fix continues to elude me. I keep opening that tank, jiggling levers, examining the tiny tower, pulling little chains... but I remain completely stumped.

Imagine my frustration. Imagine my humility. Imagine the sleepless nights.

Today, I realized that my recent lack of motivation and extreme un-productivity is directly linked to my running toilet. How am I supposed to feel inspired to accomplish anything when I can't even fix a toilet?

*I have never drank toilet tank water, nor would I ever do so, even if my life depended on it.

11 comments:

Hot Pants said...

It's true you gize. She totally helped me fix mine once when she was visiting. BTW, I can't believe you put your DC that close to poop.

Jana said...

Your talents are endless.

Erin Beck said...

Just reading all that "crap" makes me want to poop...Listen for the phone soon! Your the best!

Memzy said...

Your post is a breath of (un)fresh air in a world of blogging sludge. Whycome blogging cant find me this summer?

Flem said...

Did you bend the arm to create a higher flow for the tank?

I know you did, but wanted to sound like I could contribute somehow.

Have you ever replaced a toilet? That open hole on the floor with gases from the sewer floating into the br. Yeah, gross.

This post was super well written and interesting btw.

eekareek said...

I am with Amy. Why did you put your DC on the back of the toilet. I never even walk into a bathroom with an open beverage or any kind of food. It is simply disgusting. That being said, if there was an emergency and my life depended on it, I think I could drink out of the tank but only with ice in it. I could also do it for a million dollars...or a thousand dollars. Who am I kidding, I would do it for a hundred bucks.




P.S. I forgot to pay you for dad's Father's Day gift when you were here. I will just mail you a check.

Mary said...

Sorry you're stumped, sweetie. But I do take pride in the fact that it doesn't happen often. As far as drinking water from the tank, I think I could stomach it if I hadn't had any liquid and was dying and could add a bit of crystal light to it!

Landee said...

I drink from the tank all the time. What's the big deal?

Also, I was thinking CEC had sucked the life out of you. Glad to hear it's just a little wasteful water issue.

I miss you.

Emily said...

Your endless supply of talents never cease to amaze me! Man, I wish you lived by me! Do you also have skills when it comes to un-clogging toilets?

eekareek said...

What are your skills like in the kitchen? Are they good there?

ManicMandee said...

You should be a plumber. Those people make bank! I've been ripped off by plumbers too many times.