Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Toilet Queen

Well, strike up the marching band and scatter the rose petals. I am the Duchess of Dookieville.

I fixed the toilet.

It's just a little thing I thought I'd try. It's been decades since I could trade on my looks and even then I was just scraping by. I've always gotten a lot further with my sense of humor. But these days people are liable to just stare at you when you crack wise about the old Studebaker and having to go stand in line at the bank for money. I've decided to learn how to do some shit myself in case all my dwindling powers of ingratiation leave me stranded.

The toilet would be a big deal. I don't know much about plumbing but I do know it can make grown men cry and throw things. I do know every time I noticed a new plumbing issue, I would attach a note to the dog and send her out to find Dave. I do know that he would invariably tackle the job and eventually solve it but not without skinned knuckles, bruised ears for blocks around, and eighteen trips to the hardware store. Plumbing involves striking a balance between one's brute strength and the sensitivities of the pipes in question. Things need to be Goldilocks tight and no tighter or looser, but the little blonde is long gone. You think Papa Bear is scary? Give him a plumbing project.

I figured if I could fix the toilet myself I'd have enough credits lined up to allow me to be a jerk for weeks. Dave and I are very close to our toilets. You wouldn't believe how close, really. Downright intimate.

The toilet in question still worked, after a fashion. You could flush it and everything. It just took a day and a half to fill up again. You'd want to do the very best job you could before you flushed, because you were going to have to wait three whistleblower scandals and a paid-off porn queen before you got another flush out of it. I was puzzled. Then I realized there must be debris in the uppy-downy contraption where the water comes back in. I you-tubed it. My diagnosis was sound.

The trick is to get in there and screw off the tippy-top of the uppy-downy and flush it out. This was a little fraught because all the parts were plastic, and reluctant, and you don't want to snap anything off that can't be resnapped later. But I did it. Then you hold a cup over the top of the valve and turn the water back on. We have excellent water pressure. I nearly drove the cup into the ceiling. Then you put everything back together again and hope for the best. A body can hope, right?

Sure enough I flushed the toilet and the water came charging back into the tank. I was the Toilet Queen! Bow down before me! Run a damp towel and some Lysol around the floor while you're down there!

The next time I flushed we were right back where we started.

This was, I'm sure, a direct result of the dishwasher fiasco. The installers insisted I bring in a plumber to fix the shutoff valve and the plumber turned off the water for the house. When he turned it on again, all the faucets and toilets made an explosive horking sound the first time they were used. I figure rust nuggets from 1926 are on the loose and one of them was now a Toilet Bolus.

Which means the entire uppy-downy thing needed to be replaced. That was eight and a half bucks of potential glory in one little box. The hardware store lady said it was easy. I wasn't born even close to yesterday. I ratcheted my expectations way down. But it was easy. Even all the little nuts and washers spun right off and back on again. I was a hero. I was the Countess of Caca.

Dave taught me long ago that an essential step in any successful personal project is to grab a beer and position a chair so that you can admire your work. It's a little tight in that room, but I'm going for it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, was World Toilet Day: "Leave No One Behind."

21 comments:

  1. I find that whenever I need to work on a project that is something I have never done before, the project always goes through three phases:

    Phase 1: Read up on it a/o YouTube it, say "Well, that seems simple" and start on the project.

    Phase 2: Run into a chicane, throw things and curse, grab a beer to calm down.

    Phase 3: While drinking said beer and glaring at the offending project, a light bulb goes off. I try something seemingly random, or else it occurs to me what the problem is, and voila -- it works!

    So it seems that Dave is right -- alcohol IS an integral step in fixing something. I just find that it seems to be a necessary step somewhere in the middle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alcohol as a final step does not preclude premature alcoholing.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sparing us the plumber's crack. Unless Dave stood in for you, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome to the Wench With A Wrench contingent! I'm proud of you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. (sigh) Toilet life was so much easier, before the invasion of plastic parts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember all you used to have to do was reef up on the toilet-ball arm.

      Delete
  5. Had a bad landlord once (well knew several who were categorized "bad") in London. After three calls to ask him to send a plumber and three no-plumber responses I went to a hardware store, told them the problem, asked if they had what I'd need to fix it. Got a nice print-out of the items and final cost, added my time at the going rate for plumbers (Checked that with the Union) and deducted it from my rent. Landlord threatened to take me to court.I "Esther Rantzen'd" him and he backed down.Toilet was still working just fine when I left 6 years later.( Google can probably tell you about Esther Rantzen.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He backed down and the toilet didn't back up. Good job lady.

      Delete
  6. My daughter has a temperamental toilet, sometimes you flush and it fills right back up, sometimes it thinks about filling up before the water starts flowing back in, sometimes it doesn't fill at all. That's when we take the lid off and press down on the dooverlacky to start the water flowing and put the lid back on. She should get it fixed, the landlord lives right next door, but he's well known for using whatever spare parts look the least broken that he keeps in a box somewhere.
    The trick with plumbing and explosive horking pipes is to turn the water off, then turn the taps to a half on position. Then when the water is turned back on it will push out any air that has collected in the pipes and run straight out the taps which you then turn off. The explosive horking is the trapped air bubbles being released. I know this because my dad was a plumber/gas fitter. Here in the flats, if I'm home and the water is turned off because a major pipe needs work, I'll run around and turn my taps on until the water is back on. if I'm out, I'll get the explosive horking when I fill the kettle for coffee after arriving home. I suppose it's too much trouble for the plumbers to go around to 110 flats and let them know the water will be off, and most people these days don't know about leaving the taps on anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I got distracted after "explosive horking is the trapped air bubbles being released." Kind of personal, that.

      Delete
  7. Brava! Brava! When I understood the dynamics of the toilet, the universe opened up to me. Everything depends upon clearance and siphoning --and yes, possibly magic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Did you know that one can tighten the big plastic (grrrr) screws that hold the toilet seat to the big rig even while when sitting on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No ma'am I did not. I'm going to jot that down.

      Delete
    2. Only if your arms are long enough. Mine are a tad on the short side. Thanks mum. shoulda growed me proper-like.

      Delete
  9. You don't have to have a beard to _____ (insert handyman job here). In this case, "do plumbing work". Yay!!

    I stole that line from somebody's blog, by the way. The author does a lot of her own household repairs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I do have chin hairs. A "starter set," as Dave has put it. Although he was referring to his chest hair at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. WELCOME TO THE ILLUMINATI GRAND LODGE, WORLD WIDE!!!

    This is an open invitation for you to become part of the world's biggest conglomerate and reach the peak of your career. As we begin this year's recruitment program and our annual feast of harvest is almost at hand. Are you a businessman/woman, politician, singer, student, writer, pastor, footballer etc. and you want to be rich, powerful and be famous in life? If yes, you can achieve your dreams by becoming a member of the Illuminati brotherhood and receive a monthly salary of $500,000 USD. We are ready to change your life, we can make your Dreams come true, the great illuminati district offers you a life time opportunity of making your heart desires come true..

    Once you're a member of the ILLUMINATI you'll become:

    *Rich

    *Powerful

    *Famous

    With this, all your dreams and heart desire can be fully accomplish, So you're advised to make up your mind and join the Great Illuminati Brotherhood and become rich and famous in life population and also be protected from all evils against you and your family.
    If you've made up your mind and ready to be part of the family, then contact us via WhatsApp: +1 315 203 9948 or our official Email: {officialilluminati999@gmail.com}

    You can also visit our Websites for more info: https://illuminatiofficial666world.webs.com

    ReplyDelete