Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I thought I could do it

They say you learn something new every day. Well recently, I learned I'm not a plumber. Now some of you may have already realized that. I sure wish I had.

Case in point: I'd been after my husband for several weeks to fix a running toilet. It's a waste of water, it's annoying and worst of all, when the house is quiet at the end of the day, it becomes that niggling thing that makes me feel like we haven't quite gotten enough done.

So the other night, when the house was quiet and all I could hear was the blasted toilet running, I decided to do something about it. It's just plumbing, right? Pipes and ball plungers are logical. They follow the rules of physics. I can reason my way through it (or so I tell myself). And just because it's 11:50 p.m. doesn't mean I can't start a new project.

I went and got tools from the basement, I put on a baseball hat (not sure how that was supposed to help, but I did it), I lifted the back lid and started fiddling. Now I am proud to say I figured out the problem. The little tube with the ball on the end needed to be out of the water and the water would stop running. But that's where my expertise ended. How to get the little ball to stay out of the water? Holding it up all night wasn't an option. See? Logical.

While figuring out what to do next, I bent the little tube back, just to see how far it could go. I was curious. Don't you want to know how far it can go? No, you don't. Snap! The tube broke. Then the one attached broke. Water shot up to the ceiling. It was like a geyser. Water shot out toward me, in case I wasn't soaked enough. My husband was out of town (or else he would have talked me out of this at the baseball cap stage). I call him to ask him how the heck I was supposed to shut off the water. He told me about the valve on the side of the commode (proving yet again that I'm not a plumber).

The bathroom is filling with water faster than the Titanic. I'm on my hands and knees, trying to turn the knob, only it will not budge (no doubt fastened by someone much stronger than me). I'm reduced to begging a toilet knob to turn while scrambling through my mental rolodex to decide which neighbor to wake at midnight in order to turn the knob in a bathroom that now has at least a half an inch of water on the floor.

Finally, it turns. The water ceases. I'm soaked to the bone and the toilet is way, way broken. I clean everything up, thank my frantic husband, take a shower and ponder just why I thought I was a plumber in the first place.

Want to know my theory? I think it has something to do with the fact that writers are curious people. The same thing that makes me want to ride with Harley bikers and their dogs is the same thing that made me want to explore the intricacies of toilet maintenance. If the tube hadn't snapped, I might have succeeded (Don't tell my husband I said that. He's still a bit horrified.)

And while things didn't work out the other night, I don't think I want to change. Well, until the next home crisis.


catslady said...

Thank you so much for the laugh at your expense. I have jiggled and got it to stop and thank goodness I didn't snap anything. And luckily my husband is handy that way and doesn't go out of town lol.

Brandy said...

I'm sorry to say you had me giggling. I understand the urge to fix the toilet and the unfortunate incident thereafter. *g* Hope the resulting fix isn't too expensive.