24 June 2007

A Tale Of Two Toilets

Posted by Picasa
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. My toilets offended me so I cast
them out...all by myself, even!


Have you ever used a toilet? It's that big porcelain thing full of water in that "closet" in the house that has other stuff that water comes out of. Looks kinda like something that would be produced if the "comedy" mask mated with the Elephant Man. Yeah, that thing. If you find one in your house, give it a wide berth and approach it with caution. If my experience is any indication, it could capriciously explode at any moment.

I only ask because I know you're the practical sort and as such may have eschewed the use of such sophisticated and pernicious plumbing accoutrements in favor of a large yard, some wide-leafed shrubs and a sturdy spade. Hey, I'm with you. If it's good enough for the cat... Unfortunately my wife does not share this purview, and demanded that I replace the toilets.

Wait, I'm ahead of myself.

I have two toilets in the house, one upstairs and one in the apartment downstairs. The downstairs toilet had been a cauldron of filth since the day we moved in. From the looks of it, the former tenants attempted to flush toxic waste and dead prostitutes with little success. To make matters worse, the owner of the house left the apartment unheated when it wasn't occupied, thus creating a cave-like atmosphere which in turn caused the toilet to grow a rather stout green beard 'round about the seat. It more closely resembled a troll than anything else. To our credit, we did give it a very thorough cleaning. This removed the beard, but not toxic waste or prostitute residue. It was functional nonetheless, so we (meaning I) took occasion to make it feel useful from time to time. It returned my kindness by failing. To wit, the wall spigot went to hell and then the inflow valve went on vacation. And one of the bolts that secures it to the shitter cap snapped off. As you can surmise, using this toilet was like the combined thrill of riding a mechanical bull while hoping against hope for a payoff from a slot machine. It had to go.

On the upside, even if the downstairs toilet was ferkochte, we still had the upstairs toilet. But then that one decided - apropos of nothing - to fracture its tank and send wee little tsunami rumbling through the bathroom...at 9PM...on a school night. I mean no one was even sitting on the goddamn thing when it busted! I say if you're going to crack and flood my bathroom, at least let it be because I beat you with a Crescent wrench. (How frequently do you say that and to whom? The authorities would like to know. -Ed.)

So there we were, a household without Toilet One, having to clench our bowels through the dark night, into the next day, and down the street to the Starbucks. When morning came, I called the first number of the first plumber on the first piece of junk mail I could find. (By the way, I found out that your mortgage company pimps out your personal information to every Tom, Dick and Plumber in thirty states the minute your loan funds.) Luckily, these guys were the shit (pun intended). They showed up on time (which just about made me faint dead away), took an educated and meaningful look at my situation, and showed me the rate sheet. They told me that what I could do for ten bucks worth of parts, they couldn't do for $400 in labor. They told me the parts I needed, and bid me adieu with no charge whatsoever for the call. I am their customer for life.

In the process of replacing the parts, I got the overwhelming "fuckitden" urge. If we were just going to replace the toilet when we refurbished the bathroom, just fuckitden. Might as well rip the freakin' things out and install a new one. Which is precisely what I did. I tore out two toilets and purchased and installed a new one. Now at least we have one functioning toilet. We also have one hole in the floor downstream from it that roars and gurgles every time you flush. I'm thinking of jamming a big-ass funnel in there and using it just the same (pun not intended), long as I can keep it secret from the wife.

But here's the important thing, not only was my standing as a man increased by doing all of this*, my admiration for our brother John's vocation as a plumber is now boundless. Now I know that he has to deal with The Most Noisome And Disgusting Object Known To Man on a daily basis - the wax ring that seals the toilet to the sewer pipe and keeps the evil locked within. I'd go into more detail, but you no doubt have a peanut butter sandwich in your hand at this very moment and will chunder directly into your tuba if I say any more.

Which reminds me of something I heard the Dalai Lama said once regarding attachment: "Even a delicious piece of chocolate cake eventually becomes something that no one likes."

Namaste on that, my brother!



...not to mention the angle that I stand at, considering that deadlifting and carrying two toilets fucked up my back Grand Royal.

No comments: