Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Toilet Humour

I spent the better part of Sunday with my head in the toilet.

Literally, I spent about two hours trying to fix my leaky john. The toilet had been slowly dripping for many many months (only inside the tank; there was never any leakage onto the floor). Against my better judgement, I decided to finally try to fix the thing myself, and therein started a really monstrous afternoon. Why I even attempted it is beyond me; history has proven time and time again that I am not a DIY Guy.

I ventured out to Home Depot, a place which always gives me the creeps: the place is just too big. It makes me feel like a midget. And an INCOMPETENT midget at that. I look at all those acres and acres of aisles filled with Do-It-Yourself Stuff, and I feel completely overwhelmed, as well as highly unqualified to own my own home. I mean, I can't install my own ceiling fan, I can't re-tile my floor, I can't replace my garbage disposal, I can't even Plant A Tree For The Homeless. But obviously, everybody else can.

However, I needed to buy a new toilet flush valve apparatus, encouraged by a commercial I recently saw which illustrated how easy it was to replace the thing.

Never trust commercials.

My home toolbox is limited, as is my patience for such endeavors, and after several hours contorting myself in order to reach various toilet valves and fixtures, I had succeeded in creating a leak where one had not existed before. I now had a steady dribble onto the bathroom floor.

I gave up, and headed for the yellow pages to call a plumber who would surely have gouged me for an emergency call on a Sunday. And I was kicking myself for ever starting the damn project. As I waited on hold, I thought I'd make one more effort (I inherited that little bit of stubbornness from my father), so I removed the brand new flusher and re-installed the ancient relic I started with.

The new leak stopped.

And so did the old one I was trying to fix in the first place.