November 09, 2005

The toilet incident

Last night I had just put the kid in the bathtub when she announced that she had to pee. Okay, back out of the tub, water all over the floor, my socks get wet, and back into the tub she goes. I flush the toilet, but it really doesn’t flush. The bowl emptied, but no water filled it back up again.

I take the top of the tank off and have a look. Everything looks right, the fill tank is full of water; it just didn’t go down into the toilet. I noticed that the chain was a little loose so I tighten it up and flush again just to check. This time I held the handle down longer and it worked. But I couldn’t leave it alone because I’m fucking obsessive-compulsive. I started shaking the different parts around to see what’s loose and I eventually press down on some lever and water shoots out and I can’t stop it and the fill tank is getting over full.

Now I start panicking because if I flood the upstairs bathroom it won’t be long before it somehow finds it’s way downstairs. Meanwhile the kid’s yammering a mile a minute and I can’t concentrate. And my socks are wet and I can’t tolerate that above all. So I’m trying to stop the water rising by pulling up on the float and nothing’s happening and the kid’s still talking a mile a minute and asking questions about the toilet that I wished I could answer and I look over and she’s standing up in the tub trying to see what I’m doing.

Standing in the tub is dangerous and raises my level of panic to a higher degree because now I’ve got her by one arm trying to sit her down and I know that the water is about to overflow. I get the kid to sit down and then I reached down and closed the valve, effectively shutting off the toilet. I stopped to catch my breath and I immediately notice that the shutoff valve is now leaking. All I did was turn the fucking thing off and now it’s leaking. I tell the kid not to move a muscle and bolt downstairs to get some paper towels, thinking that surely it will stop leaking in a minute but when I get back upstairs it’s still going strong and the kid is hollering that she wants to get out so she can help, even though she hasn’t had an actual bath yet.

My old lady is still at yoga and it’s past the kid’s bedtime and the stress is much worse than at work and I don’t know what the fuck to do first. I decide that taking off the wet socks is the first priority, so I sit down on the little bathroom rug to take them off, having forgotten the kid went in and out of the tub and then I had a wet ass. Meanwhile, I cannot convey in words how the kid, still in the tub, was shouting questions and commands and hollering about getting out. All concentration was lost.

I knew that if my old lady came home and found the kid still awake I’d have her going crazy on top of everything else. So I handed the kid a bar of soap and told her to wash up while I checked the shutoff valve again. It was just a slow drip so I ran downstairs and got some Tupperware and an old towel and stuck it under the valve. I played around with all the parts inside the toilet tank until I was pretty sure it would work and opened the valve again. I flushed. No luck.

All I could do was shake the different parts around and I eventually go the thing to work and I look over at the kid and she’s sitting in water that is absolutely full of soap. And she’s full of soap. It was a sea of soap. And I remembered that I can’t let the kid sit in soap for any length of time because it will irritate her parts or some shit that I really don’t want to know about so I pulled the plug and ran new water and got her all rinsed off and out of the tub in record time. Meanwhile, I still had a wet ass and that’s even worse than wet socks. Eventually I got the kid in bed and fixed myself a drink. When the wife came home I had to re-enact the whole thing.

As of this morning, the valve was still dripping into the Tupperware but the toilet works as long as you hold the handle down when you flush. Now you have to count one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi before you can let go of the handle. And it’s hanging over my head because after work I’ve got to fix the whole mess and I already know how that’s going to turn out. It was a bad night.

Posted by Paul! at November 9, 2005 08:46 AM | TrackBack

Man, what a mess. As a guy who thinks outside the box, my advice is two-fold:
First, smash the toilet to bits. It's obviously a nuisance, and you can do anything in a decent sink that you can do in a toilet. I mean really, let's change the paradigm here people.
Secondly, since you've already got a water hookup right there and the newly freed-up space; build yourself a wet bar.

Problem solved, and next time something in the bathroom starts leaking while the kid is in the bath, you won't have to go all the way downstairs for a drink.

Posted by: shank at November 9, 2005 10:13 AM

Bad night? Man, if that was a production project it would have been rated a complete success. The twin objectives of a clean child and a flushed and functional toilet were reached. Sure, there was a little pain along the way and there are a couple of issues remaining but you can easily classify them as enhancements and push them over to Support.

Good job, Paul.

Posted by: Jim at November 10, 2005 06:12 AM

Yoga sucks. I'd beat her (the wife) and then make her go into the 'Accepting Schlong' position. If she can't lick your nuts during that, cancel all the checks to that fake-ass yogi.

I find that dropping the hair drier into the tub pretty much shuts up all of little missy's nonsense.

If she survives, the resultant curls will enhance the tragically inevitable holiday photos.


You wear socks in the house? Homo? I hate it when mine get encrusted with cheese and Cheeto particles and bits of butt-fluff.

Better to go barefoot, and occasionally dangle your feet in the cool, blue, sterile waters of the toilet.

Posted by: Bane at November 12, 2005 11:20 PM
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