game over, man. game over.
I'm pretty sure of myself. I've faced all kinds of challenges, overcome all kinds of obstacles. There comes a time in a man’s life when he must fall victim to the talons of domestication. Its been a process, needless to say. I’ve come a long way from the time where my idea of “domestic” was sleeping under a table that had a table cloth and taking out the garbage was engaging in fisticuffs with the trashcan because it “looked at me funny.” I won that one, for the record. Little did I know, not far in the future, I would face an even stronger and more cunning foe.
I’m talking about the toilet bowl.
Man’s best friend when times are good. The toilet is a great thing on nights when praying becomes necessary or for some quality time spent with a magazine. When times are bad, it can be the source of great irritation. One of our toilets has been acting ornery lately. The thing would start running for no other good reason other than to prey upon my sleep problems. In the middle of the night, the soft sonance of water escaping beneath the loose flapper sounded to me like I had my head permanently superglued to the base of Angel Falls.
A few days ago, matters took a turn for the worse. A jiggle was no longer capable of stopping the flow. I removed the top of the tank. She was full, the floater was at its peak. Water gushed unabated from that infernal and tiny hose unabated. There were more problems at work here. Upon further inspection, I soon realized that every bit of rubber inside the tank had rotted. It would be a matter of days before water was leaking out around the bolts. Not on my watch.
It was time to get serious.
I paid a trip to Home Depot and returned with the Fluidmaster 4000 per Steve’s recommendation. “These things are the best. I’ve got them in all my toilets.” Apparently, every rocker must own the Fluidmaster 4000 at some point in theirlife. My time had come. I was about to engage in some bizarre, aqueous rite of passage.
I didn’t expect the fight of a lifetime.
It took me ten minutes or so to disengage the water line from the toilet. It took me a good thirty minutes of cursing to get the bolts off the tank. One of the rubber washers had disintegrated and seeped through to the other side of the porcelain, where it then had congealed around the screw and wing-nut. I thought it was all over, when finally I got the thing to give. My hands were black and the index finger and middle finger of my right hand were stained bright blue thanks to the residue from one of those miracle flush wafers that really do nothing except make the water so blue that you can’t tell if your bowl is dirty (okay, that is brilliant). It was time to get the main tube assembly separated from the tank so that I may install the Cadi-Flush 5 billion or whatever the thing is called. At the time, I might’ve called the flush kit a dirty whore.
Twist. Turn. Wiggle. Tug. Curse. Turn. Tuggle. I invented that one on the spot – a combination of twisting, wiggling, and turning while praying to the baby Jesus that he give me the resolve not to throw the whole tank through the bathroom window. Despite my efforts, I could not get that sucker out. I was missing one vital piece of gear – a plumber’s wrench.
I stumbled into Jen’s office. I was drenched in sweat and covered in the black mystery liquid. My right hand looked like I had stolen it from a Smurf (definitely not Handy). My hair actually looked pretty good, though. All tousled and such. I said to Jen, “This isn’t going to happen. It’s not the easy job you thought it was.” I received a sort of blank stare, followed by: “Do you want me to come look at it?”
“Sure, but I’ve been working at it for a while now.”
She proceeded into the bathroom and turned to me with wide eyes.
“Why did you take the whole thing apart?” She gasped, clearly, the horror was creeping in. “We didn’t need to replace everything!” She wasn’t angry, but there certainly was some exasperation going on. Can’t say I blame her. She had Flusho, the swamp-thing Smurf-man and a destroyed toilet desecrating the sanctuary of her bathroom.
“Everything. Bad. Toilet. Rubber. Leak.” I managed between clenched teeth. I trembled on the threshold of blowing my top.
The beastly bowl had beaten me and was now showboating in front of my woman.
“We’ll look at it later.” Jen said and returned to working on her MBA finals. I stood in the bathroom for a while, staring in disgust at the three-quarter disassembled toilet tank.
For now. We have secured a plumbers wrench. And when I have the time, I’m going to go to town.