Posted by: guinness222 | December 19, 2010

“The toilet leaketh m’lord”

       Ok so I’m a little self absorbed trying to get through the holidays and maintain my sanity, (I swear the older I get the more I’m convinced Scrooge had a valid concept,,,”Bah humbug!”)

      Anywa y the other night we’re relaxing, watching TV, eating a spinach and mazzorella stuffed chicken breast with a lemon basil sauce my wife makes when she says, “Looks like we have a leak over the TV,….see the spot?” Sure enough, as I savored another bite of the chicken and looked up at the point over the TV which is directly below the bathroom on the second floor of our townhome.  “I’ll check it out later” says I, or translated into Mr. Guinness speak, “If it gets any bigger than the half a dollar size it is now, or water starts dripping down at a rate that is distracting enough, or if the ceiling bubbles and sags or falls down,…well,… I’ll check it out then.

        Yeah I’m a guy, let’s look at our logic here,… the toilet still works ok, and I’m eating and watching TV, and there is no immediate need to call the Coast Guard or request an  overfly the house to drop life jackets,… you know, the “guy” response.

        Next morning she’s drained the toilet upstairs and reminds me again. I advise here that in my considered opinion, if the toilet is leaking the spot should dry up, then we will know the root of the problem, rather than it getting bigger, etc. and then we may have to consider a pipe leaking or such, possibly even a pipe which has broken away from it’s support strap, and consequently created a leak in the fittings, hence the water. A guy’s response to a business situation to the tee, ….”Let’s gather some more data and then we can obtain a more conclusive decision as to the options we need to consider to fix the situation.” Sounds good to me, and still no dripping or falling sheetrock ceiling,…yea!!!

        So today, day three, we get home from church, I’m upstairs checking my e-mail and trying to piece together a cohesive and possible schedule for the upcoming circus of a week and as the Christmas poem says, “…and what to my wandering audio sensors does clatter”,….”Honey, what are you doing down there?”

       ” Checking’ the spot’ on the ceiling to see if it’s wet.” (oh-oh this could be anything, better get my butt down and see what’s happening. When she gets a bug in her craw watch out, she could be dismantling the entire house by now!) I spring to my feet to see what is the clatter and notice as I turn the bottom step she has a ladder set up by the TV, is five rungs up already and has a flashlight in hand. (Danger Will Robinson, Danger!)

        “Just stay there and don’t touch it, I’ll be right back.” I can picture what’s coming, so I go to my dresser to grab my faithful Swiss Army pocket knife to “probe” with the blade to determine the amount of moisture and the location and size of the offending area of wetness, if that is indeed the case.

          “Oh sh*t!”, I hear as I am shuffling stuff around and grab for the trusty Swiss wonder knife.

          “What do you mean ‘Oh sh*t’?”

         “”My finger went through the sheetrock.” (Bummer, wonder if I should get her a hat as well?)

         I bite my tongue and casually walk out to the living room again and hand her the knife and tell her to just probe with it, and feel for the soggy, versus the firm areas. (I’m proud of myself, could have been one of those marvelous marital moments when the guy says, “I told you not to do anything til I got back, but no, you gotta go pokin’ with your finger.” and then as we all know who have ever had the opportunity in life to deal with women,….all hell would break loose, no lunch, peanut butter and jelly for supper and a rather severe chill in the air, depsite all the rhetoric released after a statement like that, and well,…you get the idea. I done gud, I kept my mouth shut.)

        Needless to say she got a bone and she ain’t letting go, so I go upstairs to look at the offending toilet. I just had to watch a whole video training class at work with 20 question “assessment” to see if I fully comprehended how a toilet works,….and I passed so I am an expert now.

        “Yup, looks like a toilet, but where’s the water in the toilet bowl gone?” Now I’m getting worried, while it’s more than a thimble and less than a half a keg, the water has to go somewhere.

       “I emptied it.” she says. “I got an old hose and syphoned it all out yesterday afternoon while you were out.” (I’m trying to visualize but,…naw,… forget it.)

       “Well I’ll try and make a few calls this week and see if I can get a buddy to come over and fix it, it’s probably the wax compression thingy between the toilet and the pipe that is leaking.” says I in my best toilet expert voice.

       “I’ll go on line and see how we fix it.”, she says and disappears to here computer. Ten minutes later she comes downstairs with a three page set of instructions printed out with picutres and has already scoped out the pricing on these wax ring things at the local Home Superstore. Not only that but she has that “Let’s do it this afternoon” look on her face.

       So good readers I am off to the local superstore, then the gym, and then the pub before going home to “consider” doing this thing today. I’m feeling more confident about waiting until tomorrow, in case one of the “simple” directions unleashes a flood or other “un-scheduled” deviation to the simple directions. I don’t even want to think what a plumber, in Florida is going to charge on Sunday, in a beach vacation area, and where the tempperature is expected to drop to almost freezing this evening (35 degrees F.) At least tomorrow if I screw it up I can get a plumber over before it’s already rising to the second floor at regular prices, outrageous as they may be because I have never met a tradesman yet who does not foam at the mouth and have “visions of sugerplums dancing in their heads” when a homeowner calls and says , “Ah,…I was uh , you know, changing that round wax thingy under the toilet and all of a sudden we have water gushing through the ceiling and I can’t stop it. The instructions don’t have anything in them about what to do,….so could you come over like as soon as possible,….please?”

      Heigh Ho, heigh ho it’s off to buy a wax toilet ring thingy I go. Wish me luck. If I am not back on line with a blog in the next few days it’s because the plumber is still scratching his head and saying, “Danmed if I know what you did, but I can’t seem to get it stopped!”

     At which point I am quietly packing any dry clothes I have left ot get to the airport and move to “the next flight out”, for a long time.



     “What does not destroy me, makes me strong.”    – Friedrich Nietzsche

    ***** There is apparently a problem with getting the spell check working today so I apologize for any of those “stream of consciousness” screw ups. T.

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