Last night I attempted something I have done a few times before. Stick with me. It has nothing to do with my infertility.
The toilet in our hallway bathroom had been “malfunctioning” over the past few months. It was nothing major. If you know anything about toilets and how they work; the flapper was closing too soon after the flush handle was released. The tank was still filling but the bowl was not (at least not as much as it should be). In fact, it was really more of an aesthetic thing. As in: “My guests will think we’re uncivilized because the water in our toilet bowl isn’t as high as everyone else’s!”
OK, so I’ve changed toilet guts before. I’m not what you’d call a Bob Vila. I am what I would call “skilled enough”. That means that from my dad I learned the basics. I can change a light switch, fix a toilet, use a circular saw… What I do best, though, is follow instructions.
Imagine my surprise last night when I got the new guts in place, turned on the water, and things went haywire.
It’s a messy job but it came with the mortgage…
Water was dripping at a steady stream from the bottom of the tank. I tried my best to isolate the cause but it was a fool’s errand. It was also late and I was tired. I did what any of us would do. I shut off the water, laid down some towels, and went to bed.
Went back to it this morning, fearful of having to call someone. That would not only indicate my failure at a simple task but also earn me a strike against my man card. I would never be able to tell anyone about this. My trainer (remember him?) would laugh at me. “You are weak and you can’t fix a toilet? What kind of man are you?” More on the trainer and my failures and successes on that front in an upcoming post.
So here’s what I did and this is also the point of the story…
I went into the bathroom and got down on my knees. No, I wasn’t hungover. Yes, I was praying. I said a prayer. I called upon my late brother Richard. You might recall he died 8 months ago of pancreatic cancer. Richard was the home repair guru. He could do stuff like this with ease. Surely he would help. I was so worried that I had overtightened bolts and cracked the porcelain. By the way, why do they cast toilets out of this delicate porcelain stuff anyway? Wouldn’t a solid weld unibody design work better? But I digress.
“Help me see what I’m missing here,” I asked him.
I sat back and noticed I was sitting on something. Reaching behind me I pulled out a small package. I want you to know that I REALLY follow instructions when I do a project. Yet somehow I had missed this one and the corresponding piece. It was an O ring. Guess where it was supposed to be. You got it, right over the opening where the water was leaking.
I disassembled a few things, slid the O ring in place, put it back together and the leak was gone.
Thanks, brother! Now my guests won’t think we’re hillbillies.