Saturday, June 09, 2007

Next Time, I'm Calling the Plumber

My husband's best friend and his wife showed up this evening, unannounced, to drop something off before they went out for a date. I'm not sure what they might have been thinking when they approached me, but I can imagine. At that moment, I was standing on the front lawn amidst a slew of sleeping bags, clothing, toys, books, trash and the like, frantically waving a vacuum cleaner hose.

Jason, ever the cheerful fellow (I swear he fakes it) asks, "How are you this evening, Lori?"

I looked up and saw the two of them standing there. Then, blowing hair out of my face, I said, "Just fine. Our toilet has been completely removed from the bathroom floor, my van just threw up all over my lawn, and my vacuum cleaner is clogged."

I had already been in the bathroom helping Paul. Apparantly a child, who shall remain nameless, flushed a (toy) cell phone down the toilet after another child, who shall also remain nameless, threw it (and a sock) in the toilet. From what I gather, an attempt was made at retrieving the phone, but when that failed, unnamed #1 thought it best to just flush and be done with it.

And they were done with it. Paul and I, of course, were not. Though I managed to retrieve the sock, the cell phone remained lodged in the toilet.

Now, I am not sure what it is about making decsions about spending money that so paralyzes Paul and me, but whenever we have to call "professionals" to fix something, it's like every last brain cell starts shrieking "nooooooooo!" in unison.

We even listen to the screaming for a while, but we don't actually try to fix the problem. We just sort of pass our standard waiting period by pretending the problem isn't that bad, or that perhaps it will go away.

Which, of course, did not happen.

But instead of breaking down and calling the plumber, I suggested to Paul that we pull up the toilet and try to retrieve the cell phone ourselves. All it would cost us would be our time and a new wax ring. So, as I headed out to pick up a library book today, Paul mentioned that I should stop by the hardware store and pick up that wax ring.

And this evening, at the same time that I decided to clean out the van, Paul decided he would tackle the toilet. This would not be such a big deal except that just after I'd hurled every sippy cup known to man and every piece of Sunday school art from the last year onto the front lawn, Paul needed my help.

What I need to remind you is that, it had been over 24 hours since the phone was actually flushed down the toilet and, while we had taken Measures, we didn't exactly restrict toilet usage. So, there was still some uh, liquid, in the toilet. And some solids as well.

Actually, a LOT of solids.

Would you like to guess who got to play "fish for the cell phone"? Mind you, there was a glove involved, but let's just say that it's protective barrier left a bit to be desired.

I pulled a great deal out of that toilet. None of it was of the "cell phone" variety.

After much hemming and hawing, we determined that Paul would have to go to Home Depot and get us a new toilet. While he was off on that errand, I added to my pile on the lawn and almost disowned two children who decided that this was the time that they just HAD to PLAY in the VAN!

And thank you neighbor girl for coming over and asking if they could play.

Yes! YES! Sweet mercy, YES!

So I resumed my effort to improve property values in our neighborhood by unloading several bags of clothing, coloring books, and lollipop sticks.... what in SAM HILL with all the lollipop sticks?

When Paul returned with the new toilet, I went back in to help him. If you'd like to know how that went, I'll just remind you that the last time we did a toilet repair it took us 45 minutes. And that was just putting on a new lid. Just the LID.

That very same lid had to be moved to the new toilet, but that was only a fraction of tonight's job. (And don't think for a moment that we didn't encounter the same problems with that lid that we had last time.)

(I am so not kidding.)

Once we cleaned up the mess in the bathroom and the mess on the lawn, Paul carried the old toilet outside and set it by the trash can. Fearing that the trash man would not be too excited about the substances that remained in the toilet, I flipped it over and started to hose it down. For the first time I had a clear view of that little green and blue phone lodged inside the toilet.

But toilets being how toilets are, I had to do some maneuvering to get everything to wash out of there. As I was doing so, I heard a little "clunk."

I picked up the item that the toilet had deposited and walked inside to my husband.

"Here," I said, "you have a phone call." And I held it out for him.

And that toilet... the one there is absolutely nothing wrong with... is sitting on my front lawn at this very moment.

The neighbors will be so proud.

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Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, honey. I'm so, so very sorry.

And ewwwwwwwwwww!

Sun Jun 10, 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ha ha ha.


Thanks for making me laugh!

ha ha ha ha.

Sun Jun 10, 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Noodle said...

A day in the life, eh? :)

Mon Jun 11, 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger ShaggaBear said...

you guys should write a "How NOT to" on Home Improvement. You've already got so many good real life examples!! Hilarious!

Mon Jun 11, 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Deena said...

My daughter, who was 17 at the time, knocked her deoderant into the toilet. Not wanting to soil her lily white hands, she flushed, thinking the deoderant would simply float (never mind the more "light weight" matter went DOWN every time).
Needless to say, it did not float.

My hubby and my boss were out in the front yard wrestling with out toilet after that incident...mind you, both of these men are pastors...oh, the things that brings to mind!!!

Tue Jun 12, 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

We had similar happenings with a little yellow car at the house in Dallas. We had already spent so much money with a plumber on another occasion, we decided we could get the car ourselves. And if not, a new toilet would still be cheaper than the plumber.

Anyhoo, toilet in the back yard turned upside down, the car finally dislodged after Terry stuck the hose down the potty and turned it on full blast.

I love my kids! This is however one of those moments you wish kids just like themselves in their future. =)

PS..The Thirteenth Tale was FABULOUS!

Wed Jun 13, 09:41:00 AM  

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