On Toilets

I’ve recently had the privilege to move to another town. Although that is a column in and of itself, what I want to focus on more in depth is the issue of toilets. Or should I say toilet problems.It seems that whether I’ve been living in a motel, a temporary rental, or bread & breakfast, each bathroom seems to have a toilet that constantly runs, plugs up, or refuses in one way or another to perform its designed capabilities.And as I’ve investigated each situation by ceremoniously lifting the tank cover off I find various amateurish attempts at solving the toilet troubles by previously annoyed guests. I find pieces of string that were supposed to replace the broken chain on the flush mechanism, I find pieces of wire that have long ago rusted to be entirely useless except for clogging up something that needs unclogging, I find bricks, I find lime covered green army men with no explanation.But I’ve never found anything hidden inside the tank, such as money. You know though, once the cover is off you might as well have a look around. Anyway, I open the tank, do a quick investigation, and then I’m off to the nearest hardware store to buy necessary repair supplies.I get string to replace the water wasted string, I get wire to replace the rusted out wire, I get pliers, and screwdrivers and a flashlight and some locking pliers and then some chewing gum and a new fingernail clipper they have on sale at the checkout counter and some candy and some Boston baked bean candy for my wife so she won’t think I think just of myself.Then I’m there. Alone. Facing my problem. Head to Head. Man to john.Several hours later I’m back with my family in the living room where they are all watching television, worrying about my progress, I’m sure. I give them my report and some last instructions.”If you absolutely have to use the bathroom, don’t flush. The plumber is on the way.”