I’m a Fire Sign Dammit – Stop Trying to Put Out My Flame!

“Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don’t have the wit to deal with the problems of life. ”
Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

OK. Universe.  We gotta talk.  I dunno what I said to:

  1. piss you off, or
  2. indicate I needed more water situations in my life to, I dunno, cool off?, or
  3. request a shit star, to continue to fly over me, sending me challenges

But it’s enough, okay?  I’m good.  I understand.  I got it.

Let us move on to another vibe because, quite frankly, I just may crack.

It was enough for me to come home from vacation last April, just before my birthday, to a leaky pipe in the boys’ bathroom leading to a bulging ceiling, leading to a ruined floor.  It was more than enough for me to go into the basement, walk halfway into the room and have my socks soaked because there was a crack in my foundation and my carpet was wet almost all the way across.

These two items have been fixed.  In August for the dining/office rooms thanks to insurance coverage, the other, mostly bone but still kinda a work in progress thanks to François’ hard work and my hard cash.

Excellent.  We good.  I call the real estate agent, he comes over, we sign the paperwork, he sends that little fiend to tell me how to make this place pretty and lifeless.  I tell him I am getting new a new couch (today, some time between now and 10:00 pm) and that I’ll call him so we can have the photographer come in.

However.  We NOT good.  Are we? No, no.  You see, we seemed to have some sort of blockage in the boys’ toilet.  So, François, ever the handyman, passed the fish through it, felt something go and thought, cool beanz, we good.   But we weren’t were we?

No. Still not flushing satisfactorily so I talk to my cousin Marc, also a clever handyman, who says, yanno, maybe there is something stuck in the toilet itself.  Alrighty then.  Off comes the toilet and we (royal “we”, I did nothing) check and find nothing.  However, the “lead” in the pipe is all wonky so François decides to fix it and gets all the necessary stuff.  Does what needs to be done and we good, right?  No. We not good.

As he was finishing up the basement, he notices it’s wet under my new vinyl floor.  Pulls it up and.  Shit.  This seems to be coming from the toilet all the way upstairs.  Cleans up basement, removes toilet.  Hmm… something does not look right.  He now feels we need to bring in a plumber.  He has one and calls the guy.  Two days, three days, four days.. OK… screw him.

I say, “OK, Bumstead.  Ya done what ya can… Time for ME to bring in the professionals…”  I’ll call the next morning.

Yesterday, (the next morning) I went downstairs to get something or other and notice there is paper on the bathroom floor.  Open up the toilet.  Really?  Could no one have advised me that they blocked the toilet before leaving for school/work/whatevs?  So I flush and plunge and get the stuff down but this baby is NOT flushing properly.  Bloody hell.

Call four different plumbers, leave three messages.  The last one actually had a receptionist/admin person who said I was in luck, she could send a guy right away as he just became free.

Enter Samuel.  Nice kid (well, dad of two younguns but still a kid to me ;-)) decides to work on the basement toilet first.  Yep… doesn’t like the way it flushes so he uses the fish.  Nothing comes out.  Fishes a couple of times until we decide to take the damn thing off and see if we can see something stuck.  He sees a plastic something and can’t reach it.  Using every tool he can think of, a piece comes out.  Dang.  I know EXACTLY what it is.  It is the cover forone of my wall heaters.  Or part of it anyway.  Sam looks at me and says, “I’m guessing there is a second piece.”  I nod yes and the search for the second piece begins.  He went to get his special camera and could see it stuck to the side.  No matter how much he shoved and prodded, it was not budging.  We brought the toilet outside, took out the hose and tried to use the water pressure.  Nope.  Sigh.  Finally, after putzing around, the second piece finally comes loose.

All this took a good two hours.  Crap. (Yeah, yeah, pun intended.)  Puts the toilet back on and it’s time to move upstairs for what I originally thought was the “big” job.  He takes one look at the hole and says… “Your pipe is cracked.”  WTF!!  He says he’s going to have to change the section of the pipe and, to not break the tile, will have to put a hole in my dining room wall.  He looks at the time and says, how about I come back tomorrow morning so you don’t have to pay over time.  Uh. Yeah!

Fast forward to this morning 10:30-ish.  Samuel comes in, brings his tools and gets to work.

The hole he had to make…

The pipe he cut out…

One of the cracks that were made by someone who worked really hard to remove the lead…

The hole where a screw was inserted – probably when the kitchen remodel was done in ’98, removed and the hole left untended…

And, newly fixed pipe.

Excellent.  We good?  No.  We not good.  The toilet has a crack in the base.  Ahhh  f&*?%!  He takes it off the seal (another wasted bit of cash) and we look to see if it’s only on the surface or on the inside.  Of course it’s on the inside too.

So.  Yay.  Call François, ask him if he feels comfortable installing the new toilet now that everything else is good and he says yes.  Sign and pay the bill and send Samuel off to his next client.

Now I have to buy a toilet.  Check on-line, find the best price is across the over-pass from my house and make my way out.  As I am looking at them, I realise they look kinda high in the back.  Call the house and ask Willow to measure the floor to the stupid shelf (no, I am NOT removing the shelf.  The bathroom was painted when previous problem was fixed.)  30 inches.  Every fricken toilet is 30 to 31 inches.  Really?  Are you shitting me?  (Again, pun intended.)

So, there is one.  Yes, count ’em.  One.  Only one toilet that stands at 27 inches.  Just so happens to be on sale to boot.  Sorry.  I lied.  There is another that stands at 28″ but it is $500 and you have to buy a seat. Doesn’t even come with a friggen seat!  What the hell is that all about?  Plus the base is only 10″ while all the others are 12″.  Bloody hell.

Get the “bathroom” guy to help me put it on the trolley and make my way to the cash.  Go buy groceries and come home.  Look at the box in my trunk and in the list of contents, I see nothing about the bloody seal.  Ah come ON!  I take no chances, drive over the overpass and spend an extra $3.

François arrives and gets to work.  Measure everything.  The toilet will fit… Yay.  Oh.  The tube connector doohickey is too long!  Samuel had installed a brand-new one.  François goes into Mick’s “Plumbing toolbox” and finds another the right length.  We good?  No.  We no good.  The connector itself is metal and the new throne is plastic.  Sigh.  Off he goes to the store to find another.

Looks to me like it may still be a tad too long but what do I know?  Is it supposed to curve like that?  Do we actually give a rat’s ass at this point?  No, we do not give a rat’s ass.

I think the new toilet looks just fabulous, don’t you?

There are still a few things to do to make this house chic and swell.  A new added job of closing up that new hole and painting it.  Thank you, Mick for being the best keeper of every-friggen-thing so I have a little jar of paint.  And maybe I have to thank you for your part in that, Universe.

So I beg of you, change my ju-ju.  Allow the rest of this journey to selling this house go super smoothly and we good.  OK?