Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Fairbanks Horror or The Bathroom From Beyond

Okay, I'm willing to bet most of you have never, ever seen a toilet bleed.

Neither had I.

But I did. I had just flushed the toilet, and, looking down expecting to see clean, clear water gracing the cool white bowl, I looked down at what looked like about a half a pound of hamburger. Red, uncooked hamburger.

Immediately, I had this thought, shuddering:

See a doctor. Now. Right now. It's 11pm, but the emergency room is open.

Not feeling unwell, I decided to allow the scientist in me to do the logical thing: flush again. Immediately, the hamburger started flowing into the tank. I shuddered. Thought two then entered my mind:

Get an exorcist. Now. Right now. You've seen the Amityville Horror. You may have to move. Pray.

I flushed again. The results were the same. I then recalled that I had never actually opened the tank lid in the short months we'd lived here. I did. Inside I saw a thick coating of rust.

I recalled, we had an iron filter. Heck, I'd changed it the previous weekend. But this iron in the toilet tank (perhaps half an inch thick in places) had been lurking, waiting for a warm Alaskan spring and a new person from Outside to launch this prank on. That's one of the things about Fairbanks - the water can be thick enough to walk on, even when it's not frozen. Minerals, and, I hear, in some places, arsenic. Many folks have to carry water in via pickup in a polysomethingorother tank for home drinking water. I'm lucky, my water just occasionally makes it look like my toilet is a Civil War battle victim.

If this were the only thing my bathroom did to vex me, I would be assured that it's not out to get me. Philip K. Dick said that paranoia wasn't being worried that your supervisor was plotting against you - that might be rational. Paranoia, said Dick, was being worried that your supervisor's phone was out to get you.

That brings me to the shower. You see, it leaks a drop or two into the basement. Not when I shower, mind you, but only when The Mrs. showers. It's not a big leak, but it is one of those things that grinds on my mind. Water, except when you want it out, should be in a pipe, a gutter, or on the ground outside. Not on the floor. It's like Poe's Telltale Heart, dripping its steady drip.

I took apart all of the parts that I could, gentle reader, and ended up sitting in work out shorts and a soaking white t-shirt holding a flashlight, waiting for the valve, the pipe, anything to leak. Yearning to see the leak-then I could fix it. Nada. I ran the entire house out of hot water in my Ahabesque quest to find some sort of physical reason that the shower could or would discriminate based on sex, height, or some other parameter.


I chatted with The Mrs., and came up with a working theory. The Mrs. showers approximately the length of time one would cook a fifty-eight pound Thanksgiving turkey. I killed that theory by using all of the water in the house. She also, apparently, stands in a different position than I do when she showers, causing a consistent splash down the front of the shower. I have since coated the entire face of the shower in a layer of silicon caulk 7-5/8" thick. Wish me luck. The Mrs. and I had a conversation where she indicated she could just shower in the other bathroom. To quote my dear uncle, Stevie Ray Vaughn (hey, he's dead, he can't refute it), "You can't hide from your house, John. You may have to hit the light switch three times and duct tape a cat to the shower rod to use the dryer, but you just can't hide."

I will not run in fear of the leaky shower, nor the toilet that drips blood. Now, the deep, rasping voice saying, "get out," from the wraith-like figure with glowing red eyes at the top of the stairs . . . .


Blogger dorna! said...

LOL That's the funniest thing I've read all week. Reminds me of the foul and mysterious odour which I had to contend with two appartments ago.

6:00 AM  
Blogger PaintingChef said...

HYSTERICAL!! Of course the first thought that came to my mind was "Poor cat..."

Found you through BE.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Quackin' Mad Duck said...

hey john!

i'm glad you didn't have to do an exercism -- although, if i were you, i'd still do one as a precaution....

the problem i'm having with one of our toilets is this horrific noise it makes from time to time (someone suggested it sounds like air pockets are in the pipes)... anyhoo, it sounds like one of those rape horns almost.... and sometimes, i swear, it's forming the words, "get out!!!"

hehehe! possessed toilets going to swallow duck and flush him straight to hell!!!

oh, my parents and three of my brothers are in fairbanks as i type this..... i sold them on the whole alaska experience, and they've been there for over a week now.....

blog on, mr. alaska (oh my god it's sunny and after midnight) dude!

3:59 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Have you tried duct tape to seal the leak? What kind of man are you?

7:42 AM  

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