"Dad! The toilet lid was up and Jamie's tongue is blue again!" - Dewey, Malcom in the Middle
Pugsley prepares for his "undersea" adventure.
February has been the month of . . . difficulty at the Wilder Hacienda down in Houston.
It started with the ants . . .
Shortly after we moved in, I went to bed. That is to say, I went to bed often, but I was speaking of a specific time. I generally say, “goodnight honey” before kissing The Mrs. and rolling over for slumber. That night, I said, “Ow. Ow. OW!” I looked down at the front part of whatever the newfangled term is for the part of your body where your foot meets your leg, and saw a little, tiny ant engaged in pumping as much formic acid as she could into me. (I say she, because mails don’t bite. I think. Go to Wikipedia if it’s
Fire ants. In my bathroom.
Thus began the Great War of 2006 and 2007. I used every chemical shown by the Federal government not to make me grow a third eye in defeating the ants. I slaughtered them by the millions. They moved six feet under the concrete and began to build a new empire under the toilet.
Our house doesn’t have normal toilets. For whatever reason, every toilet in our house bolts to the wall. It’s like sitting on a Star Wars™ HoverToilet®, since none of the toilet-y parts go to the floor. I moved from the Battle of the Place Near the Sink to the Battle of the Under Toilet, and unleashed a weapon of mass ant destruction. As I bent down and began to spray, I noticed it.
Not a big drip, just an eensy-weensy bit of dampness under the toilet.
So, after the ants surrendered and signed the Treaty of Antversailles, I turned my attention to the toilet.
I hate water. Fish do unimaginable things in it. I really hate water in my house. I really, really hate water being someplace it’s not supposed to be. Outside the toilet bowel definitely counts, except for dribbles during the first 36 or so years after potty training.
I went and bought a wax ring – that’s the doohickey that seals the toilet to the hole where stuff that goes down the toilet goes so your bathroom doesn’t smell like Ernest Borgnine’s underwear. I attached it. Eensy-weensy drip remains. Repeat this process
I finally sat down and really thought about my repeated failure. Then I realized the problem: the previous installer had tried to hug the toilet into the dry wall, and thus whenever anyone placed their bottom on the toilet, well, it would move just a little and slowly compress the wax ring. I reasoned, consulted Wikitoiletpedia, and decided to install something for the toilet to rest against, namely nuts on the protruding bolts
Another trip to Home Despot, another purchase of stuff. I got the bolts and was confronted with a dilemma: If the bolts weren’t even, when I cranked ‘em down to put the toilet against the wall so my butt wouldn’t rock it and mess up the seal, well, if they weren’t nearly perfect I’d end up putting stress on the ceramic toilet, crack the fixture, and, given my luck, well, it would be The Mrs. falling down and hitting the bathroom floor as the toilet disintegrated into shards of porcelain. That would be a bad day. I got out a laser, made two plumb bobs out of dental floss and flat washers, and made every nut protrude exactly the same distance out. I’m sure a plumber knows a better trick involving grease, a pig, and a stopwatch to make sure every nut is exactly right, but we didn’t have a stopwatch.
The Mrs. went to bed, giving up as I made sure that the toilet was right.
I pushed it onto the bolts. Bolt one – in. Bolt two – in. Bolt three - in. Bolt four – well, lets not talk about that. Although the nuts were in a perfect plane, they were a wee bit too far out.
It doesn’t leak, but it’s not right. I’ll fix it this weekend. The Mrs. is of the opinion that I should call a plumber, and has been since day one.
No. I say no. I’ve taken the ants. I can get the toilet.