Masters of Our Own Domain

Every once in a while, Billy and I surprise even ourselves, and we do something that might seem mundane to the rest of the world but is truly amazing when you consider you’re speaking about, well, me and Billy.

Last night was one of those times.

We actually fixed a toilet. By ourselves. Truly amazing stuff.

I had just flushed the toilet and was brushing my teeth when I realized that the toilet was stuck. No big deal, I thought, and finished brushing my teeth before casually lifting the lid off the back. Taking a look inside, I immediately saw the problem. The ballcock (ha, no, I just like saying that word, “ballcock”) float had shifted down slightly and was holding the flipper up so that the tank wouldn’t refill with water. Hence the constant running of the toilet. So, I lifted the float, allowing the flipper to fall and the water to refill. I paused to admire my work, watching the tank fill up, the float floating up and up. I felt pretty damn good about myself.

But then… then, the float kept floating. It floated past the water line marked on the inside of the tank. And it kept floating up. So I tried to lift the float to get the water to stop rising, and it came off in my hand.

Try to picture me, now; I’ve got this big rubber bubble with a metal rod attached to it in my hand, and I’m watching the water continue to rise and rise and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I thought about crying, but quickly changed tactics and instead called, “BILLY!”

He took a look, likewise confused, and in a moment of sheer brilliance, I remembered that there is such a thing as a water shut-off valve. I found it, I turned it, and the water stopped. I am a GENIUS.

With the water shut off, we no longer had to work against a clock, which gave us some time to play with the little floatie thing, which was probably more fun than it should have been. I examined the rod at the end of the floater, which appeared to be old and rusty, and I determined that it had snapped off of the handle and was un-fixable. Billy was not so easily convinced and within a few moments he’d discovered that he could screw it back into the handle and it would stay on.

Only slightly trusting that we’d actually successfully done our own plumbing job, we turned the water back on with trepidation. We held our breath, waiting for the flooding to begin.

Nothing happened.

Could we actually have FIXED IT? On the first try?

“Do we dare try to flush it?” I asked.

Billy looked at me and raised his eyebrows. He looked back at the toilet and flushed.

Wouldn’t you know it? It worked! It still works this morning! Maybe we’re not as inept as we used to be!

This is probably the first happy ending I’ve had to any fix-it story I’ve posted here. I’m pretty damn proud of myself. Thank you very much.

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