Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dumb Things I've Done

I came home yesterday to a clogged toilet. Nothing too terrible, or overflowing, just slow to no flush action.  Repeated plunging did nothing to help matters, nor did the old coat hanger down the chute trick. So I went out and bought an auger.
Nine dollars, and twenty disgusting minutes later, we had a functioning toilet once again. Granted, the inside of the bowl was now all scratched to hell, and my "new" auger resembled a…well, let’s just say it was gross  - but the toilet flushed. And I was flushed with pride, for I’m not exactly the  Mr. Fix-It type. I’m more of a Mr. Fux-It Up.
But not always. For some strange reason, I’m not too bad with BIG jobs. I’ve designed and built a house-length front porch, put in a sub-floor and tiled the kitchen. Built one of those giant timber playscapes.  Put in bathroom where there wasn’t a bathroom before (albeit with lots of help from a plumber and my nephew Robert, but still, I did it.) And all without major incident or injury – and - with a modicum of success.
But the small jobs?  
- Replacing a ceiling fan sent me to the ER for stitches when I foolishly used the giant glass bulb as support while unscrewing the mount. I held my hand under the bulb, using my free hand to remove the last screw that was bearing the weight of the entire fan –when CRASH! And slash. Blood and glass everywhere.
- Putting a cap on chimney to keep squirrels and leaves out of it nearly asphyxiated my entire family, when, while up there I noticed a lot of heat escaping from the chimney and thought, hey, I should stuff it with some insulation and cardboard to keep all the heat (and carbon monoxide) from exiting the house. Thank god, and Geof, for listening to my prideful boasting eight hours later, and questioning why I would seal off the only vent for my furnace.
- Most recently, I managed to (literally) cut my family off from the free world though the simple act of installing a book shelf, which somehow resulted in me cutting the wire that provided all our phone, internet, and television service.  I should further admit, lest you assume that the wire was buried behind the wall and I accidentally cut it while driving a screw or something – the wire was in PLAIN SIGHT! Mounted to the wall in a plastic phone jack type box – but - I wanted the shelf to sit flush against the wall, so thinking the wires were from an outdated phone line, grabbed some kitchen shears and cut it! Thank FIL Dave for being there (and being an electrician) as my wife and kids were all pretty ticked at me for making them go even twenty minutes without facebook and Yo Gabba Gabba.

So, all things considered, I was pretty proud of myself for my toilet repair (even with the unsightly scratches) as I knew things could have gone much worse. But I’m not going to start patting myself on the back just yet, as so far it’s only had to handle a few test flushes and a single pee. So if there's anyone out there willing to come give it a real test drive, there’s a free, “gently” used auger in it for you!


  1. the closest we get to home repairs here is a regular plunger and the occasional coat hook or painting hung up. All the rest gets left to the experts, so all in all, I'm impressed (while simultaneously grossed-out).

  2. :) the scratches will go away...and the whereabouts of our auger are unknown...but no where near the living quarters of our home :)

    and you say you built a wooden playscape? like the kind with the most ferocious and fast paced slide known to toddlertown??? good job ;)

  3. My attempt at being handy involved changing all the door knobs on my first floor. Went well, right up until the bathroom. While the guts were in, but before the knobs were on, I had dropped a screw and when I bent down to pick it up, I leaned on the door (force of habit) and closed it. Did I mention the bathroom is about 3' x 7' with no windows? Luckily, my (at the time) 9 year old was home - I yelled for him and talked him through credit-carding the door. Upside: he now has a useful life skill to fall back on.

  4. Great post. I love toilet humor.

  5. mike, when you wre a baby, your favorite pastime was flushing things down the toilet, hairbrushes, bathing suits, apples, and anything else you could get your hands. Our toilet spent more time upsidedown in the yard being cleaned out with a hose than inside. Auger never worked

  6. Dad is a worse speller then I'am after three times trying to write this comment under google I gave up and dictated to Dad

  7. Thanks all!

    @Gae: If you think my toilet skills are impressive, you should see me install a light fixture. You'd be shocked...I know I usually am!

    @Anonymous (amy? or robin?) - that death slide is now the problem of the Millea family *makes sign of the cross to protect those poor, unsuspecting kids*

    @Sue: what's a 9-year old doing with a credit card? Charging gum?

    @anonymous parents: Is wasn't ALWAYS me!!!

  8. Mike, are those really your kids posting anonymously? That's pretty cute.

  9. no Dwight, just friends WITH kids. They're referring to a slide I built at my old house, that was, let's just say, not up to code or current safety standards

  10. I LOVED reading this LOL! Once my husband said, "If I don't do it right the first time, maybe you won't ask me to do it again." LOL!

    So "I" dyed all his shirts pink.
    He's now busy doing the laundry. *grins*