Monday, September 18, 2006

Is your toilet running?

Actually, yes, and they had been for about three years. We had complained about this numerous times, and about a dozen different maintenance people have come to "fix" them, but the truth of the matter is that they were always running. They'd wake us up in the night running. They ran and ran and ran and ran, making laps around the block with the refrigerator.

We told on them to the apartment owners several times, usually with notes attached to our monthly rent checks. Sometimes with phone calls. These requests would be answered, but the toilet problem was never actually solved. Out of fairness, the apartment complex where we live has been under different management several times, too, so lots of people have had many opportunities to fix the problem.

The apartment people pay the water bill, so we figured it must not have been astronomical enough for them to actually fix them. So we went about our lives and all has been okay, if not somewhat swoshy noisy for three years. Three years.

I remind you that The Hater and I are not particularly handy. We're handier than a lot of the people we know, but we don't do plumbing. My Dad, although handy, took the lid off of the toilet the last time he was here, only to declare that someone else needed to come look at said toilet. None of us could diagnose the problem. They were the Energizer Bunny of running toilets.

Sister's boyfriend, who is certified in plumbing and electrical things, tried to tell me over the phone what to look for, what screw to tighten and loosen, but that ended up being a comedy of errors in which we both gave up laughing and the toilet continued to run. And I'm sure that the ideas of horrors of marrying into a family of plumbing and electrical idiots would only consume more unpaid hours of his time.*

Run, toilet, run.

This morning I have been officially breaking out of prison, returning things that normally belong in the rest of the apartment. Washing the futon sheets and preparing things to go back to our claim of a normal life. When, lo, an unexpected knock on the apartment door!

I answered the door in swishy pants and a sports bra. I have been, after all, breaking out of prison, and was about to jump into the shower. The lady said she was with maintenance and was here to fix the running toilets, which amused me because we've not complained about them in several months. Apparently our neighbors below us were complaining now.

I showed her the culprits and told her horror stories about how several people before her have "fixed" them, only that they never actually quit running. She took a glance and declared she would fix them. She returned with the parts she needed, and swapped one rotted rubber stopper thing for a new, not rotted rubber stopper thing, and they stopped running.

They stopped running. She's our hero for the day.

I wrote a thank you note to our neighbors below, telling them how much we appreciate them getting our toilets fixed. (And obviously apologizing for not knowing they were bothering them, too.) And I'm so excited that the cat and I have just been walking around the apartment listening to them not run. What a marvelous Monday.

And my most wonderful, sweetest husband in the world has brought lunch to me in exile. I don't feel the way snot looks, I can't hear the constant shhhhhhhhhhhhwah in the bathroom, and I'm getting out of prison. It's a beautiful day.

* Trust me, Sister is way worth it. But I can forsee a future of bardering his time for baked goods in true Nana style. Note to Self: Learn her chocolate cake recipe.


Anonymous said...

Yep. You needed new flapper valves. I coulda told ya that.

Your Aunt Marian, property manager for the last 28 years

ps. Nana needs one, too, in her upstairs bathroom.

pps. Glad to hear you're out of exile and are hopefully feeling better.

genderist said...

My Aunt Marian is the most brilliant Aunt Marian in the existance of time!

Kate said...

Ohmigod. My parents' toilet runs. I'll have to suggest the flapper valve issue to them.

I am also intrigued by this potentially awesome chocolate cake recipe.

Arielle said...

Were they just running from the constant flushing of your radioactivity down the drain for 4 days? :)
Glad to hear you are out of prison too!!

Molly Jane said...

H, just made this repair myself. Sorry I didn't read this earlier.