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The Perils of a New Toilet

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Privy woes from the Mouth of the River

“Five hundred dollars?! Are you shitting me?! Five hundred dollars for a toilet stool?”


“Well, that’s installed, of course,” came the voice over the phone, “and it comes with a year’s guarantee it won’t plug up or overflow. If it does, I will personally come out there and clean up the mess myself. However, if you install it, you will be responsible if there’s an overflow.”


“You got it,” came the reply. “You got yourself a deal, bring it on.” If this seems a little strong to you, remember, toilets back up and overflow all the time, and when it plugs up someone stands there and watches it fill up to the very brim and will inadvertently reach down and flush it again, thus causing it to overflow. If the bowl is full, adding another two gallons of water won’t flush it, either. 


Upon arrival of the new fixture and the examining of the one it’s to replace, it’s determined it will have to be turned just one quarter of an inch in order for the door to close, as it’s much bigger than the one put in 20 years ago. This small turn will not in any way effect the original contract, it will just make the door easier to close.


Now, having this installed by a professional doesn’t necessarily mean the person in question is not a handy man; he is known up and down the creek as being such, and capable of installing a toilet his own self. This just means the falling of the responsibility will be on someone else’s head if there’s ever a problem, unlike the mishap of building a boat too large to get out of his shop and, when reconstruction of the building permitted its escape, only to find out it wouldn’t float, but sunk right off the trailer. After rereading the plans it was discovered there should have been cross ribs glued in place and a sub floor installed. As it was, three grown men standing on a thin sheet of glued plywood on a small sailboat broke through. After pointing out that a simple replacement of a portion of the bottom would suffice, he chose a gallon of very expensive ga-lou, covering the bottom of the boat; twice more it has sunk.


His wife, bless her heart, has put up with this kind of handyman activity for years, but, when it comes to cleaning up floating poo time after time, she wholeheartedly approved of the installer, especially for the clean up part.


Standing in the doorway with a cup of coffee and spouting off about his work as a young logger, he was interrupted by the toilet installer and informed if he even watched or in any way suggested any helpful advice, or even spoke to the installer, the price would be doubled. Thus, the installer was left to do his work.


I, too, have had trouble with my bathroom stool being too small and squatty, especially for an older man, so after many complaints I was given permission to look for a larger, taller stool, one with a lid that closes automatically, so I don’t even have to put it down. Upon bringing it home I discovered the floor underneath it sagged just enough it wasn’t level, so I called an expert, Rich, a hill William (that’s an upgrade from a hillbilly.) Anyway, Rich was the one who built our home and he has always maintained it. He just lives up the road from our house.


One hundred and sixty-two thousand dollars and eighty-two cents later, we have a new bathroom. When I said, “Whatever you want, dear,” I didn’t know it would be a complete makeover. When she started making suggestions, I said, “Let’s let Rich do it and I want to be involved.” Whatever she wanted turned out to be a vanity with a composite marble top, a new tile floor and tile trim sides with wainscoting, and all new paint. A new bathtub with its own heater and bubble valves, which means I no longer have to make my own bubbles in the tub. Plus, all the matching fixtures, curtains, throw rugs, and a large assortment of towels.


There were no arguments; whatever suggestion Rich came up with concerning construction, she readily concurred. We almost had words in a department store once, when she allowed me to push the cart while she shopped, but I pointed out a color I liked in the towel department and she sent me to wait in the car until she finished shopping.


Do you think that’s an excessive amount of money to spend on leveling your bathroom stool? Just remember, I sat in my easy chair reading Pat McManus books over again while all of this took place. The chest pains I had been having during this construction finally subsided after Rich handed in his last bill.  We have a viewing now on Saturday, at which an admission is being charged .

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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humor, remodeling, From the Mouth of the River, toilets

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