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Just another random Tuesday evening....

I had just pulled out of the office parking lot when my cell rang....(isn't this how it always begins?)

Mom? Mom?

Bean? I can hardly hear you...


You want me to Shhhsh?

Mom! Please! Just be quiet.

Ok. Why are you calling me whispering?

Because Gram's in the other room....

Where are you?

In the bathroom - SHHHHH!!!!

Ok, Bean, look - I'm in the car surrounded entirely by myself. No one can hear me. Trust me. Now, what do you need? And why are you whispering in Grandma's bathroom?

Not GRANDMA'S bathroom - PAPA'S bathroom.

Ok. Why are you whispering in Papa's bathroom?

Because I just.... you know... went... you know... went a lot....

Are you looking for a congratulatory trophy?

Mom! Please! This is serious. I need your help.

Aren't you a little old for me to wipe?


Ok. Sorry. I'm sorry. How can I help you -- from my car?

It won't flush.


The toilet. It won't flush!

Well just go tell Gram - she'll fix it.


Because... it's the most logical thing to do in this situation..?

I can't go tell Gram because Aunt Neen is here. They're talking. I don't want to be embarrassed. Can you just help me please?

Ok. Fine. What is the toilet doing?

Nothing. It's just sitting there.

No, I mean, when you go to flush it - what does it do? Does it make a sound? Does the handle not work? Does it wiggle? Does it do anything?

No, it doesn't do anything. It doesn't do anything! Mom you have to help me! It really stinks in here....

Ok, Bean, look. This is what I want you to do. Close the toilet seat and then you're going to put your phone down. Then you're going to take BOTH HANDS and carefully take the top of the toilet tank off and place it CAREFULLY on the toilet seat. Okay?

Ok. .......... What part is the toilet tank?

(oh, jesus.) Do you see the part of the toilet that is right up against the wall?


It's shaped like a rectangle?


That's the toilet tank. The top cover lifts off - but it's heavy, so use both hands.

Oh, okay. Got it. Hold on. I'm going to put my phone down.




It's off. Please hurry.

Ok. Ok. Now, what I want you to do is put your hand in the water and all the way to the bottom and pull that little flap --

Gross! I'm not sticking my hand in there!

It's clean water, Bean. It's just the side of the tank that looks gross but the water is clean.

It's still gross.

Do you want to get Grandma?


Then stick your hand down there and pull that flap.

What flap.

At the bottom of the tank - in the middle...

There is no flap.

There's no flap?


What is there?




There is absolutely nothing in the tank?

Well, there's this black thing - here - let me take a picture of it with my cell phone and then I'll send it to you. Call me back when you get it - but HURRY!

(It was at this point I called my sister hoping she would also be at my mother's house. Of course she wasn't. But she did tell me that the toilet in my dad's bathroom has been turned off because it was leaking. A-ha!)


Hello? Mom?

There's no water in the tank, is there?


That means the toilet has been turned off and you'll have to turn it back on to fill it up with water. Look down towards the floor and there will be a silver knob -

I see it! I see it!

Just turn that until the water starts coming into the toilet tank - the thing by the wall.

Ok...... ok! The water is filling up.... there's this black bubble thing and it keeps getting higher and higher.... it's about halfway there.... now a quarter... well, no, I mean there's a quarter left to fill. The way I said it would mean that the water was getting lower and it's not, it's getting higher.... it's almost there.... ok. It shut off all by itself. Now what?

Flush it.

Flush it?

Yes. Flush the toilet.

Ok.... I did it... it's working... NO IT'S NOT! NOT EVERYTHING WENT DOWN! THERE'S STILL STUFF IN THERE! Oh my gawd! Mom! You have to help me! It's not working!

Calm down. Just let the tank fill up again and flush it a second time....

..... ok... ok.... wow. A double flusher. That's pretty bad considering I'm only thirteen....

Is it working?

Yep..... Ok! Everything's down!

Alright. Just make sure the water is turned back off and look around to see if any water leaked on the floor - wipe that up if it did.

I will. Thanks, Mom. You saved my life!

Well, I'm glad I could save you. Any time....


rachael said…
Is this really the "crap" I have to look forward to?? :)
Phoenix Rising said…
oh, rachael... you'll have double the fun!!

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