Two weeks ago, I showed my son There, I fixed it! which is a website devoted to “epic kludges and jury rigs.” Kiddo#1 was laughing so hard he was crying at some of the ways people “fixed” things.
(I’m sorry, but this is another major-backstory post because it doesn’t make sense unless you know all this stuff, and I assume you guys don’t remember the time I told God I needed a new car-repair story for my novel about the auto mechanic, and the next day my battery died because God loves me.)
About a month ago (more backstory) I was working again on that novel about the auto mechanic, and at the same time, our toilet stopped flushing. I opened it up and figured out the flush lever had cracked, so the next day I toodled over to Angelborough Hardware And Other Crap, purchased a flush lever, and returned home to install it.
While doing that, I heard my auto mechanic character telling her niece, “The best thing a woman can learn to do is fix a toilet by herself,” which later led to not one but two amazing scenes for the novel, one of which is quite possibly the most romantic toilet-fixing scene in the English language.
Because, you see, God loves me, and He knew the book needed a much better ending sequence than it had.
And now we advance the calendar to Thanksgiving Day, when we were making Thanksgiving dinner. Guests were to begin arriving at 1:30.
At 1:25, the main floor’s toilet’s flush lever snapped.
Remember what my Toilet-Fixing Mechanic Heroine told me? That the best thing a woman can learn to do for herself is to learn to fix a toilet?
I opened up the toilet, diagnosed the problem, then told my Patient Husband, “Find me some beading wire, some baling wire, or as a last resort, some string. Oh, and something I can use as a handle.”
I removed the defunct flush lever. I tied a string to the chain attached to the flush valve. I fed the string back through the hole where the flush lever would have been attached to the outside. I replaced the ceramic lid and gave the string a tug.
And it flushed. After that, I only needed to find a handle, which turned up in an unlikely place and conveniently said “Handy.”
There. I fixed it.
My mom bought a new flush lever the next day and replaced it herself. I guess she didn’t like my string. Or, she has common sense. But it was good while it lasted.