|Posted on September 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM|
Fact: I’m really not very handy around the house. I’m utter rubbish when it comes to finding things, I do the bare minimum of yard work to keep the POA from sending me letters (and by “bare minimum” I mean “write a check to the guy that cuts my grass and breaks my sprinkler heads” ), and I don’t at all enjoy “tinkering.” (I also have a bad habit of leaving shoes all over the house, but I’ve promised my wife I’m working on that. Still.) Really, unless the problem is, “Why is there no sound on the TV?” or, “Should this be a comma or a semicolon?” I'm truly not much help at all. (When Dana married me, I was a golf professional with absolutely no dreams or aspirations of being handy. Changing just wouldn’t be staying true to the man she married.)
Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact I like to play my movies and music at reference volume levels, leading previous neighbors to leave notes on my door reading, “You don’t live alone in a cabin in the woods! Turn it down!” then I would totally embrace the condo lifestyle.
But I like my obscenely loud volume levels and soul quivering bass, and that means owning a home. And owning a home means that I’m occasionally called upon to tackle projects around the house. These can be simple things like fixing a hinge on a cabinet door or changing a part on the pool’s chlorinator which has the single-minded goal of breaking *right* before I leave town at a time when no parts are obtainable and ensuring that the pool will become a virulent algae spawning ground within days of leaving, to repairing another sprinkler head the gardener has driven over again.
Last week, my daughter Lauryn’s toilet broke. The fill valve thingy that lets water in after a flush just stopped letting water through. (I discovered this was the problem after several minutes of Gestapo style, “What did you do? What did YOU DO?! WHAT DID YOU DO?!?” interrogation with Lauryn where she staunchly proclaimed her innocence.)
Even though this elevated my typical toilet related problem solving skill set from plunger to something other than plunger, I still figured it would be no problem. In fact, I’ve already changed out this part a few times before, having mastered the arcane mysteries which lie beneath the toilet’s porcelain top. And serendipity! I even happened to have an extra toilet repair kit on hand!
So like a damn boss, I carefully removed the water out of the tank, put down a pan to catch the residual water, unscrewed the nuts and bolts and dismantled the bad valve. As I’m putting in the new valve and tightening everything and thinking what a toilet repairing rock star I am, I twist a part at the supply line coming out of the wall and it immediately starts leaking. Like bad leaking. (Insert all the expletives you know here… Feel free to consult the urban dictionary to pick up some new ones.)
This sends me running about on a quest to find my home’s water shutoff valve. Now, you might think that after living in a home for 12 years I should know right where the water shutoff valve is, and you may indeed be right on this point. But arguing about what I should have and shouldn’t have known regarding the location of the water shutoff valve was in no way helping to actually shut the water off.