Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the toilet incident

I admit it, the toilet incident was my fault. It's just best to get that out of the way now. It makes the whole story that's about to follow much easier to tell.

Sunday night we had some people over for dinner, among them our home teacher Jim. When everyone had left, around 10:00, Margo and I went to find Erin. She had disappeared an hour or two earlier, when the phone rang, and we assumed it was this guy she’s interested in, who lives in Colorado. Wanting to satisfy our curiosity, we found her sitting on the floor of our walk-in closet, talking on the phone. When we asked who it was, she told us it was her sister, and that they were having a serious conversation. Knowing as we did that Erin and her sister have plenty of material for serious conversations these days, we respectfully left her there on the floor of the closet and cleaned up the kitchen and dining room.

After a half hour of cleaning, which was punctuated by a brief but loud argument between Erin and her sister from our bedroom, I decided it was definitely time for bed. So I went into our room, where I found that Erin had come out of the closet and was still talking on the phone. Realizing now that everyone had left for the night, she moved out into the living room to continue her conversation. In the meantime, I changed into my pajamas and started my bed-time routine. A few minutes later, I ran at full speed into the living room, pausing just long enough to yell at Erin, “Help! How do you stop an overflowing toilet?!” I then proceeded to find as many towels and rags as I could to at least sop up some of the water, while Erin followed, laughing, into our bedroom. There she also helped to find some more towels, while I awkwardly positioned myself in our Cracker-Jack-box of a bathroom in such a way that I could hold up the auto leveling assembly in the toilet’s tank to stop the flow of water, whilst and at the same time attempting to hold up the cuff of my pajama bottoms so they wouldn’t get wet.

By this time, Margo had come in as well, and she suggested that we try calling one of the guys who’d just left our apartment — surely one of them would know how to take care of this problem, right? So, I called Jim, our home teacher, worrying that he wouldn’t even be home yet, as he has a good drive from our house to his. But he was home, and he explained to me where the emergency shut off valve was, and Margo managed to get it turned off. So, now there was no longer any water flowing out of the toilet onto our floor. Jim offered to come over and help us unclog the toilet, since we didn’t have a plunger (and, in fact, have still to buy one). I thanked him profusely, hung up the phone, and turned to the business of getting all the water soaked up from the floor.

While Margo and I did what we could with the rags, I realized that the conversation Erin was having on the phone didn’t actually sound her sister was on the other end. “Are you actually talking to Eric?” I asked.

“Yes,” she responded.

“You’ve been talking to him this whole time?”


“And you told us you were talking to Christine? You lied to us?”

“Well,” she explained, “I didn’t realize everyone had left already, and I didn’t want you to go back and tell them I was talking to Eric and make fun of me.”

“So, you just said it was Christine so that we wouldn’t tell anyone it was Eric?”


“I can’t believe you’d do that!” I exclaimed with indignation.

“Oh come on,” Erin laughed, “ you guys should know me better than that.”

“Right,” Margo contended, “and you actually thought that we would go back there and make fun of you with everyone? You should know us better than that!”

Erin, who was feeling particularly amused that night, laughed at Margo’s quick come-back and continued to find more towels for us.

“So what’s going on then?” she asked. She had, understandably, missed most of my conversation with Jim, being caught up in her own conversation with Eric.

I explained that Jim was going to come try to unclog the toilet for us, adding just how embarrassing I found the whole situation. I didn’t like having to rely on anyone else to fix our toilet, and for reasons of my own, I found it particularly galling to have to confide in Jim for that help. Erin offered to claim that the whole thing was her fault, if it would make me feel any better. I answered her only with a laugh, thinking she probably wasn’t serious, and also feeling unable to lie so blatantly to Jim.

Eventually, Jim arrived, with two plungers in tow. By this time, we had sopped up all the water from the bathroom, wrung out all the cloths into the bathtub, started a load of laundry, and thoroughly rubbed down the tub and the bathroom floor with a Clorox disinfectant cloth. When Jim arrived, then, Erin and I were both in the living room, and Margo had gone to bed already. He started to make for the guest bathroom, but we quickly disabused him and led him into our bedroom to the smaller (“Master”) bathroom. I stood just outside the door (I would defy anyone to get two people and two plungers into that bathroom, ever, with enough room left over for a sneeze) and watched while he went to work. As Erin wandered back into the living room, I tried to think of something to say to Jim, and came out with the first thing that came to mind: “So ... have you plunged many toilets in your life?”

I could hear Erin in the other room, guffawing at my masterful conversational skills. Jim stopped what he was doing, turned to look at me squarely, and replied, “No, not many. How about you?”

Feeling about as idiotic as I ever have in my entire life, I made some mild answer to this and kept up as a good a flow of mundane conversation as possible while Jim continued to plunge away. However, as both of the plungers he’d brought were too small for our toilet, he didn’t make much headway after getting the water to drain out of the bowl. Eventually, he had to give it up, recommending that we put in a work order the next morning. I again thanked him profusely, offered a grocery bag for his now wet plungers, and saw him to the door.

As soon as he had left, I found Erin, who was still sitting on the couch talking to Eric, and explained to her the epiphany I had about half-way through Jim’s attempt at clearing our toilet.

“So, the toilet is not in Margo’s bathroom — clearly, you’ve been on the phone for hours ... Jim is a smart guy, whose fault is he going to think it is?”

After a few more hearty rounds of laughter, assurances from Eric that this is a situation where it is perfectly acceptable to call your home teacher, and some anecdotes about toilets in general, I managed to get myself in bed, though it was a full three hours later than I had planned. In the morning, I called the office to put in a work order, and they were able to come by before the end of the day to fix things. Ah, the joys of a flushing toilet.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

a whole month

It doesn't seem like it has been that long, but really it has. One whole month since the last time I posted on my blog here. A lot of little, uninteresting things have happened during that month, but nothing worth talking about on here. Oh, except that I'm now 27. According to my friend Katie, that means I'm now old.

I'm not at all happy about school this semester. I just don't feel like being here. Last year when this happened, I had a better social life to make up for my lack of scholastic enthusiasm. I hope something as good comes along today.

Tonight I've been feeling really annoyed. I'm tired as it is, and then when I went to Curves (which took great effort, as I really didn't want to go), the bus was a half hour late, and for reasons I don't want to take the time to explain right now, that meant that I couldn't actually go to Curves. So I wasted an entire hour of my life. Very frustrating. It made me want to eat something sweet to compensate for my anger (I'm very much an emotional eater), but I'm on a diet right now, so I had to try some low-carb brownies. I haven't actually tasted them yet, so we'll see how that goes.

Well, I have absolutely nothing else to say about anything (or at least not something that anyone cares to hear about), so I'll go ahead and go.

The last quote was from The Rocketeer.

I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours. (3 points, I expect most of you to know it)

And to make up for that easy quote, here's another.

I'm afraid after we're married a while, a beautiful young girl will come along and you'll forget all about me.

Don't be silly! I'll write you twice a week. (73 points, with half points for Margo, since she watched the movie with me recently, though I don't think she'll get this right away)