Monday, July 14, 2008

Adventures in Plumbing

The water in our apartment building is being turned off today. They do this to us quite often, ostensibly because they are doing repairs on the building's plumbing, but I suspect that it is really a subtle form of psychological warfare/ conditioning. Their plan is to slowly wean us off of our dangerous dependence on running water. One day, I am sure, the water just won't come back on, but we will blissfully carry on with our lives, and the property managers will save all that money.

Usually, not having running water during the day is not big deal, because you're really supposed to be at work. Work, however, is the curse of the drinking class, and I for one refuse to be a part of it. Unfortunately, this means that I have been hanging around the apartment all day with the water turned off. This wasn't really a problem (showering is for chumps)until after my second cup of coffee....

So I'm sitting here, starting to gently rock back and forth, and wondering what's the worse that could happen if I used the cat's litter box, when this terrible whooosh starts coming from the bathroom. The toilet is running again! I'm saved! And by running, I mean it is in a perpetual state of flushing. Not wasting any time, I quickly squat over the raging Charybdis in my toilet bowl. It tickled, kinda like a bidet. Finished and satisfied, I return to the living room to promptly blog about my last bowel movement.

But then something terrible starts to happen. The toilet doesn't stop. It keeps going, and going. And it's leaking. And then I realize that I have no means of turning the toilet off. I call the manager's office.

"Help! My toilet is trying to kill me!"
"We're working on the pipes today sir. Your water will be turned off for most of the day. You should have gotten a notice under your door."
"The water being off is not my problem. I would love it if the water were off."
"Oh... Would you like me to fill out a work order?"

We filled out a work-order to have one of our bedroom doors fixed last September. We're still waiting.

"No! I need someone to turn off the water to my apartment! My bathroom is starting to flood!"
"Calm down, sir. They'll be working on the water all day today. Would you like me to fill out a work-order?"
"No! Are you even listening to me? And why is there no valve for me to turn the water to my toilet off?"
"I don't know, sir. I can fill out a work-order and have someone look at it for you."

I considered my options.

"Yes, please. I would love for you to fill a work-order. Thank you. That's very kind of you."

So now I'm running into the bathroom every few minutes, mopping up the floor, moving everything off the tilefloor or out of the room, and looking for my lifejacket. And waiting for the work-order to come through.


Rick said...

Try pushing down on the stopper in the tank. That makes the tank fill up without going into the bowl, which trips the shut-off valve. I hate to think of seeing you in this situation until your lease runs out next month....

jim v said...

The answer of course is to take Toilets 101 next semester. There you can learn the detailed workings of the flushable commode. Or you can listen to old Bill Cosby records where he recounts his childhood experiences with toilets. (I am pretty sure that is where Rick got his learning from. )