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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Toilet Adventure

This week my buddy Barbara is in residence at 'Chez Claire', where we pride ourselves on providing guests with a nice wholesome breakfast. One morning our breakfast fare was hot spinach omelets, other days it's freshly baked waffles or French toast with real maple syrup. This morning we had freshly baked banana bran muffins washed down with loads of coffee. Then, being Saturday, we headed out to the local Farmer's market for farm fresh veggies & fruit.
The Farmer's Market

One of the Fruit Vendor Boothes

Alien Life Form disquised as a Chestnut Husk
Barbara treated herself - and her Monterey Garden - with some Native California bull rushes for her little backyard pond. I opted for a tiny White Sage shrub, to take the place of one of the many beautiful White Sages, I and my not-very-green thumb, have murdered over the years.

Barbara buying a Bull rushes From the Native Plant Seller

By the time we returned from the Farmer's Market, the morning coffee had filtered through our intestinal plumbing. I took care of business and then goofed around on the computer, I noticed Barbara - normally a bubbly, talkative person, had disappeared. She was locked away in the guest room and I could hear watery, splashing noises. Hum...

My guest room has a bathroom, in miniature. It's a bathroom so minuscule, so infinitesimally eensie, just closing the door behind you and gyrating your bum onto the toilet requires the sort of acrobatics that made Cirque De Soile famous. Below is a photo of it taken from inside the shower.

The Ensie Wiensie Guest Bathroom

Eventually Barbara came into the living room, looking sheepish.

"Something really, really BAD happened," she said.


Yes, the toilet had overflowed and stalwart Barbara - figuratively only - dove right in, taking up the ancient plunger that hasn't seen service in ten years, and plunged for all she was worth, but the water poured out the guest toilet.

Unfortunately, as already mentioned, we'd drunk our body weights in coffee. So, I encouraged Barbara to give the hall bathroom a go and off she went.

Several minutes later Barb raced into the living room. "Something ELSE bad has happened!"

EEEEEEEEKKKKK again! When she flushed the hall toilet, the pee-laden water ran out of the base of the toilet.

Shortly thereafter we were off to the Home Depot for a new, uncracked plunger. It was a beaut - curved flanges, space-age design but damn it, it made no difference, the toilets remained plugged.

So calls were made and a couple of hours later a plumber showed up. My mind made mental calculations on costs that would, on the bad side, ruin me, but on the plus side would allow the plumber's children to attend Cambridge. And lo! A miracle happened. After checking around outside the house, the plumber made a proclamation.

The sewer plug up was not in my house's plumbing - it was instead, the County's sewer lines that were gummed up and the county would come out and fix it all - for FREE!

Still, the toilet adventure had screwed up the hall bathroom and after an hour or so, the plumber had repositioned the hall toilet on its wax seal to the tune of $229. Expensive beyond any possible logical explanation (are wax toilet seals comprised of platinum? Does repairing toilets require a Yale Degree?), but I will not lose the house after all.

Meanwhile a County Crew came out & plunged the County Sewer lines that lead to my home's plumbing. Of course, when the County guys scratched their heads and mentioned a shite load of bananas and bran running freely out of the County sewer lines, Barbara and I had the uncommonly good sense to shut-the-eff up.

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