“A rising tide floats all boats” is a phrase that gets used fairly often. It was often associated with the abnormally long bull market that made everyone’s portfolio look like a winner, so it’s a friendly and encouraging statement.
A rising toilet, however, tends to be viewed in the opposite light. So it was with me last night when, to my chagrin, the water level in my bowl began rising.
I must have been stupefied, because I flushed the toilet again, as if the act of flipping the handle once more would make this vision disappear.
The water overflowing the bowl onto the floor snapped me out of my stupor and I swiftly turned off the nozzle to cut the water flow to the toilet. Too late to prevent a small flood in the bathroom, but in plenty of time to keep it within the confines of the tiled floor.
As with my previous toilet event, just last month, I used my full contingent of “cleaning” towels (those towels too old to use for anything but cleaning) sopping up the water.
I was doubly annoyed as I had just mopped the floors the day before. As everyone knows, I loath cleaning, so this had me bubbling over as well.
Curiously, I had no clue as to the cause of the stoppage, since it was simply water overflowing. It didn’t take Holmesian deductive powers to figure out there was a block somewhere down the line.
That’s when a new realization hit me: I don’t own a plunger.
In fact, I have never owned a plunger. In 30 years of living alone I have never owned one. I searched my (admittedly spotty) memories for any previous toilet overflow incident at home and could not recall one.
Now, a number of people have some not so nice things to say about Wal-Mart, but I’m just peachy with them. Where else can you go on a late Sunday night in need of a plunger?
$3.16 and several minutes later, I unearthed the culprit. Paper towels. Another first. I know well enough to only throw tissue or toilet paper in the toilet, never anything more, so how did those paper towels get in there?
I know when they must have gotten there, during the cleaning of the bathroom the previous day, but why I threw them there and didn’t notice is beyond me (there’s that spotty memory again).
In the end, there was nothing more than a medium-sized spill, an additional load of towels to wash and some extra scrubbing of the tiles needed. No plumber and only $3.16 spent (along with some sheepish embarrassment).
And, of course, after 30 years, I’ve taken my first plunge.