Monday, March 19, 2007

We'd Prefer You Call it a Pee-Pee-Soaked Heck Hole

So I was cleaning the bathroom Saturday afternoon. I know - some people hit parades on St. Patrick's Day; others get stinking drunk; me? I clean my bathroom.

As I'm cleaning around the toilet, I notice water on the floor. Water. On the bathroom floor. I've been there before - many times. You want leaks in the bathroom? I've had them all - the tub has leaked due to cracked caulk and grout, the way the shower head was set up caused water to flow onto the floor of the bathroom, the roof leaked into the bathroom, the faucet leaked, the toilet tank leaked. Generally, it all wound up in the same place - on the kitchen ceiling directly below the bathroom. For a compound that we need to survive, water has brought me an awful lot of grief.

But I digress - there's a little water on the floor. I wipe it up and determine that there's a little water condensing on the water supply for the toilet. No big. I can deal with it, and deal with it I do. I head off to my room to clean in there - because it's how I choose to spend my Saturday. Huzzah.

Later, I return to the restroom to get some other cleaning paraphernalia, where I see a much greater amount of water on the floor - all around the base of the toilet.

Over the last few years, I've become more of a plumbing expert than I ever thought possible. I'm not ready to go pro, but I can usually look at something and say - with pretty good authority - that that's not right. And water pooling around the base of the toilet? Not right.

I wipe it up, flush and see if anymore water pools. Nope. Maybe it was a fluke, but there's one more test. One more test that will prove whether I'm going to fall into my old habit of worrying myself nearly to death about it when nothing is wrong, or whether I have a problem.

Yep. I had a problem. The wet spot in the plaster ceiling confirmed it. A few minutes later, the water to the toilet is off and we're headed off to greener pastures for the night. Darcy only had to spend a few minutes to talk me down from my idea of getting the can of gas for the lawn mower, splashing it around the first floor, lighting a match and walking off into the sunset. Apparently, there's laws against that sort of thing. Who knew?

Frequently, I'm accused of worrying things to death. What can I say? I'm only truly happy if I have some problem to solve - the more Gordian in scope, the better. I complain about my house, and do want to divest myself of it. But I'm trying to be more optimistic about this. A friend once told me that if the water damage to my house was as severe as I feared it, my bathroom would have long ago fallen into the kitchen. So far, that hasn't come to pass.

But the house - and bathroom follies haven't been all bad. I know what to look for in the next house (two bathrooms, ideally) and will be prepared to deal with them.

Of course, it'll be the entirely new set of problems that will tear off and kick me in the junk.

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