Now, before you
start to snicker, here's the logic: by inserting the blade of the
chisel under the head of the recalcitrant bolt and giving it a sharp
rap with the hammer, the beheaded bolt would simply slide out of its
corroded home and, as the Brits would say, "Bob's your uncle."
Missing of course
in this brilliant reasoning process, was consideration of the relative
strengths of brass versus ceramic.
As I carefully
positioned the chisel and gave the bolt a sharp rap, the entire
corner of the toilet fell off, at last freeing the bolt from its
home, but leaving me with a substantial piece of ceramic in my hand
and an inoperable commode. Knowing that I was in serious trouble
should knowledge of this blunder reach the wrong ears (my wife had
asked me several times over the course of this ordeal whether everything
was all right--to which I replied, "No problem."), I formulated
a desperate plan to glue the corner of the toilet back on. It was
an incredilbly clean break; and as I held the broken piece in its
place, you could barely see the fault line. A few heavy applications
of super glue, some serious pressure, and voila! Good as new.
is beginning to suspect something is amiss and has insisted on a
visit to the scene of action to assure herself all is indeed well,
as I continued to assure her. Before I had a chance to bolt the
new $29.99 Hechinger toilet seat in place, she had insinuated her
way into the bathroom and was visibly relieved to see the project
appeared to be nearing completion, with "No problem."
Had she not
decided to flush the toilet at that point, I might still have been
able to pull off a miracle; but flush she did; and the water, coursing
through the water channel which passed through the apparently intact
corner of the commode, shot three feet in the air in multiple tiny
geysers (picture, Bellagio dancing waters, with screaming instead
were squandering their time watching the Redskins game, the rest
of my afternoon was spent arranging for emergency plumbing service
(Sunday rates) and overseeing the procurement and installation of
a complete new toilet (not on sale).
this day, I think I could have salvaged the situation, along with
a little dignity and a lot of money, if I had been allowed to apply
my ultimate solution. But wife, who got me into the situation in
the first place, refused to consider living in a house where the
corner of the toilet was held in place by duct tape.
is a retired naval officer living in Hawaii. During his military
career he served in a number of overseas assignments, including
Germany, England, Spain, Viet Nam and Puerto Rico. Following his
retirement, he was an adjunct faculty member of Hawaii Pacific University
and is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy at the submarine
base in Pearl Harbor.
Also by Jean