There are two kinds of people in this world. On one hand, there’s the people who, if their truck broke down on a deserted road in the mountains, would be able to fix it quickly and be safely on their way. On the other hand, we have the people who would open the hood and stand there squinting dumbly at the engine until they were eaten by wolves.*
I represent the second group.
I have no aptitude for mechanical things whatsoever. As I write this, the basement toilet has the toilet flu — which, as those of you with mechanical knowledge will know, is the technical term for when a toilet randomly floods every half hour. Normally this would not be cause for emergency, except that the two members of my family with any mechanical skills — and therefore the power to cure this toilet of its toilet flu — are away fishing, happy in the knowledge that, in the case of an emergency, they can fix the truck before the wolves get them. Which leaves myself and my mom at home with the solemn duty to hold the toilet at bay. Our current plan consists of bailing the water out of the toilet bowl with a bucket and into a larger container, which we then dump out outside. It’s kind of like being on a sinking ship, except that, if they fail on the ship, the sailors don’t have to worry about whether or not they need to call someone tear up the carpet. It’s rough, that toilet flu.
Not everybody would get eaten by the proverbial wolves when the proverbial truck breaks down on the proverbial mountain road. My brother Reilly is an example of this. My dad, who would also survive the proverbial wolves, will tell him some kind of complicated mechanical job that needs done around the house, like reassembling a Toyota from the molecular level, or fixing a doorknob. A couple hours later, Reilly returns, and something similar to the following conversation takes place:
DAD: So, did you get it fixed?
REILLY: Yeah. It took me a while because the truncated grommet components were the wrong caliber. I had to get some more at the hardware store.
DAD: I thought we had some of those around here somewhere. Connor, do you know where the truncated grommet components are?
Just now, as I wrote the script above, we finally got a plumber over to take a look at our ailing toilet. After inspecting it for several minutes from different angles, he announced solemnly that “it’s coming from someplace else.” For a tech-savvy person like me, that clears up the matter in an instant. I’m surprised I didn’t figure it out before, really. Clearly, there is a toilet in a parallel universe that transports water to ours whenever it’s flushed!
I’ll avoid making a joke here about the condition of the people using that toilet in the parallel universe and the fact that they’re apparently flushing every twenty minutes. The plumber is currently sticking a ten-foot long metal thing into the toilet. I’m assuming it has a note on the end addressed to the owners of the parallel universe toilet, politely asking them to quit flushing the toilet. We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, it’s my turn to bail out the toilet.
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*Wolves strike me as the kind of capable, masculine animals that would be able to repair the truck after they ate us, thus dramatically improving their mobility in the future.