Everyone has a shit story, one where they embarrassingly experienced one of life’s most natural processes at an inconvenient time. Over the years I’ve come to realize that these stories, while horrific when they happen, are often hilarious afterwards. From the marathoner who shits himself as he runs across the finish line (if not beforehand) to the man who pooped in the woods without toilet paper, our most embarrassing moments can be humorous after we’re done cleaning up.
This weekend my toilet started making funny noises, it always made a weird gargle but this was different. It sounded like water was trickling in the tank and the handle was too loose to flush. I did what any guy would, I opened the back to fiddle around with the parts until A) the problem was solved, or B) I broke something.
Luckily, it fixed the first time I messed around with it. Apparently the tank wasn’t refilling with water and if I jiggled the float sensor (professional vocabulary there) until it registered that there was no water. At which point, it refilled the tank and BAM, problem solved.
While at this time my roommate had been gone for the week and was unable to share the experience of resetting the toilet every time someone wanted to use it. The problem I thought that I had solved continually reappeared and I continued to ignore it… until my roommate came back this evening.
I didn’t even think of telling him because I had reset the toilet enough times to forget that it was even broken. It had become a habit to repair it whenever I needed to use it. So when I walked into the bathroom tonight, it took me a second to register why the room smelled like old urine. He had come back and used the toilet without knowing how to reset it.
No problem, I pulled the “sensor” and refilled the tank until it could flush. Afterwards I reset it again so that I could use it quickly. I was getting ready for bed and about to take a shower before climbing under the covers. So I sat down and did the thing that people do when they sit on the toilet.
Afterwards I reached back to flush but the handle was loose. The water must of drained from the tank. Perhaps because my toilet hates me, or more likely out of pure coincidence, option B mentioned above decided to happen (the parts broke). This was a convenient time because now there was a giant turd in the toilet with no way to make it disappear.
I did what any person would do; shuffled the broken parts and pipes around in hopes that they would magically fix themselves. But to no avail I was stuck awkwardly in the bathroom with very few options. The obvious solution was to shower, if I didn’t look at the problem, maybe it would fix itself. At the very least it would give me time to think of what I could do.
You probably guessed it: the problem did not repair itself. To add, now my turd floated in all of its glory, seeming to taunt me with its presence. I thought about it; my roommate and I weren’t friends, so instead of this being a laughable situation, it would be awkward. He would probably walk in, shriek, and knock on my door… no fun.
Now I removed the porcelain tank cover and set it on my floor. Any person who has done this knows that porcelain is noisy and makes a hallowed glass sound any time that it is moved. This was great considered that it was also 2 in the morning. If my roommate didn’t know what I was doing by now, he was probably deaf.
After shuffling the sensor a few more times I came to grips that shaking it harder wasn’t helping. I was going to have to run the toilet without the pump to refill the water. Somehow I was going to have to fill the tank up manually and flush it. I knew that in my tiny dorm room I had a cup, but it would have taken an hour of filling up and dumping it in. I needed a bigger container, one that could fill something as big a fish tank.
Luckily, I was at the end of my protein powder and the containers were made of plastic. Perfect for holding water and large enough to hold a great amount of it. Two of them were almost empty, so I dumped the remaining extra scoops into a different container.
The water ran slow, my sink had very little water pressure. It took almost 10 minutes just to fill the two containers most the way. As the water reached the brim of the containers, I breathed an exasperated sigh. I was going to get rid of this turd and finally get some sleep.
I carried the containers of murky, slightly browned, water into my bathroom. Now the bathroom was starting to reek. It’s bad when you can smell your own shit. I poured the water as quietly as I could into the tank. The water splashed loudly enough that I know my roommate was listening. Unfortunately the sum of the two containers barely filled half of the tank. The flush was unsuccessful and the turd remained.
I had to recruit another container, so I dumped out the power (from my third power mix) into a Tupperware container. I filled that one to the brim, along with the other ones. As they filled, I couldn’t help but laugh. At least I didn’t have eat badly that day.
The facet took its time filling the containers and once they were full, I was determined this would work. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t know what to do. With the first flush a failure, I couldn’t let doubt into my mind. This was going to work, the damn toilet would recycle the water and I would be able to go to sleep.
I carried the full protein containers of water into the bathroom and set them along the wall. I had to be strategic to pour all the water in quickly. I didn’t want to wait another 20 minutes for them to refill. I opened the seat, to make sure the nastiness would flush, and filled the upper tank with water.
There was just enough to fill the tank to where it normally sits. The float lifted enough that it even shut the sensor off, quieting a irritating buzz that seemed to exist only to mock me. With one foul swing of my hand, I flushed the toilet. It was a success; my poop was a goner and I watched it swirl away in sadness.
The situation was ridiculous and now my bathroom smelled like protein and poop. Also, my roommate probably thinks I’m a weirdo for spending an hour doing god-knows-what with the toilet. All of this because my toilet decided to break right after I took a shit.
The lesson I learned here is: get a plumber to fix your stuff or read on the internet on how to do the repairs. Don’t fiddle with toilet parts or neglect the fixing it. Your toilet will get you… it will be at an incredibly inconvenient time and it will be shitty.