Musings: an afternoon down the drain (a tragicomedy in one act)

(The original version of this BlumanClassic was posted on June 23, 2004.)

Sunday 2:00 PM – Flush! Drip… Drip… Drip… My toilet is leaking water. Not the unspeakably filthy water, but still, it’s toilet water.

Sunday 2:01 PM – I decide I’ve had enough. I decide I will fix the toilet. I say to the toilet, “Toilet? You’ve leaked on my bathroom floor for the last time. It’s time for you to get potty trained.”

Read all about my ill-fated attempts to get my toilet fixed after the jump.

Sunday 4:02 PM – I stare down the toilet. It stares back. I decide I will fix the toilet by way of the Jedi Mind Trick. I will trick the toilet into fixing itself.Sunday 4:03 PM – It does not move. Hmm. The Force is strong with this one.

Sunday 4:04 PM – I stare at the toilet some more. It stares me back. I give up and decide to enlist the help of my super, who shall be known for purposes of this blog entry, simply as “Assface.”

Sunday 4:20 PM – I call Assface and get voicemail. “Uh, hi, Assface? This is Doctor Bluman. I’m sorry to bother you on the weekend, but there is a small leak in my toilet, and I was hoping that we could set up a time sometime this week to get it fixed. Thanks!”

Monday 6:30 PM – No answer from Assface. I call Assface again. We decide that he will send somebody over tomorrow at 1:00 to deal with the toilet situation. I am to call him when I am on my way home tomorrow afternoon to ensure that I will be home when the plumber gets there.

Tuesday 12:30 PM – I finish class. I call Assface again and get voicemail again. “Hi, Assface, it’s Doctor Bluman. I just wanted to let you know that I will be home by 1:00, so you can send someone over now. Thanks!”

Tuesday 1:00 PM – No sign of the plumber, and nothing from Assface. I decide to watch Wimbledon.

Tuesday 1:15 PM – I decide to call Assface. And… I get voicemail. “Hi, Assface, it’s Doctor Bluman again. I don’t know if you got my message from before, but I just wanted to let you know that I’m home now, so if you can send someone over, that would be grrrreaaaaaat. Thanks.”

Tuesday 1:45 PM – The plumber (whom we shall call “Dufresne”) has arrived! I am ecstatic at the thought of once again having a bathroom without a small puddle of standing water. Ha! I showed you, Toilet!

Tuesday 1:55 PM – Dufresne: “Yeah, it looks like I’m gonna need to get a new part for this. You gonna be around later today?” Me: “Yeah.” Dufresne: “Okay, I’m going to go get the parts I need, and I’ll be back later today to fix it.”

Tuesday 2:30 PM – I’m hungry. I have lunch. Foolishly, I consume a beverage during my meal.

Tuesday 4:03 PM – I should not have had any beverages. I need to pee. I look at the toilet. I looks fine, but I decide that it’s better not to take any chances. Besides, Dufresne will be back soon. He said so himself! In the meantime, I watch an episode of The West Wing instead.

Tuesday 4:42 PM – That was a pretty good episode. Who would have thought that The West Wing would feature so many commercials for water fountains, rivers, lawn sprinklers, and waterfalls? I kinda wouldn’t mind peeing sometime soon. I hope Dufresne comes back soon. Oh well, maybe I’ll take out the trash and do some cleaning around the apartment.

Tuesday 4:56 PM – Okay, this is getting ridiculous. I really need to pee now. Where is Dufresne? What are these alleged parts, and why is it taking him so long to get them? Where did he have to go, Trenton? I curse myself for not getting a phone number so I can call him and see when he’s going to be back. I walk over the toilet and poke at the handle. It doesn’t look broken. How bad can it be?

Tuesday 4:57 PM – Flush! Drrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! Driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipppppppppppppppppppppppppppp! Dripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdripdrip! Dripdripdrip! Dripppy drip! Drip! Drip! Drip! Drip. Drip. Drip… Drip… Drip… Drip…

Tuesday 4:59 PM – Okay. I no longer have a bathroom. The good news is, my apartment now boasts a small pond. “Charming rent-stabilized 1 BR in heart of the Village! Close to subway! Built-in shelving! Beat the heat swimming in your own private lake!” Okay, so maybe I can hold out a little longer. Besides, Dufresne must be well on his way back by now. All will be better soon.

Tuesday 5:15 PM – Time is running out. I call Assface. Voicemail. “Hi, Assface? Uh, the guy who came to fix my toilet left halfway through to get some parts or something, and now I don’t have a working toilet anymore, and I’m afraid he may have forgotten to come back and finish the job, so I was hoping you could either call him and tell him to call me or give me his phone number so I can contact him myself. Thanks.”

Tuesday 5:19 PM – My bladder demands action. It will not tolerate any further delay. I quickly game out my various options, and they are all bad. Oh well, I think, beggars can’t be choosers. Emergency steps are taken. The National Guard is federalized. Windows are covered in duct tape. Bladders are emptied.

Tuesday 6:55 PM – Where is Dufresne? Is there traffic on the Turnpike? Surely he must have made it to Newark by now, or at least to the cogen plant. Dammit, I bet he took “Cars Only.” Everyone knows you take “Cars-Trucks-Buses” around now! I call Assface. Again. And get his voicemail. Again. “Assface, it’s Doctor Bluman again calling about the broken toilet. Please call me back.”

Tuesday 7:00 PM – Ooh! The Yankees are playing!

Tuesday 7:15 PM – Yankees 3, Baltimore 0. Home run for A-Rod. (”It’s an A-Bomb! For A-Rod! Alexander the Great conquers again!”) Leaky Toilets 1, Dr. Bluman 0.

Tuesday 7:28 PM – I am officially worried for the safety of Dufresne. Did he get lost on his way to the Holland Tunnel? Did he get carjacked somewhere in Jersey City? Is he in someone’s trunk right now with duct tape over his mouth? And is he hungry? If only I had his phone number! I decide to call up my friend to complain. Somehow, mysteriously, I get Assface’s voicemail: “Hi, it’s Assface! Leave me a message and I will return your call immediately.” I am furious. It’s not just that he has the audacity to purport to return people’s phone calls “immediately”; it’s that he goes out of his way to stress the alacrity with which he returns said phone calls. “Ee-MEEEEEED-jat-lee.” Grrr. “Hey, assface! It’s Doctor Bluman. My patience is really running thin now. My toilet still has not been fixed and I haven’t heard anything from you or the plumber about when it’s going to be fixed. I really must insist that you call me back as soon as you get this message.”

Tuesday 7:55 PM – I begin writing out a eulogy for Dufresne.

Tuesday 8:12 PM – The eulogy is not going well. I decide to call the management company for my building (”Jerkwads”). I talk to a nice lady who patiently listens to my predicament and assures me that somebody will call me back. I remember to get her name: Eileen.

Tuesday 8:28 PM – Still nothing from Jerkwads, Dufresne, or Assface for that matter. I call Jerkwads again. This lady doesn’t sound like Eileen. I ask to speak to Eileen. “Oh, Eileen has left for the day. Can I take a message.” I am agitated. I explain my situation. I am transferred to some lady who is obviously some sort of after-hours middle manager mad with a moderate amount of power [TM @laurenday] (”AHMMMWMAOP”). AHMMMWAMAOP: “Okay, we are trying to get in contact with Some Other Guy, and he will call you back.” Me: “Uh, okay. Do you have any idea when he’s going to call me?” AHMMMWAMAOP: “No, but he generally is pretty good about returning phone calls.” Me: “Okay, so what am I supposed to do in the meantime? I mean, I don’t have a working toilet in my apartment.” AHMMMWAMAOP: “Just sit tight. We’ll have him call you as soon as possible.” Me: “Okay, but if I haven’t heard from this guy within an hour, I’m going to call a plumber myself.” AHMMMWAMAOP: “Okay, that’s your prerogative, but I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

Tuesday 8:34 PM – Some Other Guy calls. I explain my predicament. Some Other Guy has a solution. Some Other Guy: “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to call back the office tonight and leave a message with them about your situation. You call back the office tomorrow morning — not too early, though, maybe 9:30 or so? — and then you can arrange for someone to come by and fix the toilet.” Me: “Uh, okay, well, I’m afraid that just isn’t going to work for me. I mean, I still don’t have a working toilet, and that is simply not acceptable.” Some Other Guy: “Yeah, and I’m very sorry about that, but we’ll get that fixed as soon as possible.” Me: “No, that’s not good enough. I understand that it’s late, but that’s not my fault, and if you guys can’t fix my toilet tonight, I’m going to have to call someone else to do it for me.” Some Other Guy: “Well, you have to get it approved by Jerkwads before you do that.” Me: “Okay, well, when can I do that?” Some Other Guy: “Tomorrow.” Me: “Are you joking? Can you approve it for me?” Some Other Guy: “No.” Me: “Can you put me in touch with someone who can?” Some Other Guy: “Not this late, I can’t. Look, I don’t want to argue with you. I don’t want to debate you on this.” I am enraged. There may not be anything a person can say to me during a conversation that will piss me off more than “I don’t want to debate you.” Fine, don’t debate me then, bitch. Me: “Okay, look, I’m putting you on notice. I’m getting a plumber and I’m deducting it from my rent.”

Tuesday 9:03 PM – Let’s see… Plumbers… 24-hour… Aha! I call a 24-hour plumber (”Bush“). He will arrive in 45 minutes.

Tuesday 9:35 PM – My salvation has arrived! As I open the door for him to enter, he goes straight to the bathroom without even breaking stride. I ask if he wants some water or something, but he can’t be bothered. This guy is focused alright.

Tuesday 10:15 PM – I am saved! Bush informs me that my toilet needed a new flushometer and a new diaphragm and that my toilet is just generally hurt up. I am confused. What is my toilet doing that it needs contraception? I thank Bush profusely, pay him, and send him on his way with a nice, fat tip.

Tuesday 10:18 PM – Gingerly, I make my way back into the lagoon bathroom to inspect the toilet. It doesn’t look broken. There does seem to be more water on the floor, though, which is a bit distressing. Oh well, only one way to find out…

Tuesday 10:19 PM – Flush! [Silence.]

Tuesday 10:20 PM – Flush! [Silence.] Flush! [Silence.] Flush! Flush! Flush! [Silence.] Bush is my new hero.

Tuesday 10:25 PM – My toilet fixed, I decide there is no reason not to consume every remaining beverage in my refrigerator.

FINAL SCORE: Yankees 10, Baltimore 4. Toilet 1, Dr. Bluman 2.

Game, blouses.


#musings #toilet #jerkwads #blumanclassic #mitchhedberg #davechappelle

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