One is never happier that one has two bathrooms in one’s house than when a toilet goes on the fritz. “I can fix this,” I assured Tracy, since toilets are one of the few things I have actually worked on with any degree of success.

Well, not this week.


My attempts to change a simple whatchamacallit inside the tank ended up instead with me, in the words of the immortal Henry Higgins, “using language that would make a sailor blush.”

And, in the bargain, only ending up with a massive headache.


Of course, it doesn’t help if one has a wife outside the bathroom door, going, “Do we just need to call somebody?”

Meaning, of course, a plumber.


Finally, after glaring relentlessly at the porcelain monster, I agreed that maybe, just this one time, it might be wise to call somebody in. Accordingly, I went online and began my search:

Plumbers – Fayetteville, Arkansas

So, yes, I picked the first one with an actual Fayetteville phone number; I prefer to give my business to locals, when I can.

“John the Plumber” came over this morning, and we squeezed into the too-small bathroom just off the living room. I explained the problem, and left him to look things over.


A couple of minutes later he emerged and said, “I need to go get my tools.”

Okay, cool.

Five minutes later, Tracy said, “When is he coming back in?”

I looked out the window, only to see that his truck was no longer in our driveway. Now, it’s possible that he had to go back to home base to get some sort of specialized tool, but two hours later, I began to revise my opinion.

I openly speculated that perhaps he had to go to a blacksmith and have some new tools actually forged. Perhaps our problem presented issues he had never faced before, and he had to go to a special storage unit to dig something out?

Or maybe he just punked out on us.

True, I could have called and asked where in god’s green earth he had gotten himself to, but why spoil the illusion that he might actually come back? Of course, if he shows up tomorrow with his “tools,” I’m gonna be expecting a discount.

Then again, if I see his name in the obituary column anytime in the next few days, as in he got in a wreck driving back to our house, I’m going to feel pretty bad about writing this . . .


Quote of the Day

If it’s painful for you to criticize your friends, you’re safe in doing it; if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue. – Alice Duer Miller