Thursday, March 29, 2007
The Plumber and Meals on Wheels
I was acting out the ear visit blog for Himself. "Oh, by the way, I volunteered your services at Ma's."
He eyed me suspiciously.
"Their toilet's not flushing."
"What do you mean, 'not flushing'?"
"It doesn't flush. Something's wrong with the handle. I think the chain fell off."
"Did you lift the lid to the tank to check?"
I huffed deeply and looked to the heavens. "Looking inside the toilet tank is not a Little Princess job."
His turn to huff.
"I told Dad about the problem, but just in case it's more involved, I volunteered you. I'll bring meals on wheels, and we can go for a visit on Sunday, and you can fix the toilet," I said brightly. I spent Saturday making two poor man's lasagnas. One to take and one for the girls to heat up. I knew they would prefer to stay home with the Xbox, computer, and cable tv rather than a visit to Grandma's where they don't even have a toilet that flushes, let alone cable.
Sunday morning, I called, just in case the toilet had been fixed. Dad answered the phone. "Hi, it's me. Did you fix the toilet?" I knew what the answer was going to be. After I hung up, I grabbed Himself armed with his tools, and my lasagna, and we headed down the Pike. We stopped at the store, the nice, clean, modern, grocery store, two miles from the folks' house. We did not stop at Market Basket. I picked up a loaf of Italian bread, bag of salad, cherry tomatoes, soda, and a lemon meringue pie to top off dinner.
Ma was happy to see us, happier to see Himself as the toilet was not in flush condition for at least five days. I didn't want to think about what they had been doing in those five days.
Himself lifted the toilet lid and braved the inspection inside the tank. "It just needs a new handle," he informed us. "It's a five minute job."
I held my breath because I've heard five minute jobs before. I followed him out to the car.
"It's not going to take the two of us to go buy a toilet handle. You're running away!"
"Damn straight, I am. After you told her it was only a five minute job, I didn't want to stick around to hear another chorus of the "He's Stupid" song. By the way, did you bring the epoxy that you used to fix the crack in our toilet?"
"No, it just needs a handle. What?"
"I didn't say anything," I looked out the window.
We returned from the big hardware store with the toilet handle. I set the table, dumped salad into bowls, and held my breath waiting to hear the exclamation, "Horse's patoot!" Dad came in from church, pleasantries were exchanged, and we could hear the happy gurgle of a flushing toilet.
I was ready to serve the main course, and I was getting nervous. At least ten minutes had elapsed with Himself ensconced in the bathroom. I approached the closed bathroom door, and listened. There was the rush of water, but no "Horse's patoot!" I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. "Is everything ok in there?"
He opened the door. "Yeah."
"Good, let's eat."
We had a nice lunch and stayed for a short visit as Himself had to work on a project for a text book publisher.
Dad walked us to the door, and we all eyed the crumbling stairs. "I have some bricks and when it gets a little warmer, I'll fix the stairs."
While starting the engine, Himself was mumbling. He backed the car out of the driveway and we waved goodbye to Dad.
"What are you mumbling about?"
"He won't even lift the lid to the toilet tank to see what's wrong, and he's going to fix the stairs!"
I laughed. I didn't even breathe that maybe lifting the lid to the toilet tank wasn't a Little Prince's job either. "Hey, what took you so long in there. I thought you said it was a five minute job."
"It was less than five minutes. I was trying to stall so he wouldn't catch hell all afternoon."
"Yeah, she's going to be singing the "You're Stupid" song like the anvil chorus all afternoon.
"Course, I don't blame him. When I'm 88, I don't want to be bothered with home maintenace."
"I hope we get one good son-in-law out of the deal to do the work."
"The hell with that! I have no attachment to the house. We're going to move into a condo where I don't have to worry about maintenace, shoveling, mowing."
"Sounds good to me, though I'll miss the sunroom."
"Maybe we can find you a patio with a southern exposure."
NB: No tomatoes were injured, maimed or murdered during this production.