Roommate Claims Toilet Clog an Accident

I’ve never considered myself a huge “Mad About You” fan, but I used to enjoy catching episodes on a semi-regular basis. One scene that made me laugh and sticks out in my mind, was when Jaime demonstrates to Paul exactly how easy it is to change an empty roll of toilet paper. The scene:

[Mad About You – Toilet Paper – YouTube]

Many times I’ve thought about reenacting that scene for my roommates who seem to like the class and convenience a freestanding roll brings to the operation.

Not too long ago I finally got through to them.

Shortly after that, my roommate came to me with some bad news. Apparently while changing the toilet paper roll he dropped the little plastic holder, the technical term is “insert”, while simultaneously flushing. In an instant it was goodbye insert; hello flooding toilet.

After some futile attempts at dislodging we decided our best bet would be to call Roto Rooter.

They came; they plunged; they charged $100 and left in less than 5 minutes. I can’t say I was overly thrilled about the apparent ease of running his special tools down the toilet, pushing the insert further down the line to become someone else’s problem, but who cares, the toilet appeared to be working again and what’s more the roommate paid me back.

However, even with the 24 hour guarantee on the work, I had a sinking suspicion this problem wasn’t completely resolved.

The next morning I left for my holiday to Punta Cana and returned Sunday afternoon—long after the 24 hours had expired—to discover the toilet having difficulties flushing and leaking water etc, into the basement bathroom on each flush.

I called Roto Rooter again.

Greeted by a pleasant voice on the phone, I explained the situation. She seemed pretty sure that I would have to pay for the clearing but conceded that if it was the same thing, then maybe they’d make an exception. She explained that they wouldn’t be able to tell what it was if they pushed it through. I asked about the use of a camera to check it out. Well, they had cameras, she patiently explained, but I’d be charged if they used them. So in order for me to find out whether or not I’d have to pay, I’d have to be charged. There it was, a nice little catch 22.

Later that day a new, but equally inspiring, Roto Rooter specialist showed up at my house. After a quick removal of the toilet and a little toilet water accidentally poured down the heating vent (I had to tell myself, just grin and bear it), the guy ran his toilet snake tool down the pipe where it “90s” and though he didn’t actually see that it was the same problem, he trusted my story and thankfully they didn’t charge me again.

Yay for Roto Rooter—though it did take two house calls to get it fixed.

Now I’m not saying this happened, but if you ever drop something in the toilet, don’t flush it. Be brave and pull it out, or failing that, get someone else to do it. Telling the owner of the house that it was dropped mid-flush is highly suspicious but I realize, not impossible.

P.S. Post vacation, where you might have accidentally drank the water, is a terrible time for toilet problems. Just saying.


The Story of a Free Electronic Organ

A little over a week ago my roommate knocked on my bedroom door to ask me for a favour. He wanted to know if I would help him move an electric organ from the Salvation Army Thrift store into the basement. Please note that it was a fairly large and non-functioning electric organ. My mind said, “no” but my mouth said, “sure” and with a smile we walked out the door.

As we headed across town in my fairly large capacity (but not huge) Jeep Grand Cherokee he explained that the organ had worked when it was originally brought into the shop but that somehow in its first week there it had stopped doing the one thing electric organs are supposed to do—that is to say it no longer made music. But he was confident that he could fix it and the guy running the store told him he’d let him have it for free if he would just come and take it away.

We muscled that boat anchor into the street but no matter how we turned it, it just wouldn’t fit into my jeep. Please trust me when I emphasize that we turned it plenty.

“I don’t really want to unscrew the spare tire”, I stammered, “because I don’t think it will be easy to get back together.” A moment later I pushed the now free spare up against the front seats.

I don’t know why it took so long for me to process what was obvoiusly about to happen. Either he wouldn’t be able to get it working and I was going to be stuck hauling a rather heavy and awkward non-operational organ out of my basement or he would get it working and I’d have the opportunity to enjoy a constant stream of vibrations from the basement until the end of his stay in my house at which time I would still be stuck hauling out a rather heavy and awkward operational organ from my basement.

He assured me that I’d have nothing to worry about and insisted that whatever happened he would take care of it in the end.

And what do you know? He actually got it working. I’m not sure how long it took him, but I returned home from my holidays in Medicine Hat to see a collection of electronic tools, a soldering iron and plenty of parts, peices, and wires scattered around the room. I could hardly believe it but my roommate—whom has absolutely no training in electronics—figured out how to solder wires together in the proper places thereby restoring the organ. He even cleaned up the mess and it turns out that the electronic vibrations are more like music than just a noisy racket afterall.

To him I have to say, good work my friend—I’m really impressed. Now maybe I should ask him if he can figure out how to get the spare tire back in place.


Roommate Update

I’ve come to the conclusion that my roommate isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. Don’t get me wrong he seems like a smart enough guy, but he definitely doesn’t think long term. When I say long term, I actually mean a couple weeks. For example, last night I came home to find my roommate in the kitchen sporting a brand new piercing in his bottom lip. Some of you reading this may think — “Man! Jeff’s roommate is so cool!” He probably thinks he’s pretty cool too, but he won’t think he’s so cool when: #1. the money spent on a piercing would have come in real handy for food, and #2 when he can’t get a job because no one wants to hire someone with a piercing on his face.