When the Toilet Runs, Catch It


As I was writing on my laptop in the living room, I soon became aware of a constant swooshing sound coming from down the hall. Having been down this swooshing road before, I knew immediately what the problem was.

Our toilet was running.

"What's wrong with the toilet?" asked my husband when he noticed that the toilet seemed to be flushing forever.

"It's running."

"I know it's running," he said. "Why is it running?"

"Maybe someone is chasing it," I said.


He rolled his eyes. Toilet paper might be in short supply, but the bad mom jokes were aplenty.

After a few phone calls, I realized that we had a bigger problem: There were no plumbers to be had. My husband offered to try to fix it himself, but I suspected that he would be as good a plumber as he was an electrician, which was not all that good considering he'd once tried to fix a light switch, blew all the circuit breakers, and nearly burned down the house. When I'd asked him how he could have screwed it up so monumentally, he simply replied, "It's all in the wrist."

When the kids were little, we lived in a tiny house that had one bathroom. It was inevitable that one day our toilet would revolt, and when it did, we couldn't get a plumber in for two days. We quite literally did not have a pot to... well, you know. But we did have my daughter's potty! For the four of us. For two days.

It actually made the idea of an outhouse look good.


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