It's 7:50 am. My Mama is standing in the hallway outside the bathroom wrapped in a towel. "Angel," she says, "I know you aren't going to want to hear this....but..."
Now, anytime someone prefaces a piece of information with a comment like that, it's pretty safe to assume that your day is about to take a marked turn for the worse. On the plus side, it was still early in the day, so how bad of a down turn could this possibly be?
On the minus side, it was early in the day. Mama, who is supposed to get her shower between 7 and 7:30 so that I can get my shower at 7:30, actually started the water at 7:28. Now, I'm not Mrs Punctuality myself, but this has been a slight bone of contention in the past. In the 45 minutes that I've been up, I've gotten some straitening done downstairs in the school room. I have a friend coming over at 9:30, who works in a school, but who'd really love to see our schoolroom. Not that I'm worried or anything. Not that our schoolroom looks like a homeschool room maintained by a free-spirited teacher with two creative and active children. Not that. Not that I can even put away the thirty plus pieces of computer paper piled everywhere which have the entire second half of the Incredibles movie depicted in stick figure animation that my 6 year old has been working on for the past couple of days which he believes really need to "stay in the right order". Or do anything about the large cardboard club house box dominating the middle of the floor. But still, I've been straitening up and waiting for my turn in the shower.
So, here I am at 7:50, wearing my nightshirt and heading to the shower with my clean clothes in hand.
I don't know if you know how a toilet actually flushes. I really only have the vaguest notion myself...all of it gained through trial and error this morning. Apparently, when you depress the handle on the outside of the tank, inside the tank there is a lever which raises. At the end of the lever is a chain which descends and attaches to a plunger shaped stopper at the bottom of the tank. You depress the handle, the lever raises, pulls on the chain, which lifts the stopper (which I assume is somehow connected to a stopper at the bottom of the toilet bowl itself) and the water in the bowl runs out, and the water in the tank flows out from the bottom to rinse and refill the bowl.
But not this morning. This morning, the chain that runs from the lever to the stopper has broken. So, this morning, if you depress the handle OF THE ONLY TOILET IN MY HOUSE, nothing happens. The water in the bowl doesn't go out. The water in the tank doesn't rush back into the bowl. Nothing.
And I have one friend coming at 9:30 and staying through lunch, and a separate family coming at 4:30 and staying through dinner. And no flushing toilet.
Oh sure, if you take the lid off the toilet tank on the back of the toilet, reach your arm down through the water, and lift the plunger in the bottom of the tank yourself, the toilet flushes just fine. But nothing quite says "welcome to my home" like having to reach down through the toilet tank to manually cause the toilet to flush, now does it?
By now it's after 8 and I'm considering my options. I'm not showered or dressed. I have two children and none of the three of us have had breakfast. Do I try to get myself and Toa ready, fed, and to Lowe's and back before 9:30? Do I even know what I need at Lowe's? Or do I go and throw myself on the mercy of whatever orange-vested person I can find?
Or, option two, can I MacGyver some way to repair the chain myself?
Because I know the suspense is killing my readers...
That's right. I fixed my broken toilet with three paper clips.
I so rock.