There’s something wrong with the downstairs toilet.
I guess I can’t say that with any real authority. Until we moved into our house, I’d never lived in a home with a downstairs toilet. Maybe coughing and sputtering is the way downstairs toilets are supposed to work. I don’t know. It sounds too much like me when I try to exercise, so it will probably start whining, or drop to the floor in a useless heap.
But until it does, the thing still flushes. Husband’s Home Repair Rule No. 1: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
As the man of the house, it is automatically my job to fix anything broken whether I know how to or not. When our older children were small, they named this Daddyfix.
A wheel came off the toy stroller? Daddyfix.
A door came off a cabinet? Daddyfix.
The neighbor ran over a opossum in front of our house? Daddyfix. (Truth be told, I named the dead opossum Sleepy Kitty and put it under the tree. What a great pet. It was the best Christmas ever.)
I quickly discovered Daddyfix works for gluing together broken action figures and replacing spent batteries, but doesn’t work for anything larger than a opossum.
For example: 1) I once attempted to replace the garbage disposal. After an hour cursing more than a Quentin Tarantino movie, I called a plumber; 2) after researching how to recharge the car’s air conditioner coolant, I called a mechanic; 3) after attempting to put a new belt on the dryer, I went to the emergency room.
Repairs don’t happen quickly in my house because I bleed.
Husband’s Home Repair Rule No. 2: Anything worth fixing is worth waiting for.
In our immediate gratification society, it’s hard for husbands to convince their wives the coffee maker she asked him to fix five months ago hasn’t sat in the garage long enough. A broken coffee maker needs at least six months to ripen before fixing. It’s a fact.
Wife: Coffee maker’s broken.
Husband: I’ll take a look.
Wife (one month later): Coffee maker. Still broken.
Husband: I’ll take a look.
Wife (three months later): I went to the convenience store – again – because the coffee maker’s broken.
Husband: Did you bring me a coffee?
Wife: *grumbles loudly*
Wife (five months later): Either fix the coffee maker or I’m buying one that only brews flavors I enjoy.
Husband: I can’t. Uh, family emergency. Your aunt just died.
That reminds me. There’s a light bulb my wife’s been asking me to replace for months. I hate replacing light bulbs. I once changed a light bulb and suddenly, in some act of light fixture anxiety, the glass part leapt to its death on the hardwood floor and I had to clean it.
Gravity, as I’ve known for years, is out to get me. This is why I never stand on a ladder or talk to tall people.
Hey, that’s a great idea for a business; replacing light bulbs. Of course, I’d have to hire someone tall to do the work for me. Na. Forget about it.
– Jason’s newest novel, “Bad Day for a Road Trip,” is available at jasonoffutt.com.