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by W. Mahlon Purdin

We worked on a toilet that
Wouldn't shut off.
At first I said to her,
"Try a little firmer flush.
Maybe you are too gentle
With the handle."

That didn't work.

Then I decided that
I would be in charge
Of the handle.
No issue with me
Being too gentle.

That didn't work either.

So then I went down
Into my workshop
Where I found not one
But two replacement
Toilet fixtures, purchased
For just such a situation
When this sort of thing happens.

I chose one. The one
With the most parts.
We turned off the water --
The handle is old and
Takes all my wrist strength to
Turn it either way.
You can't really tell
If it's going off or on by
The turning pressure.
You have to remember:
This way is off and this way
Is on. The loosey lefty
Rule doesn't work because
It's jammed in a corner,
The handle is upside down
And you can't see it anyway
Because the walls
Are so close. It just
Could not be more

So, now we
Were faced with a new,
And larger project:
Replacing all the moving
Parts of the toilet.
We work together on it.
Mopping up the water,
Switching tools, putting
On the washers and bolts
(The wrong way twice).
The water on-off handle
Had to be manipulated painfully at
Least four separate times
To determine if the
Connection was tight or
Not ... not, not, and then yes.

Finally, the connection was good,
The washers were positioned
Correctly. One last
Painful turning of the on-off
Handle, and voila! It worked.
We flushed it twice and it worked.
The fill-water turned off
Right on time. (We lowered
The level to save a little.),
And the connection did not drip.

Job done.

I said to her -- after she praised
Me for my amazing
Handyman-ness -- "The only
Difference between me and
All those other guys
Who say they can't do
Anything around the house
Is that I am willing to put
In the time and the effort."

Then I hugged her closer and added
"Just like in this marriage."

Without a second's hesitation she said,
"What? I'm a bad toilet??


Posted on 09/22/2012
Copyright © 2022 W. Mahlon Purdin

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 09/24/12 at 08:11 PM

Good story poem Bill. Kept me captivated from beginning to end. I have to confess that I am no "Mr. Fixit," but do make the effort of trying to repair something myself, before calling in an "expert." Love the ending, and how it reminds us men folk to watch our Ps and Qs, especially around significant others, who might misinterpret it.

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