The Pause that Refreshes

I hear America singing. I hear a toilet running.

Our water is hard, full of lovely calcium that makes it taste good.

This calcium also means that white stuff precipitates just about everywhere. Places like teapots and toilets and sometimes Flower Essence droppers.

The calcium in the toilets means that factotum Jim has been fiddling around with our toilets ever since he built our house, working hard to keep them flushing well, with as little water as possible.

The latest toilet, which arrived six months ago to much ecological fanfare, was installed in the bathroom used by all the staff. It was described by the manufacturer as a wonder of modern toilet engineering, poised to singlehandedly halt global warming. So little water would do so much work. And with six or so women using the toilet every day, it needed to be a workhorse of an ecological marvel.

We were as excited as six or so women can get about a toilet. We thought our new toilet was part of the solution.

Oh well, who can blame us for dreaming?

And it was a dream, because frankly, this ecological wonder of a toilet is a lemon.

Right after installation, we had to fiddle with a little pole in the back of the toilet in order to get the toilet to flush. This was an off and on dodgy problem for a couple of months despite Jim’s repairs, replacement of parts, and in-services to us about our pole pushing technique.

In October, the toilet went off the tracks a bit more dramatically and gave us a month of pauses that refresh.

During October, whenever the toilet was flushed, each of us had to stand facing the exposed water tank at the back of the toilet and watch it fill. This was meant to be the pause that refreshes part, each of daydreaming for a peaceful moment while we waited for the toilet to begin its malfunction. After the pause, when the filled toilet began to have water continue to pour in, we had to push down on some thingamajig to get it to shut off manually.

The only thing that I can say for this activity is that it has given us all a lot of time to look at the bathroom as a man would and to enjoy the art I hung on the back walls for the men at the farm to enjoy. Manyly art like a rooster crowing at dawn and a cow preparing to head butt another animal.

As we faced the back of the toilet and got a new view on things, what did we learn?

Precious little, I fear
Meanwhile plumber Jim is now on a first name basis with Brandi back at toilet headquarters.

He calls her on such a regular basis that she knows his address off the top of her head. Even yesterday, new toilet innards came from Brandi. The replacement part this time was the third flush valve Brandi has sent us. The note inside said that this one REALLY was going to fix the problem and yet…..

I hear a toilet running.

Won’t Jim be pleased when he gets home from his first shift as a sixth grade teacher to find out he needs to drain the toilet AGAIN and take that back tank apart AGAIN during his second shift.

And he thought he might get to work one shift today?

Somedays, I am sure a return to outhouses seem like a very good idea to Jim.

I think today is going to be one of those days.

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