Welcome to our home and, more specifically, this little corner of personal hygiene privacy we like to call the guest bathroom. Please make yourself comfortable and avail yourself of whatever you need. We have provided a wide variety of reading material, from an assortment of Archie digests to a well-thumbed Victoria’s Secret catalogue, a subtle acknowledgement by your hosts that, here, your business is none of ours.
That said, please be advised that this particular toilet is temperamental, and we ask you to adhere to the following flushing advice.
But first, a little history of this toilet…
The toilet was imported from Ste-Vinaigre-sur-Slaw, France, in 1934 during the height of the Mouvement plomberie fonctionale, which is perhaps best known through the porcelainworks of Henri-Louis Villarouxieuxeut, in particular his breathtaking-to-the-point-of-gasp-producing “Bidet pour des choochoos quotidiennes.”
This particular toilet, however, is not a Villarouxieuxeut but rather one produced by his many apprentices who toiled in anonymity, hand-crafting toilets, each one uniquely contoured and lovingly plumbed. We believe ours was originally fashioned for an American manufacturer of high-end women’s underpants. However, the toilet was never shipped because the manufacturer went bankrupt after the bottom fell out.
The undergarment industry’s loss is our gain. While we are proud of the heritage of our artisanal arse-sit-inal, its one-of-a-kind sluicing action renders the flushing action somewhat fickle. But more on that shortly.
The story of the peach
Several years ago, we were supervising a young child who asked if she could have a peach. We offered said child said fruit, and a short time later she returned, having finished the peach, so she claimed.
Not long after, our toilet began to clog. No amount of plunging would unblock the drain. Eventually, we were forced to disengage the toilet from the floor. In doing so, we found a half-eaten peach jammed in the U-bend. Thankfully, we were able to salvage the toilet; the peach: no.
Please do not use our toilet to dispose of uneaten food of any kind.
Flushing the toilet
1. Grip the handle gently.
2. Push down until you hear the clink of metal against the porcelain lid.
3. HOLD HANDLE DOWN UNTIL THE WATER IN THE BOWL GETS NICE AND SWIRLY. By “nice and swirly” we mean “just to the point where things are starting to rotate confidently but not so swiftly that, if you had to, you wouldn’t be able to retrieve your glasses if they happened to fall off the top of your head because you forgot they were there while you were leaning over to gauge the swirliness of the water.”
4. If you happen to have a vortex flow meter handy, 3.78 pf/~l should just about do it.
5. If you do not have a vortex flow meter, don’t be shy to ask your hosts for one!
6. RELEASE THE HANDLE!
7. Make sure everything goes down.
In the event everything doesn’t go down…
1. Do not panic.
2. Everything will eventually go down.
3. Wait until the tank refills with water.
4. While you wait, enjoy the hilarious antics as Archie gets an after-school job at the Chok’lit Shoppe and is immediately accused of sexual harassment involving a banana split.
5. Repeat the flushing instructions above.
Shouldn’t I just plunge it?
Rest assured that the problem is not a blockage, despite my spouse’s insistence that we need to pour something strong and toxic down the drain. After all, sometimes everything goes down just fine. Therefore, the problem can’t be a blockage. You’re just not flushing it right. No offence.
Couldn’t it be a half-eaten peach, and sometimes it rotates so that the water and waste squeeze past the bitten part while other times the peach is rotated such that it blocks the line completely?
It’s not a peach.
What about another type of small fruit? A plum maybe.
Trust me, it has nothing to do with the drain. It’s the tank’s flushing mechanism, which was lovingly hand-crafted by French artisans, who may have been tipsy, being French. I recently examined it, and, believe me, there’s nothing to be done.
Oh, so you’re a plumber?
No, but it’s not rocket science.
You’re just not flushing it right.
It probably couldn’t hurt to put something strong and toxic down the drain.
I promise you that’s not the problem. Please just learn to flush the toilet properly! Honest to God, it’s not that hard!
A final word to our guests
There is a lovely Starbucks one block over. Please leave the Victoria’s Secret here.
Haha! I’ve been to a few people’s houses that had actual instructions taped above the guest toilet. The father of several teen daughters had written “Please do not flush ‘little white mice’ in the toilet” which is the funniest metaphor for tampons I have ever heard.
That’s great. Yesterday, we were approached about hosting a house concert. My wife reminded me about our plumbing. But now I have something to tape above the toilet!
I don’t have a “white mice” note, but there IS a note on the toilet, instructing to hold the handle down just a little longer… 🙂
A little longer than what?
A little longer … don’t just push the handle down quickly and let it go. Hold it down. A little longer. 🙂
🙂 🙂 🙂 Your instructions were positively poetic, most wonderful thing on evacuation since “Dunkirk”. Although “Nice and Swirly” has now put me off soft-serve ice cream forever.
If this really is from the School of Villarouxieuxeut, you could donate it to the Sublaph International Museum of Toilets, a fantastic repository, sorry, depository of history in New Delhi.
I thought of adding a load of puns (load!) but figured I’d leave that to the professionals.
Puns are like the horrible junk food they sell in movie theaters, nacho Doritos, etc. you try one, and when you’re done watching the movie, you realize to your horror, you’ve eaten the entire bag, and your skin is turning orange, kind of a horrible compulsion.
The few times I’ve had to stay at a B&B, the elaborate instructions are mind-blowing, “Please don’t sit upon the counterpane” “This is an Australian sanitary device, please make sure you’re flushing counterclockwise” I don’t even know what a counterpane is, so I end up using the restroom at the bus station and sleeping in the car.
Are you sure Archie didn’t try to flush that banana he was harrassing? Could be a banana. Just sayin…You are a funny guy Ross!
Thankfully bananas are mushable and flushable. Thanks, Ilona!
Such an enjoyable post about a broken toilet. It never occurred to me to tell my children not to flush fruit though it seems like something they would do.
I know I can bend the truth sometimes (i.e. lie), but the peach story is true.
I’m never coming to your house. Ever.
What if I tell you that we have another toilet that is reasonably reliable.
(I just remembered that I originally planned to write a whole screed on our children’s inability to manage toilet paper beyond a single ply. Alas…)
I’d be more reasonable. As a Crohn’s patient, I live in fear of broken toilets!
And that was an opportunity mossed!
Reblogged this on FiftyFourandAHalf and commented:
Really now. This post BELONGS on my blog.
Thanks for the reblog.
I love #3 of the instructions, this is classic… HOLD HANDLE DOWN UNTIL THE WATER IN THE BOWL GETS NICE AND SWIRLY. By “nice and swirly” we mean “just to the point where things are starting to rotate confidently but not so swiftly that, if you had to, you wouldn’t be able to retrieve your glasses if they happened to fall off the top of your head because you forgot they were there while you were leaning over to gauge the swirliness of the water.” Makes me wonder if there might be a pair of glasses stuck in the U-bend, causing the flushing issues??? 🙂
I’ll get back to you.
Believe it or not, we have Archie comics in our bathroom, too. But no Victoria’s Secret. I’ll have to order a few panties so they’ll start sending me their catalog.
Come for the panties, stay for the diamond bras.
the directions could be a problem for me if i didn’t have my glasses on, the story of my life. i would do my best to improvise.
If at first you don’t succeed.
This could be the tittle of your next blog site….Imagine, Drinking Tips for Teens complimented with Flushing Tips for Guests. Twice the work for you, double the fun for us.
The saga of the commode. Loved this. Too funny and yes, I suppose that just about everyone has had a non-flushing commode problem. I hate it when that happens.
Pingback: A worthy read…really! – jzbandola
I think I have the twin of your toilet in MY downstairs bathroom. Except nobody around here has precisely cracked the code for full flushage yet. We plan to get it fixed sometime before we sell the place.
The only true motivator is resell value.
I think I may have peed my pants before figuring out what you expect of me, if I were a guest in your house… 😀 😀
Good creative thinking on what to blog about!
It’s a struggle. [Responding to both statements]
If it’s yellow, let it mellow.
If it’s brown, flush it down.
I’m no hippie saving water,
It’s my bill that makes me frown.
That was beautiful. Robert Frost?
Why not just refer your guests to the bathroom at Starbucks?
Because I want them to feel at home!
lolol This is great. The part where you said “Oh, so you’re a plumber? No, but it’s not rocket science.” had me laughing out loud. Great post!
It’s true! Plumbing is the area of home repair where you can do the least harm.
Yeah, but I’m useless around plumbing, electric, painting, masonry, etc. etc. The list is endless. Do you know what I keep in my toolbox? A checkbook.
I can manage faucets and such. Once I’m into pipes, though, forget it.
Did you try to snake it before disassembling it? Could’ve save you a ton of work although, admittedly, a lot less fun.
When I move to NYC there was a local band named Jiggle the Handle. Best name ever. I’ve been buying Archie Digests for my daughter for years. Archie is a gateway drug.
If I recall, we tried everything. But, yeah, it was fun. I had no idea about beeswax.
Hilarious but enchantingly beautiful sentences🤔