I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy.
I did extremely well in school. I can solve problems relatively well. I can come up with creative solutions. But one seemingly simple group of tasks has always gotten the best of me: home and auto repair and upkeep. I don’t know what my problem is, but chances are if I have a hammer or a screwdriver in my hand, I’m going to mess up whatever chore is in front of me. I have had my foot pinned under a car while changing a tire. I’ve put a hole in a ceiling while installing surround sound. I’ve caused a leak in my roof by installing an antenna. (UPDATE: I’ve also locked myself IN a bedroom while changing a doorknob. Forgot about that one.) But my chance at redemption came this weekend, a shot at getting a home improvement project right.
Somehow, while babysitting for Avery, my sister broke the master bathroom toilet seat. I have no idea how this is possible, but it happened. (I should probably ask her about that sometime.) So it was off to Home Depot, where I learned something surprising. Toilet seats come in two sizes: round and elongated. I thought about all the times I had stood over that toilet, and came to the conclusion that I needed an elongated seat. When I got home, I held the still-wrapped seat over the broken one, and it matched up well. Or so I thought.
The installation was amazingly satisfying. I removed the existing seat, then used a series of “washers” and “braces” to install the new seat (I don’t know what these things are). It took about ten minutes, and when it was done, it looked fantastic.
The seat lined up perfectly! The outside edge of the seat aligned with the bowl. The bolts were snug, and the seat didn’t slide one way or the other at all. It was my most successful home improvement job ever, and the feeling I got standing over my freshly-installed toilet seat was one of victory.
Then I moved from standing over the seat to standing in the middle of the bathroom.
Of course, you fans of literature and movies will see the technique I employed in the post known as “foreshadowing”, and knew this was coming. And those of you who are adept at these types of projects are no doubt rolling your eyes at me now (don’t worry, my wife did the same thing). Of course, my toilet bowl is round, not elongated, resulting in a drastic overhang of the toilet seat.
So now I’m at a loss for what to do. Obviously I can’t return it (I mean, surely Home Depot wouldn’t take back an opened toilet seat. Surely.). I could remove it and go get the right size, but then there’s $30 right down the…well, you know. So at the moment, it stays. A testament to my prowess at handyman tasks. A reminder for all that the tools I use best are a typewriter and a chef’s knife, and not a hammer or a drill. A humorous conversation-starter, if you will.
At least, that’s how I’m pitching it to my wife.