Friday, January 13, 2006

Is Your ____ Running?

Some of my readers may be familiar with the ancient prank call routine which goes:
“Is your refrigerator running?”
(To which the victim presumably answers Yes.)
“Well, then go out and stop it!”
I am happy to report that my refrigerator here runs just fine, thank you (although certain of my guests have noted that it often sounds as though it has indigestion), and I hope that it continues to do so.
I am less happy to report that my toilet is evidently under the impression that what is good practice for refrigerators is also good practice for it. Over the past month or so, it has developed an increasing tendency to run, run, and run some more. Perhaps someone was so misguided as to remark “Run, Spot, run!” in its vicinity.
Toilets I have known in the United States that develop this habit usually respond to a jiggle of the handle, and here a firm press or two of the button has the same effect.
While that works, one does not always want to stand around listening for the water to cease running. Around here, we have other things to do with our time than listen to waterworks, especially since, unlike in the movie Sklapni a zastřel mě (Shut Up and Shoot Me) there is no one tapping “come make love to me” signals on the communal WC pipe.
In the US, if a toilet develops a real habit of this sort of water-wasting behavior, one boldly removes the top of the tank and investigates the float mechanism. Sometimes the chain merely needs to be reattached or replaced. Sometimes, I suppose, a plumber has to be called. In any case, I imagined that perhaps I could take a look at its innards. This required a little nerve, as something in the plumbing often smells vile and I could only hypothesize that there was something horrible in the deceptively modern-looking tank. You know, something like a dead carp from Christmas past, or an alien being that exhales methane gas, or some kind of primitive and unauthorized water-recycling facility.
Well, the highly skilled team of American scholars involved in the investigation were unable to find any way to remove the lid to the tank. Hypotheses about dead carp, alien beings, and so on remain untested. The apparatus continues to run when it jolly well feels like it.
Furthermore, Jesse notes that his return to Brno after the New Year was greeted with behavior of the same sort by plumbing many years senior. I expect these fixtures, like office copiers, communicate amongst themselves in some manner unbeknownst to modern science.

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Anonymous Jesse said...

Did you name your toilet Spot?

January 14, 2006 1:29 AM  
Blogger P'tit-Loup said...

I like the secret communication system between appliances theory. I think you are on to something Karla. At my office, we do have a leaking toilet, but the jiggle the handle system usually takes care of it, although, I believe I am the only person who engage in this activity as I often enter the bathroom to the sound of running water. Spot is a great name for a toilet. What will you name yours Jesse?

I will have to see if I can get my local theater to bring "Shut up and shoot me" to our town. We do get several foreign films. It sounds fun, and maybe I will see some spots in Praha that I have visited.

January 14, 2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

I wouldn't be too likely to name the toilet Spot when I have a rabbit called Ms. Spots, now then would I? But who knows what it thinks its name is...

We thought Shut Up and Shoot Me was pretty good. I did see a review that pointed out that Pan Zeman's excellent knowledge of English was utterly implausible for a person of his background, which was true, but a person can suspend disbelief on that sort of thing, just as with various plot elements.

January 14, 2006 10:12 AM  

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