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The toilet is singing

For about the past two weeks there’s been this ridiculously annoying HUM in our toilet whenever we flush it. It lasts for as long as it takes for the water tank to fill, then stops. During the day it’s not too noticeable, but if one of us happens to go to the loo during the night it’s like the entire building is vibrating. It’s embarrassing.

So YT finally got proactive today, hauled out the yellow pages and called a plumber. For the record, I looked for the number of the immortal plumber, hoping to entice him in for some edifying conversation, but clearly he’s become so popular that he no longer sees the need to advertise in the Yellow Pages. In lieu of that I picked the first ad that caught my eye, featuring a very robust-looking lumberjack-type guy wielding his tools. That’s my man, I thought, and dialled his number in similarly robust fashion.

He turned out to be an absolute deadbeat. If the sound of his voice was saliva it would have dribbled. I hadn’t spoken three words before he asked me in his saliva-dribbling voice if he could call me back in five. Surprisingly he did, but the minute I mentioned the word ‘toilet’ it was: “Uh, we’re really busy right now, call me back in two weeks.” Yeah, right. Whatever.

So, on to the next ad, which had no rugged lumberjack plumber in it, but in which the guy on the other end seemed infinitely more amicable, you know, as plumbers go. He said he was real busy right now too but that he’d pop round after work to have a listen to our toilet. ‘Yeh, right,’ thought I, not believing for a second that he’d stick to it. BUT just to be on the safe side, I called EPI and told him that at least one of us had to be home, there was a plumber coming over with a stethoscope.

I had a meeting to go to at six, but took my cell with me and had it on the table in front of me, on silent, just in case. Even though I had no faith the plumber guy would show up, but you know, JUST IN CASE. Halfway through the meeting, my cell starts flashing. Sure enough, it was the plumber guy, claiming he was standing outside our front door, wondering why nobody was answering. And I’m like, WHERE THE HELL IS EPI??

Turns out EPI was having a very loud jam session with his good buddy Eric Clapton in his playroom, the one you can’t get into without walking sideways because there are so many guitars filling it. So I called EPI’s cell [I’d left the meeting by then and was standing out in the hall, frantically working the remote control, a.k.a. cellphone] but nobody answered so I called our home phone number but nobody answered there, either. ARGH! The plumber who I thought would DEFINITELY NOT show up was standing outside on our doorstep, nobody was home, and no doubt the toilet was singing a fricking aria in the bathroom. So I called the plumber back, all humiliated, convinced we’d never, ever be able to get another plumber to come to our home ever again … and he’s like, “It’s all good. I’m in.”

So turns out EPI had finally heard the doorbell and let him in, with old Eric Clapton blasting out of the stereo and AAH [getting all dolled up for her final school dance of the season] fresh out of the shower so the bathroom was filled with steam. So EPI leads our VIP into the bathroom and flushes the toilet with flair … and – wait for it … wait for it – there was NOTHING. Not a single hum. Not even a vibration.

Evil, evil toilet.

So EPI did the only sane thing under the circumstances – he started humming. Like the toilet. Hummmmmmmmmm! … hummmmmmmmm! … perfect pitch and everything. And the plumber just sort of stood there and stared, probably wondering what sort of lunatic asylum he had landed in. At which point [according to EPI] he started furiously rattling off all the possible reasons for our [non-existent] humming before quickly grabbing the ISK 2,000 he said he’d charge and bidding a hasty retreat.

Meanwhile, EPI has decided to embark on a new career – he figures he’d make an excellent assistant professor in the Faculty of Plumbing at the Icelandic Technical College, making toilet sounds for plumber candidates to analyze. As for our toilet – well, it started singing again just after the plumber left.

WEATHER!

Started off amazing, like yesterday, but as the day wore on it gradually clouded over and by early evening there was a damp kind of chill in the air. Incidentally, the Reykjavík Arts Festival kicked off this evening, and you’ll never guess who is a special guest: Dr. Ruth!! [don’t ask me why.] She was interviewed on Kastljós this evening and showed that she is still in top form. Did you know, for instance, that after age 50 women need to use lubricant and men can no longer swing from chandeliers? Cor! I didn’t. Right now 6°C [43F] and sunrise this morning was at 4.12, sunset at 10.38.

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  • Bluegrass Mama May 16, 2008, 2:01 am

    I was literally LOL when I got to the part about EPI humming! I’m wondering if the fact that AAH had just taken a shower had anything to do with the lack of hum.

    And having just turned 50, I am immediately updating my shopping list, thanks to Dr. Ruth’s advice.

  • Rozanne May 16, 2008, 4:32 am

    At least the evil toilet isn’t leaking (that you know of). I hope you can get the problem taken care of and that the next time you get a plumber out that frickin’ toilet will perform on demand.

    Too weird that Dr. Ruth was the guest at an arts festival. WTF?

  • maja May 16, 2008, 8:31 am

    Oh my god how frustrating!

    Our toilet leaked water from the cistern into the toilet bowl at a furious rate for weeks and weeks and weeks and we were going to get a plumber but in the end Jason managed to figure out how to replace some washer from the internet and it’s all fixed now.

  • Victoria May 16, 2008, 9:18 am

    Thank you, I needed a spoonful of laughter on this rainy day.
    VC

  • luigi silvio May 16, 2008, 2:44 pm

    ooo fantastico ! avete avuto il wc che perde ? io sono fortunato , mio cognato è idraulico e suo figlio anche…sapendo che gli idraulici di tutto il mondo si credono dei chirurghi , a me quando un solo rubinetto perde una goccia d’acqua obbligo i parenti idraulici ad essere assolutamente tempestivi … e lo sono …aaaaa.
    ciao luigi

  • sigga May 16, 2008, 4:51 pm

    I am amazed that you got a plumber so quickly – here in the North we have one plumbing company (a man, his two sons and a deadbeat), there is a 6 week waiting list for the really big jobs. I found though during my last crisis (heater leaking in the lounge room) that if you cry and beg – it works and he comes after dinner….

  • gary May 16, 2008, 5:52 pm

    no sh^%! LOL! Sounds like air in your pipes. Or ghosts in your water closet. LOL!

  • AAH May 16, 2008, 5:59 pm

    oh no he didn’t, ég þurfti að hlaupa út á handklæðinu og opna fyrir manninum, ójáh það var ég!

    😀

  • Anonymous May 16, 2008, 6:18 pm

    if teh bathmate is lying on teh TV console in teh bath and no one uses it, does itmake a sound?

  • alda May 16, 2008, 7:13 pm

    Cat – congratulations on the milestone! And happy shopping. 😉

    Rozanne – yeah, I hope so too. And Dr. Ruth had some sort of performance piece at the Reykjavík Art Museum. Something about the moment before orgasm being totally quiet = art. Or something.

    maja – replace some washer from the Internet! I hope he got some credit for that. 😉

    Victoria – you’re welcome!

    luigi – ciao!

    Sigga – I know, I was amazed too. Which is why I was so keen to have him let in before he left again!

    gary – I’m hoping it’s just air in the pipes. Or ghosts – lol!

    AAH – sweetie! Not getting the credit you deserve. THANK YOU for running out with only a towel around you to let in the plumber. You saved the day.

  • Steve May 18, 2008, 2:58 am

    To Anonymous. Only if a tree falls on it.

  • Dumdad May 18, 2008, 5:49 pm

    Happy Alda,

    This article about Niceland appeared in today’s Observer magazine:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/may/18/iceland

  • alda May 18, 2008, 6:19 pm

    Steve – don’t encourage him!

    Dumdad – Thanks for the link – very interesting despite its Utopian slant. I found a few errors – Baltasar Kormákur was never a soap-opera heartthrob as far as I know, and there were the obligatory typos (Hateigsskol instead of Háteigsskóli, Reykjavic, etc.) but other than that it was surprisingly accurate. Even if – like I said – it paints a very Utopian picture. Patchwork families, for example, aren’t the happy-go-lucky norm that they’re portrayed as in the article, and I could cite a few more examples. But on the whole a good read.