Yesterday I found myself wrestling with the toilet seat. Ahh, the joys of home ownership! Having rented for the last 22 years, this level of maintenance is an entirely new experience. Normally, toilet seat broken? Easy. Call the landlord. But now I am the land lord.
And so the weekend found me at Bunnings buying a new toilet seat. I’d hardly ever set foot in Bunnings, let alone hung out with the toilet seats. The choice was astounding. Who would have thought I could sit on the Union Jack for only $63, or be the owner of a Rainbow Toilet Seat embedded with jelly beans for $49, but my favourite was the ‘Loo With a View – Two Piece Shark Toilet Seat” for only $129.
I’d always wanted to sit safely in the jaws of a shark, but would it really be safe? I stepped away from the shark seat. I had to think this through. Replacing the toilet seat was proving much more difficult than I thought it would be. I needed a coffee. But where on earth would I get a coffee? That’s when I spotted it. A coffee shop. In Bunnings. No wonder thousands of people flock to these places every weekend. I waited in line relieved that the only decision required of me now was what type of coffee to have. How many types of coffee could a hardware store sell? But I never got to find out because that’s when I spotted it: the specials tub filled with a whole stack of PLAIN WHITE PLASTIC TOILET SEATS, at only $17.99 each. Not a shark in sight. Done! I grabbed one and ran to the cash registers.
But as it turned out purchasing the toilet seat was the easy part. Home is only a quick bus trip away and Bunnings are one of the new eco-friendly stores that don’t provide plastic bags just cardboard boxes. Normally I would applaud this except that I’d forgotten to bring my own bags and the toilet seat didn’t fit into any of the boxes and the only seat on the bus was the one facing everyone…..
When I finally got home I went straight into the bathroom. I carefully unwrapped the new toilet seat. Then I looked long and hard at the old honey oak wooden seat that we were getting rid of. We weren’t getting rid of it because it was honey oak (although I had wondered how we would ever know it was actually clean in that colour) but because the hinges had broken off. I decided to dive right in. How hard could it be?
Several minutes of strenuous scuffle followed as I tried to get my head around the s-bend to see how to unscrew the old toilet seat. That’s when I realised I should probably have cleaned the toilet before beginning this DYI project. But alas it was too late. Luckily I was going shopping soon for new clothes anyway. These clothes could go straight into the bin.
The space between the wall and the toilet was so small that I decided to use a few of the moves I’d learnt in yoga. It took a combination of downward facing dog and warrior two to finally loosen the beautifully rusted on screws that seemed to hold the whole contraption together remarkably well for a toilet seat that was in the habit of tossing us off in the middle of the night. Finally I was able to position the new white plastic seat perfectly and twirl the screws into place.
I felt triumphant. I had passed my first DIY home owner’s test.