In the Jaws of the Shark

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.





About sagesomethymes

Daniela is a writer, theatre producer and civic educator. She has had short stories and poetry published in: 'Prayers of a Secular World', Inkerman & Blunt; 'Blue Crow Magazine', Blue Crow Press; 'Knitting and other stories', Margaret River Press and Radio National’s '360 documentaries'. Her debut play, 'Talc', was produced in 2010. Her short play, 'Sicilian Biscotti', was produced for the launch of “Women Power and Culture” at New Theatre in 2011 and shortlisted for the Lane Cove Literary Award in 2015. Her second full length play, 'Friday', was produced by SITCO at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2013. 'The Poor Kitchen' was produced in 2016 as part of the Old 505 Theatre’s Fresh Works Season and was published by the Australian Script Centre in 2017 ( It was re-staged by Patina Productions at Limelight on Oxford in 2019. She co-wrote 'Shut Up And Drive' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at KXT in 2016. 'Seed Bomb' was produced at Old 505 Theatre as part of the FreshWorks Season in 2019 and has been published by the Australian Script Centre ( She co-wrote 'Softly Surely' with Paul Gilchrist and it was produced at Flight Path Theatre in 2022. She is the co-founder of indie theatre company subtlenuance ( Her published short stories can be read via the Short Stories tab on this blog.
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