Multiple Mr. Rooters

Mark the plumber and I have bonded.

The night after it rained in the basement, he showed up with a brand new toilet. It was still pouring. He carried numerous heavy white boxes up the stairs and carefully unpacked them. He removed the old toilet and carried it out to the front doorstep. He installed the new toilet. It was beautiful. I heard him groan.

The new toilet was 1/4 inch too big and the bathroom door wouldn't close. I felt genuine sympathy him. My landlord showed up and made him take it out and put the old one back in until we could get one that fit perfectly.

Yesterday was the day for the new toilet. I called Mark and told him that I had to teach one lesson from 4 - 5 p.m., so if he could show up at 5:30 p.m. that would be best. He said, "No problem." There was a problem.

Yesterday at 2 p.m. a gasoline tanker spilled 6,000 gallons of gasoline on Highway 101, (his route to my new toilet). The gasoline literally ate through the roadway. They were forced to close the road until they could repave it. Being a quick thinker, Mark sent a friend. I was disappointed to find there is more than one Mr. Rooter. (Kind of like mall Santa Clauses.) I had hoped he was the only one: the real, authentic Mr. Rooter.

Mr. Rooter #2 showed up at 4:15 pm. I was in the middle of teaching Chris, a physician who specializes in HIV medicine. He was enjoying his new piece by my friend, Jane Bastien. Thank goodness he was a good sport about the plumbing.

Apparently not as skilled as Mark, Mr. Rooter #2 also brought his friends Mr. Rooter #3 and Mr. Rooter #4 to join in the fun. It was still raining. It felt a lot like Thing 1 and Thing 2 in The Cat in the Hat.

My landlord showed up. Sensing an opportunity for excitement, his mother took off her shoes and let herself in. (The one benefit of her speaking no English is that I could smile and say, "I have no idea why you're here, but come on in!")

Mr. Rooters #2, #3 and #4, my landlord and his mother were in the hallway barely outside my living room while I was trying to teach. They were chatting about toilets and the NFL draft. Yesterday I wasn't so sure I liked football.

Hours later, Chris long gone, Mark showed up. He inspected the work done by the other Mr. Rooters and worked on the kitchen sink. I kept offering him food. He kept turning it down. Finally he said, "With these hands, I don't touch food." He had a point.

He's coming back next week to install two new chrome faucet fixtures in the bathrooms.

I'll feel like a new woman. I'm just hoping there aren't any more gasoline spills.