Papa just keeps falling down…

by Jennifer on April 23, 2008

Sing that to the tune of “London Bridge Is Falling Down.” And instead of “my fair lady”, finish it off with “Whoops-a-daisy!”

This little sing-song ditty came to me last night in the middle of Target, on my second trip there to buy a new toilet seat (the first one I bought had broken hardware), after my dad broke the toilet seat. So I’m walking through Target, carrying a toilet seat, when the song pops into my head. Papa just keeps falling down, falling down, falling down… And then all of a sudden, I’m giggling in Target, trying very hard not to pee my pants from laughing so hard, while carrying a toilet seat. The irony, you know. Not to mention that I look like a crazy woman, laughing stupidly in the aisle at Target, carrying a toilet seat.

I’m losing my mind, folks.

Poor Dad. He was using the water closet (I will give him the benefit of a few euphemisms here, since I have so little regard for his embarrassment that I’m using this story for blog fodder) and stood up, slipped on the little rug in front of the porcelain throne and fell (crashed?) backward back onto it. His second spectacular fall on this trip.

Now, there are lots of embarrassing moments in life, but having to admit to breaking a toilet seat is near the top of the list. However, the embarrassment can be mitigated by blaming one’s daughter for putting the rug there (I think he was joking), or even blaming the rug itself. That last one requires advanced blaming skills, but it can be done. (It’s only fair and compassionate to point out here that my dad has neuropathy in his feet as a result of his diabetes. I in no way mean to mock or diminish the problems he has with his balance sometimes, and hope to avoid a similar fate. I wouldn’t laugh about any of this if he wasn’t laughing about it, too.)

Two trips to Target last night yielded two toilet seats that were already broken inside their packaging. So the new seat was never installed. Two trips to Target after 8 p.m., all for nothing. Oh wait, I found a cute pair of jeans. Never mind.

Imagine, then, my dad having to tell me this morning about this little peach of a discovery: “You’re going to need a new toilet. The toilet has a crack.” (Yeah, go on, find your own puns. I won’t point them all out for you.)

Dad and his wife J were on their way out the door at that moment to drive down to Mexico for an overnight trip.

“Sorry your toilet’s broken, but we’ll pay for everything. Oh, and sorry to leave this for you to handle while we go to Mexico.”

Okay, they didn’t say it exactly like that, but that was the gist of it.

Do I know a plumber? No. Is Mr. H home? No. Do I feel like lugging home a new toilet from Home Depot all by myself, to put into a house that we rent? No. Is buying one myself cheaper than having a plumber buy one? Yes. Do I need to grow a set and stop whining? Probably.

But my freaking toilet is broken.

At least, every time I get annoyed that I have to handle this on my own, all I have to do is hear that little song in my head, and I’m reduced to the stupid choked laughter of a 12-year-old boy. And I could probably call my sister Ducky at any point today and we’d both laugh about it again. Because, c’mon, this is a story for the ages.

Still, my freaking toilet is broken. Did I mention that?

I really hope you all don’t get that song stuck in your head today. Really, that would be terrible.

Okay, here’s another one, and you can all get on board with this one: “Mommy just keeps drinking wine, drinking wine, drinking wine…

‘Cause she’s going crazy.”

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Ducky April 23, 2008 at 11:06 am

Readers should know that Jennifer was on the phone to me within mere seconds of Dad and J heading out the door.

A couple of minutes later, Dad was on the phone to me to tell me his side of the story (which, for the record, matches Jennifer’s). They hadn’t even left the driveway.


Sandy (Momisodes) April 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

ROFL!!!! Oh man, I have both versions stuck in my head now. But nothing beats the image of you giggling down the isle of Tar’jay holding a toilet seat 😉

So sorry to hear about the broken toilet. Hiring a plummer can be such a pain in the arse (pun totally intended).


Lisa Milton April 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

I’m singing along here, and giggling too.

(I can. I have neuropathy too. I know only too well the tipsy topsy thing. Like a drunk, only without the fun.)

I’m sorry you potty is broken. These things ALWAYS happen while our hubbies are out earning the dough.

I know that’s how it works here.

So drink up and make a list. It’s what I do.


Lisa Milton April 23, 2008 at 11:20 am

And it is a great story for the ages…


Madge April 23, 2008 at 11:32 am

i’m telling you. you are using those psychic powers to knock that man down. i hope he makes it back from mexico…


Mrs. Chili April 23, 2008 at 11:37 am

Seriously, Jen – I’m going to have that song in my head all day now. You are TOO funny.

If you rent the house, why can’t you have the landlord fix the toilet for you? I’m guessing that it’s probably easier to do it yourself, but it’s worth a shot to have someone else do it at no expense to you…


Daryl E April 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

Uh oh. I guess this has pushed “Grandma J pushed me under a bus”.

I thnk you need to come over to my place and take the banner I stole from Jackie.. In fact I insist .. come get it’ll know which one it is immediately .. its the one that goes “You have the right to remain silent… ”

And the last little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.


Jennifer Harvey April 23, 2008 at 11:45 am

Mrs. Chili, I think that since we broke it, we ought to fix it. If it were something that stopped working on its own, that would be different. I think we’re going to have to take care of this one ourselves. 🙂


Nicole P April 23, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Oh man, this is hilarious. Probably not so much for you.


Akelamalu April 23, 2008 at 2:02 pm

LOL I don’t know who to feel more sorry for – you with the broken toilet or your Dad for his fall!


AMomTwoBoys April 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Too cute. Your pop’s having a tough trip. I wonder what Mexico will do to him!

I’m of no help when it comes to replacing a toilet…although I can say this: DO NOT over tighten the screws. Amen.


Kellan April 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Okay, first of all, I’m glad your father was okay and second, I would be frustrated to have to go to HD to get the new toilet and lug it home myself – I would. Made for a good post though – funny!

Have a good evening – Kellan


Brenda April 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm

1) No one could make something up this unbelievable. You ought to keep them around just for blog fodder. (Kidding. Honestly.)
2) Could the trip not be delayed to get the new toilet installation on track?
3) Do they know that border towns have extra high security risks right now? Seriously! An overnight trip to Mexico might be ill-advised. Especially for people who tend to draw attention to themselves by, uh, pushing their spouses in front of busses and, uh…. breaking the plumbing at the local hotel!

As for you, I think it’s time to head to Lowe’s or Home Depot or where ever has the most COWBOY-like help. Wear your L’Instant. Don’t stand around deciding about which toilet. Find the CUTE guy to help you (so the ugly one won’t come if you’re just standing there). Get all the advice necessary for the purchase. Tell HIM the whole story. (But don’t sing. Let the perfume do the work. And your golden halo, and those EYES, etc.) If you’re lucky, Mr. Useful (Cowboy a plus) will volunteer to install it for you! If not, I’m sure you can pay a reasonable fee for someone there to do it.


TEOM April 23, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Get. That. Song. Out. Of. My. Head. Please.


DP April 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Too funny, Jennifer! Hope you get the loo fixed soon. Or you’ll have to skip to MY loo 😉

Peace – D


Mrs. G. April 23, 2008 at 6:00 pm

I think I need to teach this one to my kids. They need a new song in their repetoire.


flutter April 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I’m sorry, are we related?!


Dave April 23, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Pretty cute story. I think the throw rug is a hazard so I’m siding with your dad, lol… ; )


Dave April 23, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Pretty cute story. I think the throw rug is a hazard so I’m siding with your dad, lol… ; )


JCK April 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I’m all over that tune…Mommy’s falling down drinking wine, drinking wine…Oh, I mean…Mommy just keeps drinking wine, drinking wine…

The story is hilarious! Somehow it is more embarassing to break toilets and bathroom items at someone ELSE’s home. Even if it is your daughter’s! Ducky’s comment cracked me up.


Betsy Bird April 23, 2008 at 7:26 pm

So how broken was broken? Like leaking all over the floor broken or just a little chip on the lid broken? Cause if it can wait till he gets home from Mexico, I’d see if Papa could “help.”
I tagged you earlier tonight, so if you’re into that, you can tell us 7 Weird Things About Yourself when you’re not busy plumbing or shopping at Target.


Jennifer Harvey April 23, 2008 at 7:41 pm

The base was broken on one side (a hand-sized piece broke off), and water was leaking from the base.

I have a handyman coming in the morning to put in a new one.

Oh, and I bought some rug grip stuff for under that rug. For AFTER Dad leaves. The funny thing was the he said he had slipped on the rug a little bit a couple of other times…and I said, “So why didn’t you just move it out of there?”

He (and the bruise he has) wonders the same thing.


the mama bird diaries April 23, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Good luck with the toilet situation.

We need a new toilet seat… ours looks worn out. Isn’t that weird? Do you think we spend more time sitting on a toilet seat than other families? Who’s toilet seat gets worn out?

Oh well… I wish I had a Target.


Suzanne April 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

OMG, there are just so many issues here I don’t know where to start.

no good ever comes from unwanted publicity of bathroom events….too many fruedian issues…

ok, so how about every bad memory of attempting a DIY project.

or…I don’t know, how about those annoying tunes you can’t get out of your head.

forget it……grab that bottle of wine, hopefully it’s a really good chardonnay, and let’s call it cocktail hour….I don’t care if it’s 11 a.m.



Grandy April 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Quick…let’s hit the karaoke bar. I’m sure there’s one around here somewhere. 🙂

I have a bloggin’ buddy award over at my site for you. I hope you’ll come get it. 😉


Tootsie Farklepants April 23, 2008 at 10:43 pm

My father is famous for blaming anything but himself. Mr. Farklepants and I kind of give each other sideways looks whenever it happens. Lose a card game? Kids distracted him. Burn his mouth on food? Mother’s fault for cooking. etc.


Amy Shipp April 23, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Oh my heck! That is just wacky… Good job finding the humor it the situation, I am sure I would have just been grouchy!


Melissa April 24, 2008 at 5:32 am

Now that’s in my head for the rest of the day.


HRH April 24, 2008 at 5:45 am

I so wish I had a picture of you walking through Target holding the toilet seat doubled over in laughter singing to yourself…


cce April 24, 2008 at 6:49 am

Oh God, house guests are just so hard on the plumbing. I’m glad you’ve found the humor in it all and aren’t locked in a dark closet weeping. At least they’re off to Mexico so you can get your house, your life, your throne room, back in order.


Carolyn April 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

Okay. Hilarious story. Especially the part about you almost peeing yourself while holding a toilet seat. Too ironic and funny.

Just so you know, my mom and I have installed three toilets. It’s incredibly easy. Csilla even helped us once:

Email me if you want some advice/tips/tricks. The only trouble is the weight of it. The rest is simple.


Solanaceae April 24, 2008 at 9:59 am

Installing a toilet is easier than getting rid of family that has stayed too long. Trust me, I’ve done both. The thing with the toilet is to make sure you don’t over-tighten the bolts that hold it to the floor (which will cause your brand new potty to crack & require the purchase of another new potty). The thing with family is to just keep downing the migraine mediation and praying they decide to cut their visit short.

BTW … Since finding it, I’ve really enjoyed your blog. You write beautifully.


Just Jamie April 24, 2008 at 10:47 am

You’re speaking my language big time here! Target. Neurotic families. And wine, glorious wine.

Hope the potty is all fixed up now.


Sports Mama April 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Ok, so I haven’t read ANY of the other comments, so if this has been said already…. feel free to ignore me as well as my children do!

You’re renting. Call your landlord and ask for a maintenance guy/handyman to do it. Yes, you’ll still have to pay for it, but no… it won’t need to be done by YOU.

(I’m a Property Manager…. trust me when I tell you I’ve seen this more often than you’d imagine.)


suburbancorrespondent April 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Actually, this is an easy problem, as you don’t have to worry about whether or not you should do it yourself or call someone. You call a plumber, he comes with a new toilet, installs it, takes the old one away. We’ve done it a lot.


liv April 25, 2008 at 10:29 am

Would it be wrong to mention that it’s not too expensive just to buy a toilet (check for the right size rough first) and then call a plumber to install? I like the plumbers that take AMEX because then I get points for pooping.


Milena April 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I finished reading but kept getting stuck on you referring to it as a water closet. I thought I was the only one who called it so. Great anecdote by the way. Thank goodness he didn’t hurt himself.


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