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The Toilet Genie

You Get Three Flushes. Use Them Well

Our hot water tank broke the other day. According to our trustworthy plumber, the 'element' had fused within our tank. This left us with no hot water and central heating for almost two days. This is not a great situation when you live in a house full of girls. This situation is further complicated with coronavirus lockdown, meaning that the suitable parts are not readily available, and so a job that should take a day now takes up to a week.

We have had hot water and heating for the last few days, albeit via a patch up job that our equally reliable electrician was 'concerned' about, but was left with no other alternative until the part finally arrived at the plumbing merchants.

It arrived today and so our plumber and electrician both turned up together to finally resolve our problem. The task of this workforce duo was also further complicated by the act of attempting to apply social distancing; not easy in an airing cupboard less than two metres wide. They moved around each other respectfully, like a couple of nervous morris dancers, only in workwear and without the bells around their shins.

Our water supply needed to be turned off for much of the day. You don't realise how many times you need water, when it's not available. At one point I forgot about this and filled my hand with a generous amount of geranium and orange hand wash, lathered it expertly into a bubbling foam and then turned the tap on, only to discover that no water came out. I looked around for any form of watery solution to help relieve me of this bubbling formation on my hands, the only thing I could find was the dog's water bowl. I weighed up the odds of the dog becoming unbearably thirsty in the next few hours and figured that it was a slim reckoning, so I went for it. I did leave her some water to drink, for anyone thinking of called the RSPCA.

The next concern that reared it's head was the demands of two small children who are used to using the toilet as if it was a toy. They often finding great satisfaction in the filling of various toilets with excessive amounts of toilet roll, and seeing how many flushes it takes to make it go away. Five flushes is apparently the current record. I have lectured these children on numerous occasions about the diabolical implications of unnecessarily wasting water. I have even used the much frowned upon parental technique of explaining the severe lack of water in third world countries as a means of their environmental education.

I asked the plumber if the toilets were working. Out of four members of the household, three of us were already in need of using the toilet, let's just say for various differing requirements. The plumber counted the toilets in the house, and, like the genie of the lamp, he declared 'You have three flushes left, use them well."

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