Cujo and I went to visit his elderly aunts up in northern Louisiana last weekend. Since we’re moving, it was our last chance to visit them. I feel a little ashamed we didn’t get up there sooner, but I had been reluctant to go considering my run-ins with his family have mostly been just that–run-ins, not pleasant encounters.
So we visited, and the aunt we stayed with for two nights, I’ll call her Aunt Neda, was wonderful. She was sweet and kind and tickled that we came. We had a blast, though I felt like a wilted flower for most of the trip from the Louisiana heat.
Unfortunately, her toilet didn’t survive our stay.
We stayed in the upstairs room, which has its own bathroom and shower. The second day, Cujo noticed that her toilet seemed to keep running instead of shutting off. Our toilet at home has this problem, so he thought he could jiggle it and shut it off.
He jiggled it and broke it.
That was, by itself, bad enough. But Cujo’s father is a retired plumber. Though it’s inexplicable, Cujo’s father expects Cujo to be able to fix everything that he is able to fix, in spite of the fact that Cujo has never been to plumbing school or apprenticed under one. Cujo might not admit it, but he secretly agrees. It didn’t help matters that these were his father’s people–extra pressure to fix it.
We went out for the day, during which Cujo and I bickered a little. I can’t for the life of me remember what about, but it was probably as much about the heat and the stifling air as anything. Mildly pissed off, I stomped upstairs and, forgetting about the broken toilet, peed in it.
Mad at myself that I forgot, and preoccupied with what we could do about it, I reached for my toothbrush. It was crammed into a single travel toothbrush dispenser with Cujo’s toothbrush, because Cujo had thrown out my plastic toothbrush pouch that easily held two toothbrushes. Why he was so opposed to it, I don’t know. As I pulled my toothbrush out, his came out, too. And plopped right into the unflushed toilet.
I stared in horror. And then I laughed. When Cujo came upstairs, he found me breathless with laughter. Concerned, he checked me up and down and then inspected the bathroom. “My toothbrush?” he said.
“I’m so sorry,” I choked out around the the tears streaming down my face from laughing.
He just shook his head. “I’m using yours.”
Fair enough, I thought.
We (ok, I’m ashamed to admit it, but mostly he) fished the toothbrush out, threw it away, and filled the toilet to flush it down. The next day he bought the parts to fix it, but found that the nuts and bolts were so old, they were rusted together, and we had to leave for home anyway. So we left behind a very broken toilet. Thankfully some of his other relatives are handymen, too, and have a pretty good chance at installing the new part.