Steve Solomon

Steve's Blog - Things My Therapist Never Told Me

The Easy Guide to Toilet Repair...Don't do it Yourself!

I’m not a “do it yourself-er.” I was raised in a “call Leo The Handyman” house. No matter what it was; if there was something broken….. “Call Leo!”   My dad wasn’t a “tool” guy either. To him, a hammer was something the ancients used to inflict pain on enemies. To my Dad, a hammer was used to inflict pain on himself. He understood his limitation; ergo “Call Leo.” 

I was never sure how, when Leo arrived, he figured out pricing for his repairs. I think it was in direct proportion to the amount of chaos that was going on when he arrived.  If the screen door didn’t close right…..a few bucks and he was off.  If the toilets were backing up….sign over your first born. Price was never an object or debatable when it came to plumbing repairs. If crap was floating, you’re gonna pay!

So, on one bright Sunday morning, Jane called me into the bathroom and said, “listen to this…” It was the unmistakable sound of a babbling brook emanating from the commode.  “Jiggle the handle” I said with authority. “I did. I’ve been jiggling the handle for weeks.” She said. “I’ll take care of it.” I said.   I sat down to read the Sunday paper and I saw an ad for Lowes—the home improvement company.

I mustered every bit of testosterone I had…..“Honey”  I smiled, “Wanna go to Lowes? You know, The “let’s Build Something Together” store. I figured that I had a day off and if I really put my mind to it, It shouldn’t take more than 24-36 hours to fix that toilet.


At Lowes, we were greeted a smiling lady in an apron. “Hi, welcome to the Lowes. How can I help you?”  I said, “I think the hoo-jickie in my toilet is broken…”  “Ok,” she said, that’s plumbing. She picked up her radio…. “Leo, customers need assistance in plumbing.”   My eyes opened wide…”Leo? Leo? They have a Leo!  Leo came over donning his plumber’s apron. “Hi, how can I help? This was a different Leo of course. The Leo from my youth by now would be 132 years old. But this was a LEO all the same.

I told him about the gurgling sound in the toilet and the problem with the hoo-jickie in there.   I also told him the model number of the toilet….hey this handyman was prepared.  Leo walked us over to the plumbing parts, took out a new hoo-jickie and showed me how easy it was to install and what simple tools I’d need. “ I really can do this!” I said.  “Yes you can.” Leo smiled.  I bought the part…and the simple tools (I only had my Dad’s old hammer at home) We went back to our house, I put on my “let’s get dirty” clothes and, following Leo’s instruction and those in the package…. I did it!  In no time…I did it! The new hoo-jickie was in place and the babbling brook sound was gone!

So, the next time something breaks, or you have to build something, stop by Lowes first. Ask for Leo.  I’m really good at hoo-jickies now. No time to help you personally, I’m booked until 2021 replacing them for neighbors. Damn…my thing-a-ma-jig just burned out. Anybody know how to fix one of those?

Steve Solomon



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