Late year, while fixing a toilet, I got an idea for the final scene of Honest And For True.
Two scenes, actually, because in order to have the main character fixing a toilet in the final scene, I should have a toilet-fixing scene earlier in the book (under less hilarious and skin-drenching circumstances) establishing that she knows how to do such a thing. During that scene, she says to her niece, “One of the best things a woman can do for herself is learn how to fix a toilet.”
And so art imitated life, as I made two relatively straight-forward fixes on two of our toilets within about a week of each other, and in the interim looked up more complicated toilet fixes and inserted them into the novel. The second scene, though — the second took place on an overrunning toilet with no water shutoff valve, water cascading down the top of the tank, and my main character needing to disconnect a gushing water supply while the water was on full-blast.
And so on Thursday, life imitated art as I beheld one of our toilets which actually has a shutoff valve, but which shutoff valve did not want to move.
I considered forcing the valve to turn, then imagined that valve cracking off at the stem and water blasting all over our upstairs bathroom, flooding it and my bedroom, then slowly saturating the floor, which inconveniently enough happens also to be the ceiling of the floor below. Yet I had to do something, as the flapper valve (the part that lets water out of the tank and into the toilet) was broken. Oh dilemma.
What does this have to do with knitting? Everything, because I took a knitting needle and managed to stick it in just the right place to turn off the water for three days until I could buy a replacement flapper valve.
And lo, it worked, and once again I saved $100 on a repair call. One of the best things a woman can do for herself, I repeat (or rather, I quote my character) is learn how to fix a toilet.
Life imitates art. In this case, though, I much preferred dry and sober to soaking and hilarious.