Friday, November 10, 2017

Elmer Tangles With the Toilet - the Toilet Wins

Aaahh yes,  another day; another adventure with Elmer.

This one is actually a two-parter. Out of a sense on propriety I was going to ignore the first part, which was included in Elmer’s first-day hijinks, but when part two landed in our laps yesterday via another spat of Friends And Family Plan abuse, I changed my mind.

Just after we bought the travel trailer for Elmer we changed out the stock plastic toilet, (Think ‘builders grade’; functional but cheap.) for a decent foot-flush, porcelain-bowl, toilet with a spray-arm attachment. Because let’s face it; plastic bowls attract skid-marks like kids in their Sunday clothes attract grass-stains.

And contrary to what you may be imagining, the optional spray-arm is not for personal hygiene, but rather for rinsing out the bowl, because sometimes even that nice slick porcelain bowl needs ‘extra’ cleaning power. Especially when regularly faced with the tail-end of a man that can scarf down a platter-sized serving of biscuits and gravy for breakfast, a handful of burritos from  a roadside stand for lunch,  and a Texas-sized chicken-fried steak for dinner!

In case you’re unaware, RV toilets differ in one significant way from residential toilets. After all, at the end of the day it wouldn’t be much fun for someone if the trailer were jostled and bounced and rolled down the road with a toilet bowl full of water sloshing onto the bathroom floor and racing forward at every stop and then turning around and exuberantly charging back aft at every go. In order to avoid that particular adventure, RV toilets are designed to leave either no water or very little water in the bowl after being flushed. Of course this requires the extra step of adding water just prior to doing your business.

Anyway - - - Elmer has spent many winters down there on the Texas coast living in that trailer, which, of course, includes using that nice porcelain-bowled toilet on a regular basis, so he’s clearly familiar with the routine. But something didn’t quite connect for him that first day, maybe some of those brain synapses were running a bit slow, working-to-rule perhaps, and he promptly dropped trou, backed in, (RV bathrooms tend to be small) and pooped into a dry bowl. . .

Now even nice slick porcelain bowls are no match for the noxious, steaming pile of – well, you know – sitting there; and adding water after the fact was about as helpful as repairing the fence after the cows have already gone walk-a-bout.

Of course, after he cleaned up that particular mess, (And I don’t want to know the details!) Friends And Family got a workout as, much like a five-year old proud of his accomplishments, he spread the word of his latest miss-adventure far and wide.

I’ve no doubt that the toilet was sparkling, Elmer has a thing about that, but I renewed my vow never to eat anything in the trailer that isn’t still factory sealed. I mean we’re talking about a man that will bleach his underwear until it shreds, but then, while standing at the fish-cleaning station, he’ll fumble a cigarette out of the tin in his shirt pocket with fish-gut slimed fingers!!

Like I said, my plan was to keep my damn mouth shut about all this, but yesterday there was another round of Friends And Family as word of his latest – umm – escapade was spread.

This time he managed to slide off the toilet sideways. How I have no idea since there’s just barely enough width there between the wall and the vanity to fit the standard American butt let alone slide it around, but he managed. And in the process he broke the toilet seat, apparently clean off the toilet!

After a half dozen phone calls back and forth we finally convinced him to take the broken seat up to the local plumbing supply and compare it to a standard seat off the shelf to see if one will fit.

At the moment we are waiting to hear the results of this little fact-finding excursion. If a standard seat will fit then I only have to make the 4 hour round trip once, to install the new one, if it won’t fit I’ll have to make the trip twice. You see, it seems that Elmer can’t find a model number on the toilet, nor the packet full of trailer paperwork which includes the toilet paperwork, that is sitting right there in the cabinet over the head of the bed. (I know for a fact that’s where it is because just the other week I had to shake it out to make sure there weren’t any mice or snakes filed away with the rest of the paperwork.) so if a standard seat is not the answer I'm going to have to go down there to get the info necessary to order the proper seat, then back again to install it.

So right now I’m on standby, puttering around gathering supplies and making a plan while I wait for word from the coast. . .


  1. Fish-gut slimed fingers grasping for a cigarette. I can picture that.

    1. Unfortunately I don't have to picture it, I've seen it first hand!