Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daddy Rooter


Saturday night, I had 10 girlfriends from childhood over to my house for appetizers, dessert and lots of wine. I decided to make proscuitto-wrapped dates, and was busily working away in the kitchen, chatting with two of my friends when we heard a very odd noise coming from somewhere in the apartment.

It sounded like someone was taking a shower with the water up full blast. The pipes were groaning like I’d never heard before.

I sprinted to the hallway and determined the noise was definitely coming from the bathroom.

As I turned on the light, I was hit in the shins with a spray of water from the valve next to the toilet. I frantically tried to turn it off, but it was stuck. A couple of friends clamored into the bathroom behind me and watched in horror as the tank began gushing water all over the floor. Without thinking twice, I ran to the phone and dialed my parents’ number.

I calmly screamed that the toilet was exploding and I couldn’t get the water shut off and I needed help immediately because I had a house full of people and a balsamic reduction sauce to make. While throwing every bath towel I owned onto the floor to mop up the mess, I tried again to turn the shut-off valve. It finally gave way and the spray sputtered out.

“Do you need me to bring the wet vac down?” my Mom asked. Yes. And please bring Dad so he can look to see what the problem is.

Hands shaking, I returned to my dates in the kitchen and lovingly accepted a giant glass of wine from one of the girls.

When my parents showed up, Dad immediately marched down the hallway. I opened the toilet tank and showed him the broken pumper thing inside. “Do you think this is fixable?” I asked.

He then removed his Clark Kent glasses, loosened his tie and revealed a superhero emblem on his shirt. “Not only is it fixable,” he said, “I have the part with me.” Confetti fell from the ceiling and the cats started doing a tango on the bathroom rug.

He went back outside to his car and returned with a toolbox. Then, like a house-call-making doctor about to deliver a baby, he said, “I’ll need a bowl and a flashlight.”

I left him alone to work on his patient, and 15 minutes later I had a fully functioning toilet again. All the girlfriends cheered.

I handed him a cookie. “Mom said you weren’t very happy when I called for help.”

He crossed his arms and, in typical Dad fashion, explained—“I just sat down to watch COPS and your Mom comes running in saying ‘Melissa needs us to come down and help her with her toilet. It’s flooding the bathroom.’ And I said AWE CRAP! GOD DAMMIT!”

A nearby friend and I broke into hysterics. I can picture that reaction perfectly in my head after witnessing it so many times as a child. But the best part is that after he and my Mom went home, he was all cheery and chipper and proud of himself for saving the day in front of all the girls.

The other good part—when I told Mr. W the story the next morning he said, “Yeah I would’ve pretty much reacted the same way your dad did.”

“But you would’ve fixed it too, right?”

“Of course.”

How does that old saying go about marrying people like your father…?

17 comments:

Mandy's Kidding said...

I want to marry your father.

varietyisthespice said...

Are you saying you're about to marry Mr. W? - Jane

laura said...

Awwww...how sweet!!! the two grumpy old men (your dad and my dad) recently saved the day at my house too...they hung up pictures since my hubby is injured and not able to do anything right now. it was great!! your mom assured me that he loves to have a project...now i'm feeling a little guilty that he might not have been as excited as she said he was. but oh well...the job was done famously!! :)

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I love this! Though, I married the exact opposite of my father. My husband would fix the problem. My father? He'd pull out the yellow pages and tell me who to call. =)

Mel Heth said...

Mandy - That's exactly what I said to my Mom before she sputtered "You should've heard what he said when you called us!"

Jane - A girl can dream. :)

Laura - I didn't hear about that. Your poor hubby!! I can't believe what happened to him. I hope he's ok. I'm sure my dad and his faux brother had a good time hanging the picture. Dad Heth does like to project, he just also likes to curse.

Nilsa - I believe that still counts as fixing the problem by proxy. :P

JustRun said...

Aww, that's the friggin' cutest thing I've seen all day.

Anonymous said...

So Laura; there is a difference between hanging a picture and fixing a "john" - flooding and all!
He was happy to hang the pictures!

geekhiker said...

Hmmm... "ability to fix toilets" ... are you saying I should add that to my dating profile?

Mel Heth said...

JustRun - Thanks. :) I thought it was pretty cute and kickass, too.

Mom - You never know - he might have been cursing in his head when he was hanging the picture.

GH - You should totally add that to your profile! Seriously - handy guys who can fix things are hot.

charlotteharris said...

aw, what a softie your dad! you know he secretly loved being able to save your day!

Dingo said...

I don't know what I liked best. This, "the cats started doing a tango on the bathroom rug"

Or this, "I handed him a cookie."

Or this "And I said AWE CRAP! GOD DAMMIT!”

I think the three of them are a hodgepodge of wonderfulness. Oh, and tell your Dad to get Tivo.

Wow, that was awkward said...

You made that a really exciting story! I was on the edge of my seat, worried that you girls would have to pee in the bathtub!

Dads love to be the hero. It is why little kids are so great. They still treat us like the hero even when the pipes aren't bursting.

Alysha said...

I love the way you write! That is a sweet story.

Big Sister said...

That story is soooo Dad! I can just picture it now. You should have seen the tizzy he threw today when mom told him she scheduled him a physical....but boy he can sure fix just about anything after his fit is over - free entertainment!

GuillotFam said...

Awe! We love and miss Gary!!!

Lara Watkins said...

I *heart* Gary! And I'm glad he fixed the pot...since I ate steak on Monday :)

Braden Matthew Johnson said...

I didn't get to even say hi to your parents. They look just like they did 15+ years ago though....cute as can be. Wasn't sure if they'd remember little ol' Ange since I don't have the bangs & pinch-rolled jeans anymore. Unless you marry a guy like your dad, you can't ever move outa LC...sorta a scary thought.