Real men can fix leaking toilets. I’m a different kind of guy. Years ago, when a seldom-used toilet had been leaking for months and my in-laws were coming to visit, I knew it was time for action. I inspected the back tank and discovered that when I pulled up on the little black bobber, the leaking stopped.

Then inspiration hit. I took my third place bowling trophy and set it down in the tank with the bowling arm strategically placed under the metal bar attached to the black bobber. The fit was perfect, the toilet was cocked for one good flush and no more leaking noise.

The visit was going well until my father-in-law had an upset stomach and needed to double-flush before I could sneak in to reset.

It wasn’t long before my method was discovered. My bowling trophy became the family joke of the decade.

If this were a singular occurrence, rather than a pattern of behavior, it would qualify as a foolish incident. However, people like me have this great problem with admitting we really suck at anything.

For a long time, I tried to hide my lack of handyman skills. I even tried to cover up the issue with a fancy new tool chest full of stainless steel gadgets. Unfortunately, my shortcomings arose once again when I couldn’t open the lock on the front. I needed tools to get to my tools.

So the real problem is my ability to accept my flaws and foibles. I want to address this character defect now by officially proclaiming to the world: IF YOU NEED SOMETHING FIXED AROUND THE HOUSE, I’M A DANGEROUS GUY TO CALL.

Ah, it feels good to have finally gone public. Now I think I’ll find my bowling trophy and polish it up.


Update, June 8th, 2016:

Five years after writing this Mindful Midweek, I’d like to report progress in my handyman prowess.  Truth is, my water-soaked bowling trophy has found a new function. On warm summer evenings it holds up my bathroom window.