It Could Be Worse? – 1LinerWeds

If flights were on time, I have been back in Connecticut for about five hours. I spent the previous week in Iowa visiting my brother. When I posted my one-liner last week, the one announcing my book release (sorry, the marketing department makes me do that), I was sitting at Gate-9 in Bradley International Airport’s Terminal-A waiting for my flight to Minneapolis (MSP) to board.

Unlike some of the years where we exit MSP’s parking lot and head out for a few days, this time, I just wanted to visit. While at my brother’s house, we decided to tackle a few projects. We replaced a sink and faucet in one bathroom and made a couple other minor repairs. A couple days later, we had a simple plumbing repair – the replacement of a toilet fill valve. This is a common D-I-Y repair. I may have jinxed it, as we were getting started, by saying “How long can this take?”

We need a new one of these.

Less than a minute later, the shutoff valve snapped in half as I was trying to shut the water supply off – and started leaking. We shut the water off to the bathroom and returned to the hardware store. A very nice young man led me to the aisle and helped me to buy the right valve. Input and output threads were measured and matched. I thanked him.

As we headed to the counter, he said, perhaps out of habit, perhaps sincerely, “Have a nice day.”

I turned to him and said, “I’m working under a toilet.”

He laughed but said, “Your day could be worse.” I gave him a curious look, encouraging him to explain.

“You could be replacing the flapper, or the wax ring. The toilet could be clogged and overflowing, trust me, your day could be much worse.”

On our way back to his house, I related the clerk’s comments to my brother. He started laughing:

“I guess he’s a toilet is half full kind of guy.”

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, or if you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

Note: OK, that should say two notes: Remember, Thursday Doors returns tomorrow, and, again from the folks in marketing…

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

Series page on Amazon

My profile page (and books) on Lulu

All available on Kindle Unlimited!


  1. Hi Dan – glad you had a useful time with your brother … but the salesman has a good sense of humour. Congratulations on your book’s publication … and now enjoy being home … fun, happy, brotherly post … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Hilary. It was a nice long visit. We spread the projects over the whole time, so no crushing days of work. Fun times, good conversation, food and beverages. I am glad to have the book out there, and it seems people like it. I hope you have a good rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You actually said out loud “How long can this take?” Nothing like inviting the bluebird of happiness to fly over. But, if you hadn’t said that, we wouldn’t have had that uplifting exchange between you and the clerk. “I’m working under a toilet” was just the bit of snark I needed to get going this morning. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked this, Maureen. I know they have to say that, but when you’re checking out with a handful of toilet parts, it might be better to say “I hope this goes well.” I actually did invite the demons to mess with us. As soon as I said it, we looked at each other and shook our heads. At least it was an easy fix.

      Liked by 1 person

    • When he mentioned that he had to do these repairs, it seemed like a good thing to spread over a week-long visit. It went well, brought back many childhood memories and we worked and laughed and ate and drank.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you had a nice visit with your brother. The story of the toilet repair will go on for years and get even better as it ages.

    If your brothers cat were any more relaxed he’d be in a coma!

    Just to let you know, the comment from simplemoney1 is printed all in Geek Greek.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. Simplemoney has been unapproved. That was the HTML version of something written in Word, and I have no interest in figuring out what he meant.

      The toilet repair will be a memory that remains in the story line-up. “Let me turn off the water and we’ll getthe old one out…” followed by language I don’t use on this blog.

      Sundance is chill cat, except when it’s time to be fed or when there’s packing paper to be killed.


    • It was going to be the easiest of all the plumbing repairs we tackled, Frank. We were lucky that the pipe was threaded – no soldering required. They say no good DIY project can be finished without three trips to the hardware store. Between all the jobs we did, we made three trips.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan, you have to remember when you’re attempting something that’s labelled as a DIY task, no matter what it may be, you must have the Murphy’s law ready to use at a second’s notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The toilet comment is so gross I could not stop laughing! That salesman was pretty great. Sundance looks just like Preston…maybe a little chunkier? Iowa looks pretty. I’ve never been, but I like it.
    It is so strange to look at the flight schedule and not see Atlanta. You don’t go anywhere here without stopping off at Atlanta. So painful…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was funny, Lois, and that’s just what was needed to snap us out of DIY hell. Sundance is less fluffy than Preston, and a bit heavier, but very much the same cat. Iowa is such a different place than anything around here. Imagine driving for miles without seeing houses, fast food places, bars, etc. It’s a big stretch of flat farmland.

      From BDL, we can’t go anywhere without going through Minneapolis, Detroit or Atlanta. There are multiple Delta flights to all three between 6:00 am and 6:30. There are two for Atlanta, but ‘A’ put it on a different board.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your toilet and shut off valve story struck a cord. Cramped and awkward it is a project that comes with a bounty of – er – obstacles. I am very glad the story did not get any worse. Good hump day pictures Dan !

    Liked by 1 person

    • We were “lucky,” John. The valve was threaded on, not sweat, and the store had a replacement, and the kid took the time to measure and pick the right one. ‘Cuz you know how “half-inch” in plumbing can mean a lot of different things.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s one of the best ones I’ve heard. I laughed out loud! Looks like Baby Smoke’s tail is filling out from the root outward. Flying to Iowa to repair a toilet — you’re a good brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are right about the Ford. It is a 65. I almost bought one but decided to hang on to my 64 Chevy for a few more years. Loved the Iowa countryside. I’m also glad you have a marketing department. This book selling business is a tough one. With repairs and all looks like a nice trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a nice trip, John. That car is parked next to a Mexican food cart. We almost stopped for tacos but we were on our way to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. At first I thought that was a 66. Book selling is easily as hard as I imagined.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the bike signage, Dan. I appreciate a community that appreciates bicyclists. I came through Ames many years ago with the ex, on the Harley, when it was in the low 50’s and raining. We stopped at the McDonald’s there so we could drip all over the floor in our rainsuits and eat breakfast. Fun times!

    Considering that I just had the maintenance man over to repair both toilets in my apartment, I can appreciate the work that you and your brother completed. Remember: Thinking that a project is going to take a certain amount of time is not a good thought. I have found that out with recipes and their so-called “prep time.” Always prepare for more time, just in case…

    Have a better day than a toilet fix-it day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s cool that you’ve been through Ames. My brother rode motorcycles for years. Some places get it when it comes to people who like to walk and ride. Some places, like CT, don’t care enough. Pedestrian deaths here are double what they were 10 years ago.

      I almost always allow more time than required. This was anomaly. We tried to squeeze this in before going to a picnic. That’s when I made my tempting-fate remark. I think that sealed the deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like that kid’s had more than his share of plumbing issues. Hubs loved the car photo! Yes you got the year right, 65 and 66 same basic body. I always get excited for trains.. unless I’m fifty cars back and already late for work. Glad you made it home safely. Keep plugging the boys. It’s a great read! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl, for the comment and the confirmation. Gotta love that car. The only thing bad about that train is we were almost too far back to get a picture.

      I’ll keep plugging the boys. Trying to balance being unknown and being obnoxious.


  11. Good afternoon,

    I just finished reading “Knuckleheads: Dreamers Alliance” Book 1

    I really enjoyed this. The way you ended it seems to indicate that you have another edition all lined up. That’s wonderful, as I would enjoy following the story. I’ve always believed that our mind is capable of so much more than we realize. It feels good to stretch ‘the little gray cells’ (as Hercule Poirot) would say).

    Thanks for a very enjoyable book. Looking forward to Book #2.

    Regards, Carol Westover (aka Tehachap)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A great one-liner, Dan. Thanks for the chuckle. I’m not usually into cars, but that Ford Galaxy brings back memories. The back half reminds me of my 69 Dodge Dart.

    Liked by 1 person

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