My New-Fangled Toilet

By | March 24, 2022
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My New Fangled Toilet

The older I get, the more I realize that it’s the simple things that make me happiest. 

When I was younger – so much younger than today – I was never happy with anything for very long.  Loved that new car – for a day or two. Loved those expensive vacations, for a few days after I got home. My life was full of things – new things, expensive things, things I couldn’t afford, always bigger and better things for me… I was a material cad.

I think Mark Twain wisely noted that youth is wasted on the young.  That’s so true. Give me my youth back now and I’ll show those youngins how to use it. I would certainly not waste it this time around.

So, anyway, having been a homeowner for a long time, I can tell you that when you’re an old homeowner like me and you’re just hanging on as your life’s sand slides quickly down the hourglass of life. It goes faster and faster like an untethered boat hurtling toward the brink of Niagara Falls. The point? When you’re old like me, the last dang thing you want to do is replace stuff in the old homestead.

All I want to do at this point on my life’s journey (Oh my! How I love euphemisms!) is for every day to be the same. But old houses don’t make it easy. The lawnmower dies, the food in the fridge gets moldy because when the old fridge quits working.  The washing machine won’t wash. These new-fangled machines they build these days!  No one can fix them. They are made to break and toss…not fix.

Now, that would be OK if they were throw-away cheap – but they’re not. And being that I’m not a rich man (largely due, as I mentioned before, to the foibles of my youth) and now live on a somewhat fixed income, and these things scare me.

I mean spending hundreds of dollars on a new refrigerator is not something I want to do. But you can’t put it off, can you? And every time I do buy something new it reminds me of my own dwindling mortality — as in – “hmm… this will be the last refrigerator/stove/car/faucet/TV – you name it – that I’ll ever buy. And that’s not fun. 

And I was thinking about getting another cat. I love cats because they’re so much like me. But then I think, who’s going to take him/her when I go to the big litterbox in the sky? Unless I break my family’s longevity record, a cat is going to outlive me.

So anyway, I know you’re anxious to hear about the new-fangled toilet and I’m getting there.

For the last several years, I’ve put off buying a new toilet. I mean the one I used most often (what I call the “downstairs toilet”) has been of service to me for nearly 40 years. I’ve done a lot on that toilet – some of my best reading was done there too. So, you don’t want to put an old friend like that down unless you really have to.

But my water bills were killing me. I have very little money and my water bills were higher than my crazy-high internet/cable TV bill. You don’t even want to know.

And as I’ve mentioned, several times already (on purpose), I live on a somewhat fixed income. After living and eventually putting up with my old toilet and friend for over 40 years, common sense prevailed.

A new toilet would pay for itself in a couple of months or less!

And I have a handyman who does work for me in exchange for me fixing his computers – the old barter system. So, once I purchased the right toilet, I knew that the installation would be cheap or free. Heck, Lowe’s wants $220 to install a toilet and that doesn’t include the toilet.

I spent several days carefully shopping for a toilet. I’m old and this is something we old people do – we like to compare and make sure we’re getting our money’s worth because we know how these big companies are – and the young people are – all out to get us because they think we’re all decrepit and senile and stupid.

So, after days of research (did you know you can spend $1500 and more on a toilet? Look!) I settled on a relatively cheap (it’s all I can afford!) toilet. American Standard for less than $200.

Lowe’s shipped it to me and it sat in my garage until the handyman had time to install it. When the big day came, I’m pumped. I hurried to use the old toilet one last time – a final salute – it turned out to be a fitting goodbye.

The handyman came and removed my old ( and faithful) toilet which has served me well in sickness and in health (and I once thought “until death do us part” but I just couldn’t afford her anymore). 

When the handyman opened the cardboard box holding my new American Standard toilet, it was broken. FedEx must have dropped it.  My handyman is very nice and very handy so he rushed the broken porcelain throne to Lowe’s and exchanged it for a new one – same price -same model – same brand.

It took him a couple of hours to install the new toilet and I was so anxious to try it. I mean my life does not get much more exciting than this “NEW TOILET DAY!”. 

Now with the old toilet, it took about two minutes to flush and another five minutes to refill. And if you didn’t keep shaking the handle the thing would never shut off. And sometimes it would shut off when you shook the handle – only to start running again when I was out of earshot. And with my ears, being out of earshot usually only means a few feet. So the toilet was using up tons of water whether I was ‘using’ it or not. And water is not cheap in my little town.

It’s time!

My handyman called me in for the big unveiling. He showed me how efficient it was. One push on the handle, and in ten seconds the bowl was evacuated, refilled, and done. I was amazed. I stood there in awe. I told the handyman that only an old man like me could be so amazed and enamored and jumping with joy over a new toilet. He did not disagree.

It’s been over a week now and I’ve put that toilet to the test and I’m in awe of it. I am truly amazed at its efficiency.  It can handle ANYTHING! I can’t wait to go to the bathroom.

And unlike most new-fangled things, my new-fangled toilet is the best! They say you can flush a dozen golf balls down this toilet without clogging it.







12 thoughts on “My New-Fangled Toilet

  1. Peter

    While you were at it, you might have added a warm water cleaning spray.No more hoarding
    toilet paper when supplies are dwindling in the stores because of supply problems.
    More hygenic. No irritation anymore from the paper.

    Your story was priceless 🙂

  2. Vicki

    I have one of each, the old one is in the master bath and the new one (which is fast to flush and fill ) is in the small bathroom, wish I could swap them! LOL. I like the new fangled one so much better even if I don’t have the ‘spray’ installed, Huggie wipes works well, rofl

  3. Nora

    OMG! That was hilarious! I have a six year old toilet and some days it won’t stop running and I had to put a heavy rock on the flapper so it would fill….then take it off before flushing. It had a mind of its own. Lol! Wonder why they call it a flapper!? I thought they were ‘20’s women socialites or something.

  4. Sharon L.

    Oh, TC, you are hilarious! My husband and I are facing having to replace our old toilet. We haven’t gone shopping yet but will keep your recommendation in mind. We don’t have a lot of money, either. The one we have is rather low. I’d like a taller elongated one. I also want a slow-closing seat. We’ve had a couple before but they stopped closing slowly very quickly. Anyway, when we do go shopping I will think of your humorous story and enjoy shopping for a toilet more.

  5. Robin Busald

    You are such a good writer!! I laughed alot throughout this story!!… and so down to earth… everyone can relate to that experience!! LOL. I really enjoy your writings. You are quite a multi – talented guy!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all these wonderful gems with us. You’ve been a faithful online friend since I had my first Computer, a Windows ME.. Hope to read your stories for a long time.

  6. Kat

    Many areas of the U.S. make use of “grey water” for flushing.
    The motto in California was: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”
    Even though I live in PA., I still follow that motto — except for the rare times when I have company.
    Science is working on a better way:

  7. Ruth

    I found your experience hilarious and relatable as well. The older we get the less we like change And you can no longer just walk in the store and buy something like ‘us old folks’ did. There are way too many options for us to consider. Whatever happened to simple and efficient?, the things we were used to and thought would last for the rest of our life, and then it lets us down. Thanks for the laughs. I do have a suggestion though, ‘Do not try the golf ball test as there is always the possibility the performance just might not meet their claims. Keep the laughter coming. We love it!

  8. Dawn

    Thanks for the chuckle on this cold, windy day that winter thinks it has to do to keep us in line! I’m thinking back to the old outhouses and now that was an experience growing up!!

    1. Mae Watson

      Hi Dawn;
      When I was 5 my parents bought a cottage on Lake Erie (Canada’s side). It had a 3 holer, each a different size. My sister and I dubbed them papa beat’s, momma bear’s and baby bear’s.
      I was probably 10 when indoor plumbimg and a new kitchen and the old Kitchen became the new bathroom with SHOWER. The old kitchen had a pump at the sink.

  9. Terry Bell

    Another enjoyable essay!
    I must admit, your story became so personal it left me flushed!

  10. Debbie Radice

    Good Morning
    Thoroughly Enjoyed Reading this !
    🙂 We Had The Same Problem With Our Throne And Like You , Had the same issues with finding a new one that was affordable . Thinks For The Witty Telling Of This Experience !
    I Am Sure Many Of Us Can Relate
    Enjoy Your New Toilet


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