" … a strong east wind all night … " Unfortunately, not.

Obviously, any kind of toilet accident in space could be bad.

Nothing can be more unwelcome in the confusion of a night’s slumber — particularly after having downed a drink or three — than a catastrophic failure of a toilet tank. Such an occurrence becomes even more regrettable when the toilet that you are flushing and explodes, belongs to a friend who let you sleep on her couch. “Ouch,” I’d say if I was Dr. Seuss, but I’m not.

It is one of those situations which can lead to strained friendships. My friend was having a hard time with my explanation, before I left later that morning, that the toilet just disintegrated. She was concerned that her landlord would not accept such an explanation, which is understandable.

An examination I did of the tank later in the morning, rather than during the Niagra-like pandemonium of the moment the tank came apart, left me with only speculation of possible reasons for the tank failure. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find any single explanation why the toilet, “seamlessly” came apart during the early morning hours of March 25, 2007.

The crack extended above and below the side-mounted handle and down the right side of the tank, underneath and up along the other side. That is how I remember it at least. I wasn’t wanting to tarry too long after waking as my friend began absorbing the shock of what happened to her relatively new toilet and how the situation would ultimately stabilize.

All I know is that I flushed the toilet and it was like watching in slow motion some old World War II movie about sappers destroying an enemy dam. And I will never know for sure what caused it.

A few possibilities include that the toilet possessed some sort of stress fracture from the factory. The handle was used quite a few times that night, but it might not have even made a difference. When a toilet flushes and refills, water is moving and as we all know from watching the television news, moving water can rain down all kinds of death and destruction. Moving the handle may have disturbed a tiny stress in the tank which, with much certainty, opened up so quickly that it would have had Moses searching for a life jacket.

Also, if you’ve ever seen on the Discovery Channel the shows in which aircraft disasters are reconstructed, you know that rarely is there only one cause. Rather a continuum of failures lead to the catastrophe.

Perhaps the problem in the tank could have occurred without any human intervention such as with a sudden surge of water pressure. And if something such as that took place while my friend was away on her upcoming vacation, then it could have been a more serious situation. The water would continue to spew and since she lives in an upstairs apartment, well, it just presents a thought which one would rather not perceive.

That doesn’t help what happened to my friend’s toilet, however. And I feel bad about what happened. I would feel better if I knew for certain that I was directly to blame for the colossal unpleasantness. But I can’t say with any certainty that I was. I can only offer my apologies, once again, for the episode itself and then hope we can move past this disturbing event.

For more about toilets behaving badly:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *