Being a collection of doggerel, verse, stories, politics, historical essays, satire, poetry, jokes, pictures and whatever else I damn well please on a variety of interesting (or otherwise) subjects.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mystery of the Unflushable John

It's been awhile since I dribbled anything onto these pages. One excuse for that, I suppose, is that I have been traveling for work of late. I arrived in San Antonio last night and checked into my room and racked out pretty early, being tired from driving. The alarm woke me up at 6am and I do the morning ablutions thing, but I ran into a little puzzle right after having used the fine porcelain facilities provided by a thoughtful management. Here is a picture of my difficulty.

So, I'm looking all over this thing for a handle or a button or a chain or something I'm supposed to use to flush it.

As you can see, the right side is handle free...

The left side is likewise, handleless...

So I figure, heck, I'm a computer science professional! Surely I can figure out some way to flush this stupid toilet. Now, I'm no plumber, but I have, as it happens, replaced the innards of numerous toilets in my day and am somewhat familiar with how the process works, so I figure I'll open the thing up and pull the stopper up from the inside. This will have the added advantage of being able to see where the handle comes in to pull said stopper, and the mystery will be solved. This is what greeted me upon taking the lid off the top of the toilet:

This was not what I was expecting. In the first place, there ain't no stopper to pull up to flush the toilet, so the first part of my plan has already fizzled. In the second place, there doesn't appear to be anything protruding into the tank from the outside that would be able to act as an actuator for whatever the hell this machine is. Still, something has to make it go, and I start wiggling things on the tank thingy until I accidentally push on the gizmo right on the top. Sure enough, thar she blows. My lightening-like intellect immediately seizes on the solution to the puzzle and I remove the towel and roll of tissue with which the maid has thoughtfully decorated the tank lid, and sure enough.... There it is!

In my defense, it was 6:15 Monday morning, and I was, arguably, not at my best, but still.