I spent my day on my knees, a supplicant at the porcelain throne, and I hadn’t even had anything to drink.
My day started with ‘How Hard Can It Be?’ confidence, reached its nadir with ‘Am I going to have to call a handyman for this’ and ended with disproportionate relief at my eventual lack of failure.
My task was a simple one: replace the toilet seat.
Step 1: Remove old toilet seat.
Step 2: follow the ten hard-to-understand-but-apparently-necessary-installation steps that came with the new toilet seat.
I knew that putting the new seat on might be tricky but I’d read the instructions. I was confident. I could do this.
So, this was me at the start:
An hour later, I hadn’t made it to Step 2.
One of the plastic bolts holding the old toilet seat in place had come off easy. The second would not be moved. Rock solid. Wrench resistant.
I took out my screwdriver and disassembled the rest of the toilet seat, piece by piece. The metal hinge on that the left side of the toilet seat was anchored by wasn’t discouraged. It now rose, alone and defiant from the porcelain that I knew I mustn’t crack.
By the time I reached the second hour, I was like:
More time went by with me on my knees and the nothing changing except my sense of self-worth.
So I did the only thing I could in the circumstances.
I had lunch.
I returned, determined to make one last try before emasculating myself and calling in a handyman who would charge me £150 for a call out and still say, ‘So you couldn’t get this off then?’ in a tone of scornful disbelief that all handymen use when talking to non-handymen like me.
The screw turned. The bolt came off. I was saved from handyman hell and I was like:
I hid that of course and just said to my wife, ‘By the way, I got the old seat off.’
She wasn’t fooled and neither of us was surprised that it took me another hour of fumbling before the new toilet seat was securely affixed.
It was then that I remembered an old Bernard Cribbins song from the 1960s and realised it summed up my experience. If you’ve never seen it before, enjoy. If you’ve seen it before sit back and bask in the memory.