The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Some Gordian Knots are easy, others, not so easy

Bunny is busy replacing the toilet in the master bathroom. Why am I not doing such work? Bunny has experience in home renovations—I just get called in for the really heavy work like hauling the heavy debris away. Eventually, the call comes.

“Sean! Come here!”

“What's up?”

“I'm trying to separate the tank from the bowl, but this one screw is too tight to remove. Can you help?”

“Sure.” I try futzing with it for a few moments. “Why do you want the tank separated?”

“Because it'll make it easier to carry down to the street as trash.

“Oh,” I said, picking up a nearby hammer, “this—”


“Oh! Wait—”


“—until I can—”


“—get away!”


“—will be easy,” I said. “There you go. Gordian Knot untied.”

“Thanks, I think.”

Then more futzing around getting the old toilet scraps scooped up, and the new toilet set down and the tank installed. I'm screwing in the last of the bolts on the tank when Bunny walks up.

“Make sure the tank is level,” she said, placing a level across the tank.

“Hmm,” I said. “Looks like I need to loosen the right side here … oomph. Ooommmmmph! Errrrrrrrrrrrrarrg! It's not budging. Let me see what tools you have …”

Two hours later …



“I've tried the nut driver. I've tried the ratchet. I've tried the nut driver with vice grips (sorry about the handle there). I can't get the screw loose on the right side. That's about as level as the tank is going to get.”

“Is the nut cross-threaded?”

“Cross-threaded. Too tight. Not enough space to get leverage. All the above. It ain't moving.”

She looked at the toilet for a few moments. “Good enough. Now let me get the hose hooked up and … oh bother!”

“What's wrong?”

“The connector to the water valve is too small!”

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