148. The Toilet Tank (1)


Stanley had just finished brushing his teeth. He noticed water flowing into the toilet bowl. That's strange, he thought. The water continued to seep into the bowl. Stanley lifted the toilet tank top. The tank was half full, but the water was slowly rising. What in the world is going on, he wondered. He had not just flushed the toilet. He continued to watch the water rise in the tank. The water got up to the Water Line mark in the tank, where it was supposed to stop rising. But it continued to rise.

Stanley was alarmed. Is this thing going to overflow, he wondered. He went into his bedroom and grabbed some towels. When he returned to the bathroom, the toilet was silent. The water had stopped rising at one inch above the water line. But that was only about two inches below the top of the tank. That was too close for comfort. Stanley put two and two together. He had heard water running for more than a week now, but he had assumed it was his neighbor's toilet. Now he knew it was his own.

He called Henry the handyman. Henry was a really nice guy. His rates were much cheaper than a regular plumber's rates. Henry said he'd be over the next day. The next day, Henry arrived only 30 minutes late, which was "on time" for Henry. He tried to turn off the toilet tank shutoff valve on the bathroom wall, but the valve was "frozen." "We don't want to mess with that," he told Stanley. "That valve is too easy to bust, and it would take a lot of work to put a new one on."

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