Friday, July 13, 2012

Night at the Bar

This week an alum from my lab happened to be in town for a short time, and in order to see the most friends he could with a minimum of scheduling fuss, he just decided to camp himself at a bar in Harvard Square, and anyone who wanted to say hi was welcome to stop by sometime during the evening. An excellent solution, I thought, and very efficient - just like you'd expect an engineer's planning to be!

So I made my way to Harvard after work, and spent some time catching up with him and the other mutual friends who were there.

And at some point, of course, I had to use the bathroom. While I was waiting in line (only one restroom), I heard the girl behind me warn her friend "Yeah it's a bummer, the flush doesn't work on the toilet..."

Really? That seems like more than a bummer, in fact that seems like a pretty major issue in the ONE BATHROOM.

When the girl in front of me came out of the restroom, she said to the line in general, "I'm just letting you know, the flush doesn't work." And you could see in her face, she was really trying to say, "It's not my fault the toilet hasn't been flushed... I tried, really I did... don't blame me!"

Oh great, well, I guess I'm next up...

Sure enough, the toilet was in a pretty sorry state. Fortunately everybody had been nice enough to only pee... too much information? Well, sorry...

But the top of the toilet tank happened to be off - and when I took a peek, the problem was obvious. The little chain that attaches the flushing bar to the valve at the bottom of the tank, had just came unhooked.

Now, I'm an engineer, and this is a problem where I know the solution. You can guess what I did, right?

Yep, I took a deep breath, reached in there, and re-attached the chain and fixed the toilet.

Then washed my hands REALLY WELL.

Not sure whether to be proud of myself or not. Don't think there's very many other women who fix the toilet while they are out at the bar, so at least the rest of the ladies waiting in line should be grateful. Can't be normal, can I...


  1. That totally sounds like something I would do. Though last time I had to fix a toilet in the middle of the night, I ended up calling my mother for help.

  2. Is there a concern that the toilet tank has more bacteria than I might expect from a tank which holds clean water?

    1. I am sure the toilet tank has more bacteria as compared to just a fish tank of tap water - but it sure is much cleaner than the actual toilet bowl! I just figure I'm strengthening my immune system, right? :)