Like many of you, I was once very gung ho about fixing things around the house myself, like when Ryan and I were dating and I wanted to act like some kind of superhero who could tile floors and mow the grass. I guess I can still technically do those things, but I haven't HAD to in more than ten years so I'm out of practice slash energy/motivation. But, some things demand immediate attention, like when the only toilet on the first floor of your house stops flushing and your husband is out of town for the rest of the week.
Since a non-flushing toilet is a Class 1 household emergency, the first thing to do when your effing toilet breaks is to excuse yourself from the dinner table (where you are hosting guests who brought a lovely spaghetti dinner) to go investigate what is wrong. According to the kids the flushing thingy is loose and the toilet won't flush.
Step one is to take the top of the tank off the toilet. Holding a Cub Scout flashlight in your mouth, investigate the inner workings of the effing toilet.
After feeling around in the toilet tank, to the horrified squeals of disgust coming from the children at the kitchen table not four feet away (because: idiot architect), you will discover the plastic connection between the flap and the flushing handle has broken. Probably because it is AN EFFING PIECE OF PLASTIC. It is supposed to be a chain, if you live in a fancy house with quality plumbing fixtures. Or just a normal house.
The next step is up to you. If you are me, you can spend the remainder of the evening and part of the morning pointlessly trying to teach the children how to flush the effing toilet by reaching into the (clean) tank water, pulling up on the plastic stub, and then letting it go. Attempts to make this into a fun game will be met with suspicion, scorn, and mockery. Resign yourself to hourly effing toilet flushing for the next four days until the husband returns from South Carolina.
Next, grow weary of reaching into cold toilet tank water every time the effing toilet is to be flushed and begin to look for a solution. First, turn off the water going to the toilet. It will make a scary noise. Be ready for this. Once the water is off, hold the flap open for a moment to let the tank drain completely. Unless you like working in cold water and then GO NUTS.
Once the tank is empty, cut a piece of effing yarn from the kids' craft box. Wrap it several times around the plastic stub and secure with a knot. Wrap the free end around the end of the flushing lever and tie another knot. BOOM. Effing toilet is fixed. With string. You are an effing genius.
Turn the water back on (scary noise alert) and let the effing toilet fill back up. Put the top back on the tank. Open a beer and turn on the Rangers game. Unless it's nine o'clock in the morning and then you can just eat the last of the kids' granola bars and ignore the laundry some more.