All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

Don’t trust experts to fix anything

Something for the Weekend, Sir? My toilet is working again. I’m sure regular readers are overjoyed to learn this, and I extend a particularly warm welcome from me and my toilet to those reading this Saturday morning’s column while eating breakfast.

That first celebratory slash of relief following three consecutive weeks of toilet withdrawal symptoms was glorious, I can tell you. It was totally hands-free as I stared up at the ceiling and bellowed out the jingle from the Go Compare ads.

Just imagine that as you tuck into your sausage and El Reg Eggs Benedict.

Put your mind at rest, the family did not have to resort to “doing a Mother Teresa” [*] since we have a secondary bog located in the bathroom upstairs. I suppose you could call it my “backup in the cloud”, and it was just as inconvenient, especially when my daughter was having a bath.

This meant I was forced to spend a penny more than once – probably nearer £0.37 in total – in the downstairs sink, which I discovered is uncomfortably high for a diminutive man of five-foot-six.

On a more positive note, I now have calf muscles made of steel.

Why did it take three weeks to fix a broken loo? It was entirely my own fault. When I first noticed the slow drip at the back of the downstairs comfort station, I made the classic schoolboy error: I called in an expert.

You may recall my experience of the plumber’s first visit from a few weeks ago, during which he dismantled everything and held creepy (and, I trust, imaginary) conversations with each of the parts.

He said my vintage WC needed a rubber washer that was so outmoded, ancient and rare that he needed to put in order an replacement from a specialist supplier – Sotheby’s, I guess – and that I should wait to hear from him when it arrives.

I never saw or heard from this plumber again. After two and a half weeks of silence from the plumbing repairs company and six increasingly frosty calls to them from me, another of its expert employees was reluctantly persuaded to visit.

He proceeded to strike up a fresh conversation with the arrangement of privvy parts arranged across the floor of the smallest room in the house, before announcing that it wasn’t a washer problem but that the cistern had developed a tiny fissure through which the water was dripping. To be precise, his written report refers to an “airline crack” (sic), which I suppose means that it was caused by low-flying aircraft.

I’m no potty pundit but this had more than a whiff of bullshit about it, and given that no-one had been able to use the lav for ages, the distinctive smell could not be confused for anything else.

What’s so annoying is that I fell for the temptation of calling in an expert in the first place, being a strong believer in the Mystical Cult of the Ikabai-Sital. The first rule of Ikabai-Sital is never to talk about Ikabai-Sital but I’ll make an exception for El Reg readers.

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