It’s not what you think.  I haven’t used four assault rifles with high-capacity magazines (with many more in my ammo belt) to take out a wild woman in a super-ugly dress from the 1920s.

The truth is much more pedestrian, involving, as it does, a busted toilet component.

Yes, the iniquitous flapper valve.

Here’s the story.

Each of my politically correct Jacuzzi 1.6 gallon toilets (which often require the politically incorrect application of 3.2 gallons or more to do their deed) contains a hard plastic flapper valve.  One day, the end of one of the rudimentary hinges broke off, and the valve would no longer hingificate or seal properly.  The constant sound of running water, and all that.


After much research, I determined that no universal flapper valve sold in Lowe’s, Home Depot or similar Temple of Real Man would replace this unusual valve size.  A trip to a specialty plumbing store revealed that the manufacturer or an Internet plumbing supply store were my only chances, or else I could buy a more or less universal whole new flushing valve assembly which, said they, should work on a Jacuzzi.

I bought one, for $25-or-so.

When I brought it home, I stared at it for a couple of days, feeling inwardly troubled.  It was one of those existential-type feelings, like something was amiss in the cosmos.  Critical leakage of our Einstein-Bose condensates into parallel universe No. 3,012,551, that sort of thing.  In the meanwhile, we either trotted downstairs to the one-holer on the ground floor or took our chances using the 15 year-old’s bathroom.

Still I stared.

And finally got torqued, though fortunately not torquemadaed.

Why, I asked the Heavens, should I pay this kind of money for a piece of bakelite that probably cost 75 cents to produce in a civilized country?  Or three cents by slave labor in a worker’s paradise? (But that’s another story.)

Hell no, we won’t go! We won’t go enriching socialist slavemasters in the PRC, that is!  Or union slavemasters in the US of A!  Even to the tune of such a comparative pittance.

And then the Goddess of American Ingenuity spread Her Hallowèd Wings over me.  (Actually, I’m told that “she” is really lgbt and that neither “her” Gender of Origin, or GOO,  nor “her” Gender of Acceptable Destination, or GOAD, is a certainty, but that, too, is another story.)  The material point is that I decided to fix the damned flapper.  The valve, that is, not the 1920s woman, although those god-awful fashions from the 1920s could’ve used some serious tinkering.

Speaking of which…  Anyone who has ever been interested in tinkering magazines knows that, every now and again, they send you a “free gift” to lure you back into the fold.  As an example, I have accumulated several screw diameter gauges like this one:


And this past weekend, I actually put one to use!

I traced the healthy flapper valve hinge on it,


cut it out with my trusty Dremel, and voilà! I got a workable replacement plastic hinge.


A bit of filing and a couple of small brass screws later, I had a repaired flapper.  (The valve, not the woman).


And it works like a charm!  (The valve, not the woman.)


I returned the valve assembly unused, and got my money back.

Just goes to show you what a man can do if he refuses to be bullied by a flapper!


About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
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  1. LOVE IT! And I have several of these screw diameter gauges as well so now I am delighted to find and acutal use for them!

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