My wife and I have been fighting over the toilet. It developed a hard-water ring around the bowl. One of my jobs in the house is to keep the bathroom clean, so I took on the job of ridding our toilet from this unsightly ring.
I told my wife not to use the toilet for the next eight hours. I was going to drain the bowl, then place a vinegar-soaked towel over the ring, and allow it to baste overnight. Vinegar dissolves hard-water deposits, so I thought this ingenious plan would make me the Bathroom Employee of the Year.
She seemed irritated. “All you have to do is scrub that ring with a pumice stone. That’s the proper way to clean a toilet.”
What the hell is a pumice stone? I wondered. “That sounds like it would scratch the toilet. No, vinegar is a non-abrasive method. Just let me do it my way. If you have to pee, just go in the backyard.”
“What if I have to poop?” she shot back.
“We have a pooper scooper,” I pointed out.
She was not happy, and I learned decades ago that happy wife equals happy life. But there’s my pride, you see. I’m the bathroom expert. The bathroom is my bailiwick. Nobody tells me how to clean the bathroom. And I’m certainly not going to scratch up the surface of our shiny porcelain shitter with a damned rock.
So at bedtime I proceeded with the plan. I drained the bowl. I carefully placed a vinegar-soaked towel over that unsightly hard-water ring. And then I shut out the lights and allowed chemistry to take its course.
In the morning I got up first. I watered the backyard tree, due to the toilet being out-of-commission. Then I got to work quickly, before Mrs. Pumice Stone woke up. I figured it would be no fun being around her, if she had to water the tree also.
I wiped it with the vinegar towel. The ring remained. I wiped again while rubbing harder. But the bowl still had that old familiar ring to it. So for some real scrubbing power, I deployed my mighty Drillbrush. Did the ring fade a little? I think so, but maybe that was my hopeful imagination.
I finally gave up.
My wife told me she was buying a pumice stone. She also said that she would clean the ring herself. She had little confidence that I could operate a pumice stone without scratching the porcelain.
Remember that story about Tom Sawyer painting a fence? I didn’t argue with her. I let her scrub the damned toilet herself.
And now the ring is gone. I knew vinegar would eventually do the trick.