Handyman Handy Only at Confusing, Spiting Others

(New York City) – There are many acceptable locations where one would place their bottle of mouthwash. Some would opt for a bathroom shelf; others, a bathroom cabinet. Generally, however, the floor behind the toilet is not one of these acceptable locations.

And thus begins the anger.

Many readers remember, with pain, the dreadful "special surprise" the sewage lines bestowed on Micah Laaker’s once graceful apartment. (Ed. Note – See "Sewer Releases ‘Special Surprise’ in Apartment") Two years after this tragedy, the malice began again.

On Tuesday, noting an odd miscolored pool of water in his shower, Mr. Laaker "followed his nose" along the stagnant trail. Up the tub, up the shower wall, up the wall to the ceiling, the trail of sorrow culminated in a pitiable revulsion.

After learning the plumber was on his way, Mr. Laaker proceeded to make alternate housing decisions until the bathroom could be thoroughly gutted and remodeled. As time passed and sewage soaked, Thursday finally found a Bellmark property management "handyman" at Mr. Laaker’s door, ready to "fix" the bathroom.

Interestingly, the bathroom repairs consisted only of a surface-level scraping of the bathroom ceiling and wall, a replastering of those areas, and a subsequent paint job. Mr. Laaker, like others who like their books good, their puppies cute, and their walls non-sewage-filled, found this cosmetic band-aid unacceptable. Upon inspecting the bathroom, however, he found something even more disturbing.

There… behind the toilet… on the floor… was his bottle of mouthwash.

The detective work took little time. In the handyman’s excitement of splashing paint all over the bathroom mirror, shower curtain, and other formerly non-white-streaked objects, he decided to move the mouthwash from the bathroom ledge to a safer area. After all, one would not want paint to mar the $2 disposable bottle; such paint should be saved for those other permanent fixtures.

The other more convenient locations apparently did not pose suitable safehouses, such as the sink, the toilet’s lid, or even the floor of the main room (only 1 foot away). Nor did moving the other items on the shelf that the mouthwash occupied in its cleaner, "glory" days. Rather, digging deep into his contempt-brimming heart, the handyman ensured a place within his customer’s memory forever.

Trying to somehow justify the act, Mr. Laaker did agree with friends that putting a person’s mouthwash on the floor behind the toilet was certainly better than putting a person’s toothbrush on the floor behind the toilet. In the case of the toothbrush, though, the handyman would obviously have broken the handyman code-of-conduct; in the case of mouthwash, a number of excuses, plausible to the guild management, could be generated. Therein lay the genius of the act.

While waiting for the management to seriously repair his bathroom, Mr. Laaker is debating leaving the bottle in its current location as a testament to future generations of the horrors of cheap, non-thinking, lackluster repairmen. An attractive plaque, also placed on the floor near the bottle, might invite curious passersby to question whether they, like the handyman, consider the on-the-floor-behind-the-toilet location prime, healthy real estate for all dental hygiene products.


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