Last summer, my wife and I finally had enough of our bathroom’s pedestal sink. “Enough of you, you cabinet-less abomination!” we shouted at the top of our lungs. “Out, you cursed, porcelain spite!” We congratulated ourselves on some first-rate verbal declarations, then we went to Home Depot, bought a new sink, and heaved the box home.
“Now,” said Paula, “just call my dad and have him install it.”
I gagged. I coughed. I expressed general effrontery. “Paula,” I scoffed, “I can install a new sink.” After all, it’s not like I had to build the dumb thing from scratch. The new sink was already there, in a box, I just had to open it up and plop it on the tile.
My wife shook her head. “You have no idea how to install a sink,” she said.
“I do too. It’s innate. It’s ingrained in me. You know why?” I asked.
She rolled her eyes. “Because you’re a man.”
“Because I am a man,” I said. “Specifically, a man who knows how to watch YouTube.”
Ah, YouTube. The wondrous Internet space where you can find questionably reliable instructions on how to do basically anything, from driving a car to building a time machine. (Seriously, look it up.) Surely it could guide me through a simple home makeover project.
Paula headed out to run some errands, and I set myself to work.
The first step in replacing the sink was to remove the old one. My first instinct was to take a sledgehammer and just bash the hell out of it until my bathroom looked like a Wolf of Wall Street set piece. But, regrettably, I don’t own a sledgehammer. So I deferred to YouTube for an alternative method.
Good thing I did. Did you know there are tubes that feed your sink water and that you should turn them off before ripping the thing out of the floor?
The demolition was incredible. Having watched an outstanding video on the subject, I was an instant expert. I turned valves with skill and aplomb. I detached hoses like a Mario Brother. I literally ripped the sink out of the floor with my bare hands.
I felt like the Incredible Hulk.
Thank you, YouTube.
Then came time to install the new sink. I decided to give this part a go without a video instruction. After all, I’d recently learned that a sink is really just a heavy thing with a basin that stands on the floor and hooks up to two water hoses. Heck, the sink was even already assembled. I literally just had to cut off the bottom of the box, stand it in place, and pull off the cardboard. Any idiot can do that. Even idiots without an Internet connection.
I cut the cardboard away. I stood the sink upright. I slipped off the rest of the box. I grabbed the hot water hose. I fed it through the back of the sink. I secured it to the nozzle. I did the same with the cold water. I twisted the u-bend. I lined it up with the wall.
And I realized the new sink’s u-bend pipe was about an inch smaller in diameter than the giant, gaping maw in the wall that held the drainage pipe. Trying to install this sink was going to be like trying to secure a stick of dynamite to a manhole opening, except, unfortunately, with less opportunity for exciting destruction.
This was a serious problem. There was only one thing to do, and that was to return to YouTube. But the video service failed me, revealing no videos about how to install this particular sink into my particular pipes with any sort of particularity at all.
Frustrated, I returned to the bathroom. As I saw it, I had two major problems. The first one was, I had no idea how to make a small pipe fit a big pipe without replacing either the small pipe or the big pipe, and replacing either the small pipe or the big pipe sounded like an awful lot of work. The second problem was, Paula was on her way home. I had two choices; either figure out a way to fix the sink, or use the time to come up with a good way to make sure she understood that this debacle was definitely not my fault.
I’m just kidding. There weren’t two choices. There was really only one.
“Paula!” I cried when she entered the house, trying to distract her with a little clever misdirection. “Did you see that pedestal sink in the garage? I ripped it out all by myself.”
But Paula is a particularly shrewd woman, and she saw through both my smoke and my mirrors. “Couldn’t install the new sink, huh?” she asked.
“Home Depot lied to us,” I lied. “They said we could do it and that they could help, but they were wrong.”
Paula sighed. I sighed. She sighed again. I sighed again. She sighed harder. I sighed hardest. Then she poked her head into the bathroom.
Which is when she called her dad, who came over and properly installed our sink.
And the moral of the story is, you really screwed me on this one, YouTube.
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