Even a Sitting US Senator Deserves a Bathroom Bill of Rights

There has always been this one sad fact about the American founding that has bothered your humble correspondent. As regular readers know, it has been my fate and calling to spend most of my life in other people’s bathrooms, creating comfortable private sanctuaries from the cold world outside. So for me it is tragic that our founding fathers wrapped-up production of the Bill of Rights, while leaving on the cutting room floor the inalienable right of citizens to use the THRONE ALONE.

Well, last week the bill on our hastily wrapped-up Bill of Rights finally came due. Mob rule kicked in, as a US senator was chased into the Ladies Room because of a debate that began in another, more august chamber. The gentlelady from Arizona sought refuge in a stall, where she cowered behind a partial, inadequate door, as the other side of the door was live-streamed globally.

She was then verbally assaulted through the door by both a female AND a male — who until the day before yesterday you would think had NO BUSINESS being in a ladies room at all — as she presumably went about HER business. Yes, a SITTING Senator unable to STAND-UP for her constitutional rights —a fate not even a US Senator deserves under any circumstance, whether dodging angry citizens or fleeing from a State-mandated COVID booster shot.

Fortunately given that, after all, we are talking about geniuses here, the founding fathers DID leave us with a remedy to correct their oversights, and it’s through the AMENDMENT process. And while I’m no exception to the rule that you don’t find constitutional scholars among those who spend their days in other people’s bathrooms, I would like to humbly suggest that it will take THREE constitutional amendments to protect Americans when they are in the most vulnerable position they could ever possibly be in.

The Right to a Secure Bathroom Door

Does this sound familiar? When you try to shut a door in your house all the way, it never rewards you by replying with an unambiguous “click.” So, it would only take a little push for the door to fly open again, exposing whoever is behind the door to a bit of unwanted publicity. Robert Frost once said “Good fences make good neighbors.” And in response we proclaim “Good bathroom door locks make unembarrassed Thanksgiving house guests.” OK, so Robert Frost’s more artful words earned him a gig as a Poet Laureate. Big deal. We are after something far more valuable — a call to Fix St Louis from a homeowner like you to secure your bathroom door.

The Right to Be Comfortably Seated

Have you ever been in a home, perhaps your own, in which a toilet seems just a bit too low? Not SO short that it looks like it’s meant for a child, but just short enough for you to wonder why you can’t seem to get into the driver’s seat without going down with a “thud” in the last couple of inches, or why you suddenly feel like you’ll need a grab bar to get up. It’s not you, it’s the toilet. That’s the way toilets used to be made before “comfort” was invented. Kinda like the way those old-timey photos were taken of people and excessively large groups before the “smile” was invented.

Just think what a difference these comfort-height toilets have made. It’s even possible that if these new, taller toilets had never been invented, we might be calling them SQUATTING senators instead of SITTING senators. In any event, call Fix St Louis today and we’ll lift your spirits and everything else with a right-height toilet.

The Right to a Fair Flush

Being just a simple handyman, I live in a world where seeing is believing, and it’s kinda obvious I do not have the analytical skills required to be a member of Congress.

For instance, for many years now Congress has been warning that we’re going to run out of water because we’re using way too much of it. And that if we didn’t cut back on our water usage, then someday… I dunno, I forget … but I think it had something to do with a shovel, a hole in your backyard, and an Eagle Scout project.

You’d almost think that when Congress goes on OVERSEAS junkets and look out their plane windows, all they can see down below is a water-trickling drainage ditch, like the one we affectionately call the “River Des Peres,” instead of hours and hours of enough water to flush the toilets of every species known to man 5 times a day for eternity.

So years ago, Congress launched a jihad against what seemed to be a perfectly acceptable All-American toilet that had a 6-7 gallon tank — a classic beauty that unleashed a gusher large enough to take EVERYTHING down with it, including the occasional ashtray the kids threw in (remember those?). And to this very day, Congress seems determined to flush-through their toilet agenda until “flushing” is redefined to mean spitting into the bowl right before you hit the flush lever.

Fortunately, the toilet manufacturers have responded with good old American engineering ingenuity, so the ability of today’s toilets to flush, while still not good, is better than the original emasculated toilets of a few years ago. So if you have a flushing problem and haven’t had your toilet replaced for 15-20 years you might want to call Fix St Louis to do that. But in the meantime, until crowds with torches show-up at the homes of of elected officials, and catch them while they are sitting on their toilets (note to FBI: just kidding), none of YOUR toilets should be without a plunger nearby, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE THANKSGIVING GUESTS.

Hey, it seems like Thanksgiving guests came up a couple of times here. I’m guessing it’s unlikely that all 3 of the above constitutional amendments will be ratified before Thanksgiving. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enact all of them within your own house for your Thanksgiving guests. And there’s still time to get these repairs done before they arrive!

Call Fix St Louis today and we can make sure those bathroom doors lock, your guests are “seated” at the right height, and make sure they can casually leave the bathroom when done without running away hoping no one figures out that THEY were to blame for the toilet going off-line.

After all, you don’t want to make your Thanksgiving guests so embarrassed or mad that they’ll chase YOU into a bathroom. If you don’t think it can happen to you, check with your nearest sitting Senator. Or watch it on YouTube.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis

Now that the Oscars are SO over, maybe we can help

It might not surprise you that this old handyman was never much into Hollywood nor the Oscars. But what IS surprising is that in the last week, maybe for the first time in my lifetime, I found myself at the forefront of a societal trend, as many of you joined me in my annual tradition of NOT watching the Oscars.

To be fair, I never believed Hollywood was ever all that interested in my tastes, either. For instance, the only movies that ever feature power tools are horror movies. And actors’ lives have never been about being good with their hands, but more about being good with their facial muscles to mimic emotions, and occasionally to cry on demand. Honestly, I do not believe I have EVER seen a handyman cry, nor would I ever hope to. And earning applause means nothing to me — I’d rather listen to a suddenly-perfect toilet flushing cycle than have our customers clap their hands together to signal their approval.

Nevertheless, the loss of yet another iconic American institution always feels like a loss, especially one that claims to celebrate excellence.

Well, Fix St Louis does stuff that’s important to people, and we work in an area where excellence is definitely a thing. So I hope you will indulge me if we try to make one small contribution to fill the void left in America by the decline of Hollywood and the Oscars.

Close your eyes and imagine we’re wearing tuxedos and gowns instead of our distinctive green logoed uniforms, we arrive in Fix St Louis graphic-wrapped cargo vans instead of limousines, and we divvy-out coveted golden bowl statues shaped like you-know-whats known as “Johnnies.” OK, maybe not. Guess Hollywood is a lot better at this than handymen — or at least they were until this week. But in any event, here are the winners for 2021:

Best Supporting Floor Surface

This year we salute vinyl plank flooring as the top floor surface. Vinyl technology has greatly advanced the appearance of plastic-based flooring, moving it from “you-gotta-be-kidding” to “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-hardwood” level. It’s waterproof — perfect for kitchens and bathrooms — so you won’t have to repair or replace it every time there is a periodic unfortunate water event. And installation is relatively inexpensive, particularly relative to ceramic tile and hardwood — it just snaps together.

Top Performance by a Countertop

For bathroom vanity countertops, you can’t top a surface called “Onyx”, which is a brand name. Onyx is the new cultured marble. It looks great — harder and shinier. It won’t chip. It comes in lots of colors — well, not all the colors in a rainbow, but any that you would consider “sane” for a bathroom that did not belong to a Hollywood diva. And the Onyx folks do great stuff with integrating sinks as part of the same one-piece countertop, including all kinds of shapes and mimicking an under-mount white sink under a stone-colored countertop.

Yes, there are you purists out there who will always want granite with under-mount sinks, but for the rest us whose fate did not lead us to outrageously lucrative careers, or did not inherit a trust fund from someone who did something like invent Onyx, it’s a great alternative that has many advantages.

Incidentally, Onyx must have a good agent, who did not want the product to be typecast into the single role of countertop. So be sure to consider using Onyx on the other fixtures in your bathroom to match the countertop — including shower surrounds, shower bases, cosmetic tables, front panels for whirlpool tubs, and platforms for drop-in tubs. Fix St Louis can install all of these.

Best Fan of Home Repairs

This year’s award goes to the perpetually unnoticed, unused, and unheralded whole house fan. Thankfully, these awards give Fix St Louis the opportunity to ensure this nominee is not snubbed once again.

We’re talking about that big square metal thing on your hallway ceiling, covered by louvers. Now, turn it on. Hahaha! Just kidding. Pardon me for a little handyman humor there. Bet most of you haven’t used it in so long, if ever, that it WON’T turn on. Call Fix St Louis to fix or replace it if that’s the case.

But, let’s say it actually works. When you turn it on, the louvers open up to expose a big ugly fan if you look from below, and you will hear and feel a loud “whoosh.” Now open a screened window and feel that fresh, cool outside air streaming through your house and out through that fan as an alternative to stuffiness or turning on the air conditioning. In fact, it’s the perfect alternative to air conditioning on those summer nights when the outside air is usually 72 degrees or below. NOTE: As always, not recommended for those whose outside air happens to be in Sauget, IL.

Well, let’s leave it at that. We at Fix St Louis don’t want to make the same mistakes Hollywood made in killing-off the Oscars by having the show go on for too long, or having award winners lecture or berate the audience on subjects that go beyond their knowledge base of how to manipulate facial muscles to mimic emotions.

So, why not give Fix St Louis an opportunity to use our celebrated expertise on your glamorous estate, whether it is in Ballwin or Bel Air. Come to think of it, Bel Air is outside our service area. Their loss.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

About Us

Fix St Louis  is the professional alternative to hiring “Chuck in a Truck” or “Pete in a Pick-up”. Our technicians have at least 10 years of experience, are bonded, insured, and show up at firm, scheduled times. We provide full customer service and guarantee our work for a year!

Fix St Louis issues DOUBLE and TRIPLE mask guidelines for home repairs

Not that I’m looking for sympathy, but COVID mask-wearing has really taken a toll on this old handyman. They fog up my glasses and block my peripheral vision, as homeowners point to all the strange places I need to poke my head into. A crash helmet would have been a better fashion accessory than a mask when my head met that protruding humidifier on a heating duct, that unexpectedly low header at the bottom of the basement stairs, or that low-hanging metal awning above ice-covered steps while I was looking down.

So, I was really anxious to get my 2 COVID shots, thinking I’d then be safe from both COVID and concussions. But the other day, while my head was poked in a toilet, I heard in the background an alarming Congressional hearing. They said that people who had taken 2 COVID shots now had to wear TWO masks, because based on no research whatsoever there might be a new, more dangerous strain of COVID on its way.

Startled by the news, I bumped my head again, this time on the rim of the toilet. Then I began to think — the CDC is doing its part, maybe Fix St Louis  should be doing more to protect OUR customers from the hazards of the home repair issues we wrestle with.

So as a public service, Fix St Louis  is issuing these new guidelines, that includes a new rating system for protecting homeowners from the most disgusting and, I dunno, maybe dangerous issues we encounter regularly in homes.

Caulk and Grout

This relatively low level hazard is generally found around bathtub ledges, around the perimeter of shower bases, but can also be found on the walls around tubs and showers. It’s caulk and grout that has turned brown, black, or is simply missing.

Given that Dr Steve’s medical training is somewhat minimal, I hesitate to outline the dangers, but I suspect you wouldn’t want to inhale it or eat it. What I CAN say for sure is that NOBODY wants to look at it, and that it usually means that water is getting into your walls and floors. So call Fix St Louis , take off your mask momentarily so our Customer Service Rep can hear what you are saying, and request a free estimate to fix it.

Kitchen Sink Cabinet

Dr Steve’s evolutionary biology training is also somewhat minimal, so you would need to check me on this. But I have a theory that most life forms on Earth today emerged from substances formed in the cabinets below kitchen sinks. All of the elements of life exist there — a warm, moist environment fed by dripping water from drain pipes, food particles that somehow evade the garbage disposal, and even boxes of powders and gels that might be appetizing to one species or another.

 Fix St Louis can stop the leaks, replace your garbage disposal, and otherwise seal out the water that has turned your cabinet into a swamp.

Toilet Wax Rings

Did you know that your toilet is sitting on a gooey wax ring that all your you-know-what passes through? And that it is the only thing that stands between your you-know-what and the rest of your house? And that if you ever see stains on the ceiling below you don’t need to wonder what it is, because you already know what?

So if you have problems with your toilet wax ring, and sooner or later everyone will, you ought to put on THREE masks after asking our Customer Service Rep for an estimate. Some like to take a FOURTH mask, tear it in half, wad it up, and stuff it up both of their nostrils, although like COVID this might be a particular problem for those with respiratory issues. In that case you might just want to place that fourth mask over your eyes.

Please understand that these mask recommendations only relate to home repair issues. For CDC mask guidelines, I’d suggest you check with them, perhaps as frequently as once per hour.

Meanwhile, we at  Fix St Louis  hope to bump into you soon, but not with our heads, and look forward to seeing your smiling faces again sometime in the near future!

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

You call THAT a “Super Bowl”? HAH! I’ll show YOU a Super Bowl!

I look forward to Super Bowl Weekend each year, but not for the same reasons you do. My annual tradition is visiting a Home Depot during the game. There’s no one there but me, plus store clerks whose only job is to serve me personally. It’s the one day a year this old handyman can experience the glamorous life of that lone shopper you’ll see when you visit Plaza Frontenac.

But while your humble correspondent was not destined by fate to live in the lap of luxury, that does not mean Fix St Louis can’t share helpful ideas with those of you who do.

It’s true that a seat at the Super Bowl is a coveted luxury item. But what if I could show you an alternative Super Bowl seat that, at a Suggested Retail Price of about $10,000, costs much less than a scalped ticket, plus you can enjoy it throughout the year?

My hunt for a better Super Bowl led me to the Kohler showroom in Ladue where, to their great credit, I was greeted enthusiastically by consultants Annie, Elizabeth, Katie, and Megan, even though my handyman uniform must have suggested I wasn’t that lone shopper from Plaza Frontenac.

They introduced me to the Kohler Numi (see video below). And, I must say, for a handyman like me, this was almost like looking at the very face of God. Let me tell you what this toilet does:

Does All the “Work” for You

When you approach this toilet, the toilet seat opens by itself, so you don’t have to do any “heavy lifting.” I can’t recall if it has built-in gender recognition to know how many lids and seats to lift. But I do recall that when you leave, the seat lowers itself, forever solving women’s biggest complaint about men. And I also remember that it has what I will call an “aiming light” on the INSIDE of the bowl, going a long way towards solving women’s SECOND biggest complaint about men.

Cleans “Down There” in Ways You Would Have Never Imagined

Maybe this is just a Euro thing this handyman will never understand, but it has a built-in bidet, and it points in TWO directions (don’t ask). But, that’s not all. This bidet has a BLOW DRYER! Geez, all they need to do is spray-on a final coat of hot wax and you’d have a complete car wash for your nether regions. Well, except for the guys at the end rubbing you down with rags.

Comfort & Entertainment (?!)

Oh no, we are not nearly done. Wouldn’t you enjoy built-in lighting on the side of the toilet, with the option of changing the light’s color? How about built-in speakers and Bluetooth technology that allow you to play music from a portable device? Not to mention a heated seat and a heated foot warmer, each with adjustable temperatures. You can even enter user profiles of up to six throne-sitters, each of whom can have different settings.

Yes, the Kohler Numi seems to be the next best thing to having someone else go to the bathroom for you.

So this year, make a point of sitting out the NFL Super Bowl. Instead, visit the Kohler showroom at 9929 Clayton Rd. Tell the consultants you would like to take a “test drive” on the Kohler Numi, although be aware that the other customers might find this disturbing.

And otherwise, if the less-than-Super Bowls in your house run, leak, don’t flush properly, or in other ways misbehave, just remember. We at Fix St Louis KNOW toilets. We spend half our working lives with our heads in them. I’m sure we can fix or replace yours.

Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

P.S. You can watch the best Super Bowl ad ever by clicking on the picture below. You’ll never see toilets and romance combined more seamlessly. Come to think of it, combined at all.

Could there be only 6 shopping days left before Christmas?

If you needed another reason to believe this year was different, here it is.

In days of yore, Fix St Louis was able to provide an extended “FIXmas Season,” offering you a couple of pre-holiday months to catch up on your home repairs before Christmas guests arrived.

But we just looked at our schedule and realized – yikes! — we’re now booking jobs into mid-December! We feel for those whose jobs in other industries have been hurt by all these lockdowns. But for Fix St Louis, more people at home has meant more people seeing things they want fixed in their homes.

How many “shopping days” are left before we can’t perform your repairs before Christmas? Hard to say, but it’s sure gonna come a lot earlier this year.

So, if you are planning to have Christmas guests, and want to get these repairs done beforehand, pick-up a phone RIGHT NOW, give us a call to set-up a free estimate, and do your best to garble through your face mask something intelligible to our customer service rep. Here are some of the more popular small jobs folks ask for this time of year:

— Bathroom Sinks: malfunctioning pop-up drain stoppers, leaky faucets, dripping pipe beneath sink.
— Doors: doors that don’t close/latch properly, off-track closet doors, weatherstripping.
— Doorbells: doorbells that haven’t worked for years, or don’t have video.
— Ceiling stains: Ominous yellow stains on downstairs ceilings that may be caused by the toilet above (yuck!).
— Garbage disposals: you’ll need a properly working one for those guest meals.

And while you’re at it, why not invite us over for a free estimate on larger projects you’ve been putting off, to kick-off after the holidays? Great way to get next year off to a great start.

So get in touch with us right away, when we still have slots on our schedule. Just a few more days for us to guarantee that our Fix St Louis home repair elves can beat your Christmas guests to your front door.

Merry FIXmas and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!
Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100

Could there be only 6 shopping days left before Christmas?

If you needed another reason to believe this year was different, here it is.

In days of yore, Fix St Louis was able to provide an extended “FIXmas Season,” offering you a couple of pre-holiday months to catch up on your home repairs before Christmas guests arrived.

But we just looked at our schedule and realized – yikes! — we’re now booking jobs into mid-December! We feel for those whose jobs in other industries have been hurt by all these lockdowns. But for Fix St Louis, more people at home has meant more people seeing things they want fixed in their homes.

How many “shopping days” are left before we can’t perform your repairs before Christmas? Hard to say, but it’s sure gonna come a lot earlier this year.

So, if you are planning to have Christmas guests, and want to get these repairs done beforehand, pick-up a phone RIGHT NOW, give us a call to set-up a free estimate, and do your best to garble through your face mask something intelligible to our customer service rep. Here are some of the more popular small jobs folks ask for this time of year:

— Bathroom Sinks: malfunctioning pop-up drain stoppers, leaky faucets, dripping pipe beneath sink.
— Doors: doors that don’t close/latch properly, off-track closet doors, weatherstripping.
— Doorbells: doorbells that haven’t worked for years, or don’t have video.
— Ceiling stains: Ominous yellow stains on downstairs ceilings that may be caused by the toilet above (yuck!).
— Garbage disposals: you’ll need a properly working one for those guest meals.

And while you’re at it, why not invite us over for a free estimate on larger projects you’ve been putting off, to kick-off after the holidays? Great way to get next year off to a great start.

So get in touch with us right away, when we still have slots on our schedule. Just a few more days for us to guarantee that our Fix St Louis home repair elves can beat your Christmas guests to your front door.

Merry FIXmas and Many Happy Repairs from Fix St Louis!
Dr Steve
Fix St Louis
314-434-4100