Back in Order

Nate has a propensity for writing notes to me and Karen (see “Text By Nate”). Once, Nate tried his very best to replicate Karen’s handwriting and expanded her shopping list to include fruit snacks, candy, and other treats he needed. Now he’s sending messages to himself, in the third person of course.


In “What, him worry?” I recounted Nate’s concerns about his bathroom. For him, mold on the ceiling and a shaky toilet require a complete gutting and remodelling. We managed, after much discussion, to make him understand that, perhaps, a visit from the plumber just might solve his monumental structural problems.

And so the plumber came last Thursday. Nate’s bathroom isn’t very large, yet he insisted on standing nearby, watching the work as it occurred. Our plumber knows enough about Nate to take it in stride.

First, there was the matter of the bathtub drain that doesn’t work. It turned out that there’s no easy access to fix it, only a ripping apart of the wall. Nate was not interested in that solution and howled in protest. Nor was I, but I didn’t yell.

Second, was the case of the moving toilet (sounds like an old Encyclopedia Brown installment). It slides around, though seemingly in no danger of falling apart. The plumber explained to us that a flange (I think, I don’t know these things) was loosened from the floor. Simple enough, I guess, and I walked away before “the incident.” Nate witnessed a scene of horror that caused him to freak out. The plumber took the toilet off the floor and moved it! Nate almost had a heart attack. But, once the carnage passed, he was very happy that his bathroom was now usable again. It never really was out of operation, except in Nate’s mind. It just wasn’t up to his standards.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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