Normally, all nuts, bolts and damn near everything else that must be twisted to be tightened follows a rule: Righty tighty, lefty loosey – meaning that twisting to the right (or clockwise) tightens, and twisting to the left (or counterclockwise) loosens.
This rule is so all-encompassing that it’s never even occurred to me that anything could ever be any other way, so today when I had to replace the flush lever on my toilet (the interior lever broke because it’s a cheap plastic bit of crap, but the nice metal ones don’t fit my toilet), I expected this repair to take approximately three minutes (unscrew, replace, rescrew, flush). Except that for some reason I couldn’t loosen the damn thing. I tried and tried and tried and kept getting nowhere.
Eventually I figured it was cross threaded, so I tried to tighten it in order to hopefully get the thing working again, and – it loosened.
It was threaded backwards. Both the old one and the new one.
Nothing has ever broken the ‘righty tighty lefty loosey’ rule before, and it couldn’t be a fluke since both of them were like that, so I nervously stuck my head out the window and scanned the sky for horsemen.
Finding none, I finished installing my flush lever (constantly reminding myself to turn the screw the wrong way) and proceeded to flush with impunity.
In other apocalyptic news, it’s raining in Los Angeles – while this is a good thing since we’re currently suffering from a drought and desperately need any water we can get, it does dramatically increase the traffic accidents throughout the city as Southern California drivers can’t seem to get the hang of slowing down and leaving more time to stop.
No, I didn’t get hit, but it will be the lead story on the local news tonight.