There are phrases you don’t like to hear from your plumber. Among them is “You ain’t gonna tell me he put a pipe THERE?”
Despite this momentary alarm, however, a very nice man named Moses the Plumber (and god, does the marketing not write itself? “Moses will part the waters for you!” Give me five minutes alone with the man’s business cards…) has assured us that it’s a bad toilet flange, which is easily fixed by pulling the toilet off and putting a different (bigger?) flange on. Due some…eccentricities…of plumbing, for some reason the toilet drain comes out of the side of the house and into the porch roof, which is…um…different, but in this case, it at least meant that the porch was getting the leakage instead of the hall closet, so that’s a good thing, even if we all stood around for a bit and scratched our heads.*
And it was caught quite early, and so the wood is not rotten and there is no mold and it is about as straightforward and simple (and above all cheap!) a fix as one can hope for. So all is well with the universe.
*The house is generally solid, but there are some weird quirks that apparently are uniform across all the builder’s homes. He did not believe the underside of the sink needed to be closed off from the other cupboards, and the attic door, despite being a completely normal door in all regards, is six inches off the floor for no reason that anyone can determine, and don’t get me started on the eight-inch-wide flower bed in the backyard.