It was a very hot day. Should I have offered to hose her off? Should I have nodded my head casually continued indiscreetly soaping myself?
Was shrieking and running away a socially appropriate response? For both of us?
I ask because I am in the middle of what I like to refer to as A Twenty Minute Job.
A few weeks ago, a peculiar odor began wafting through the bathroom.
I fully understand that you will need to interject many, many thoughtful and hilarious comments at this point so here is plenty of space for you to do just that: ( )
The problem is that the smell was not one of a scatological origin. It was a musty, funky sort of odor. And it was coming from under the tub.
Our tub is, if the truth is to be known, the only reason that Kerri wanted to buy our house at all. The bathroom was the only room in the house that had been updated since the mid-seventies and it looked wonderful in comparison to the faux-wood paneling that covered every surface in every other room of the house . The bathroom had a big, tiled whirlpool tub, a shiny tile floor, and was the one room in the entire house that actually had a closet. Kerri was delighted.
It was unfortunate that the whirlpool tub sounded like a submerged lawnmower when you turned it on, depriving the bather of the quiet, relaxing experience she may have been seeking in the tub. It was also unfortunate that the shiny floor tiles were terrifyingly slick and slippery when they got wet. And the closet door doesn't ever stay closed.
And now there was this smell.
Some of the tiles covering the outside of the tub had come loose and I suspected that water had found its way in and began a vigorous campaign of populating the bathroom with mold. My solution was A Twenty Minute Job.
"I will pull the tiles off, replace the wood underneath them with cement board, and re-tile the front of the tub."
To be fair to myself, I would like to point out that I only counted pulling off the tiles as A Twenty Minute Job. I knew the rest of it might take a few hours. Maybe a day. But I had the tiles already. All I needed was cement board, grout, and tile adhesive. So the whole job was going to cost about $40. And take a day.
And now, faced with this, I wonder if the electric meter reader lady and I might be able to come to some sort of understanding.
There was a bit of mold there. And the wooden supports around the tub were soaked. And when I was prying the tiles on the front of the tub off, all the nice shiny, slippery tiles on the floor started popping off. A bit of homeowner wisdom for you all, courtesy of me: Don't attach bathroom tiles to regular wallboard or plywood. The person who buys your house will hate you. Even if it's your mother who buys your house. She will hate you. Tiles don't go on wallboard or plywood. Remember that. Always.
The one good point here was that the previous owners' incredibly incompetent installation job made removal much easier than it should have been. But I still hate them.
So now, my $40 one day job has turned into a complete removal of the tub, the floor, the tiles and sheetrock walls in the tub surround and, because Kerri is my wife and must be obeyed, new light fixtures.
This week I've been busy with the destruction of the bathroom. Next week a kind gentleman will arrive to install our new, acrylic, tile-free, humongous shower stall. We will no longer have a tub. But, the shower will be big enough to accommodate us and nearly all of our friends at the same time. I'm not inviting you over for a group shower, mind you, I'm just making the point that it's a freakin' huge shower.
All I'll have to do after the nice man comes is paint the bathroom, change the light fixtures, install the new subfloor, put down the vinyl flooring, paint and reinstall the baseboards, and convince that meter reading lady to announce herself a bit more loudly before she comes into the back yard next time.
All that should take me about twenty minutes.
* Yes, I was naked in the yard because the shower was dismantled. Also, because really, why NOT be naked in your back yard?
Your back yard.
Please do not come over here to be naked in my back yard.
The meter lady would probably think that was weird.