Phantom fleas and bed bugs wake me at 7:15 AM. Go to Timmy’s for breakfast toilet and I bring my toothbrush. I almost feel human again but I have to go back to the house that Satan built. Stop for holy water to throw all over my bathroom, as if it’s not wet enough.
Let’s not deal with evil plumbing right away. Let’s remove the old cabinet so we can put the new floor down and install the new cabinet because then it will look like something major got done. "Great idea!" my feeble caffeine charged brain exclaims so I charge ahead.
Cabinet doors came off without a struggle and the sink came out easy too. This is almost enjoyable I think to myself but then a new issue. There is one piece of modern plumbing that travels through my grotesque old bathroom vanity on its way to the kitchen that has obviously been re-plumbed with Pex at some point. (Pex is a type of plastic plumbing pipe.) Once again, no cutoff valves.
The vanity pre-existed the modern pipe so the only way to remove the vanity is to either disconnect the pipe from somewhere or cut around the pipe by removing a chunk of the cabinet wall. I opted for the cabinet wall with a chisel. Apparently Pex is remarkably fragile and doesn’t really like chisels all that much and with one little accidental slip I managed to knick the Pex enough to rupture it. A new geyser has erupted in my water closet, which was never so aptly named, and I once again sprint down 3 flights to shut off the water nearly killing another of my new neighbors.
I have seen Pex pipe before but never repaired it so I had to do a little research to figure out what to do next. Called Spike who was out of town and he asked a friend who explained that I needed a clamp and special tool to fix the pipe which is true but there is also a tool-less option called a shark-bite connector which I purchased for a mere 6 dollars. I cut the pipe and removed the reluctant side wall of the vanity before I spliced the pipe back together. Turn the water back on and, phew! No leak.
My bathroom has had an interesting smell since I moved in and I can’t say it’s pleasant. Since the rat removal it is mildly better but still… something ain’t right. The final piece of the vanity is the base that has obviously seen better days so it comes away easily. "What creepy disgusting goblins am I about to find here?" I winge to myself. (winge is a combo of whine and cringe) Well, look at that. Just wood. Exceedingly grey and wet looking wood. It’s wet because of all the leaks I have sprung, right? Oh no. It’s wet from a whole OTHER leak that I haven’t even found yet. The drain that intersects with the kitchen drain has been backing up onto this sub-floor for years. The “wood” that I was looking at was held together by sheer memory because the minute I touched it, it crumbled into a wet pile of mush on my downstairs neighbor’s plaster and lath ceiling.
More rubber gloves as I scoop handfuls of soggy decomposed wood into a box for removal. I have changed diapers without any kind of retching. I have traveled to third world countries and worked in refugee camps. I have cleaned up puke and blood and all kinds of crap but this was tapping my gag reflex hard.
I am supposed to pick up my kids later so I can take them to the cottage for the weekend. At this point I am considering moving to the cottage and dealing with the 2 hour commute to work instead of dealing with this bathroom. After deciding that is not all that practical I grab the shop-vac and finish removing the goop from my floor.
With my heeby jeeby feeling in full force the vibrating of my cell phone causes me to attack my left leg in a vain attempt to kill the non-existent millipede that was crawling there. My creepy factor is now pushed over the edge as I read a text message telling me my children have HEAD-LICE!! It crosses my mind that perhaps Satan and God are ganging up on me to trigger some kind of “Job like” response. You see, I neglected to mention that the regular host of this blog and I had spoken on the phone the day before and she had said, “At least your kids don’t have head–lice”.
I lifted my voice to heaven and yelled-
“OH, COME ON!!”
And began literally banging my head against the bathroom wall. I stopped doing that almost right away. Not because it hurt but because it might open another hole in the wall for the other plagues of Egypt to crawl through.
I texted this info back to Patti who responded with a sympathetic “OHHHHHHH NOOOOOOO!” which I suspected may have been accompanied by some undisclosed laughter. I closed up the floor, made the place somewhat acceptable, left the water off and went to take the kids to the cottage where peace was rediscovered…for a time at least.
(Patti's note: I DID feel sympathy. I also DID laugh. But I did not LOL or ROFL. I didn't want to be rude.)