Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day 33, Wednesday- Religious Studies

This was supposed to be my last day of work. I was supposed to move in to the house tomorrow and get on with my life.

Yeah, that really didn’t really work out.

Rather than dwell on missed deadlines, kvetch about dry rot, and whine about how deteriorating plaster all conspired to keep me from moving in on time, I’m just going to suck it up and keep going. It isn’t like I have a choice.

So, at any rate, today was the day I had to move the bathtub back into place. After all of the work I had to do on the floor, I was a bit nervous about moving this large piece of cast iron onto the delicate porcelain floor my dear wife had selected.

Alright, it isn’t porcelain, it is ceramic. It isn’t really all that delicate either, considering it is floor-grade.

At any rate, I was a bit nervous. I was going to have to shove, lift, tilt, and drag the tub into place. This was to be a trial by fire for my floor. I took a deep breath, squared my shoulders, and I did what came natural.

I stalled.

I scraped paint off of windows. I installed window sash locks. I did a hundred little necessary, but unrelated, things to delay my pending task.

If you’ve never installed floor tile before, you probably don’t understand this. You can make mistakes when you install tile. You can have a thin spot in the thinset; a slight unevenness in the floor, or even a hairline crack in a tile and it will normally be just fine. Fifty years could pass without a problem, until that moment you put a lot of concentrated weight on just the wrong spot. Having a tile crack, or even shatter in the floor, or having a grout line pop is just a horrible feeling.

So, I was nervous. I needed to move the tub, however, and I was burning daylight. I crossed myself, said a scrambled “Hail Mary” and two completely muffed “Our Fathers” (when I finally get the three days required to go to confession, I’ll either get plenty of practice on the rosary, or the event will end up with a bell, book and candle) and grabbed the tub. While I get religion at odd moments, it typically fades quickly.

I got into position. I heaved, and I pulled, and I lifted, and I pushed.

No broken tiles, no popped grout.

I cautiously checked the path the tub had taken across the floor, rubbing each tile gently to feel for fractures. It was all good, so I decided to climb into the tub.

I sat down and laid back- this is a great bathtub- and waited. Nothing. I sighed a big sigh and slid down to get a little more comfortable.


I sat up quickly, and in a panic I scrambled out of the tub and started looking at the floor under the tub. I pulled the tub out and checked the back tiles.


Then I saw it- a stupid tile spacer was in the middle of the floor. It must have been wedged under the tub’s foot. I moved the tub back, and cleaned up the mess made by the metal feet on the white tile.

Stupid spacers.

I checked it again, and everything was fine. I decided to move on to the plumbing. I spent the better part of thirty minutes looking for the Teflon tape that costs $2.00 at the store located five minutes away. I wrapped all of the pipe threads and went to hook everything back up. I connected the drain pipes to the tub and noticed something.

To protect the wall, the tub was now two inches farther away from the wall that it had been originally.

The drain, however, was not moved. I had no way to connect it.

I found new and exciting ways to combine blasphemy and simple swearing. I felt cheated! I had made a slightly better than half-assed attempt at spirituality and look what it got me!

Yeah, ring the bell. Close the book. Quench the candle.

I decided to call a plumber. Let some different guy with an exposed hairy ass crack deal with this mess.

I then turned my attention to the area behind the stub wall. It is two feet across and empty. I sat panting (the tub is heavy) and stared at the space, trying to decide what to put there.

Suddenly, an epiphany!

A urinal! I could totally put a urinal there! A nice manly touch to a bathroom that will otherwise be monopolized by women forever! I searched the Internet at lunch and found a wonderful selection of man-toilets for my choosing. It will be like getting an extra half-bath without having to build anything new!

All of the reasonably priced urinals were of the “bidet on the wall” variety, and that would not do. Real men do not use bidets. Real men get confused and mistake bidets for drinking fountains. Real men are mostly idiots that way.

What I want is a chest-to-floor monument to my penis and my God-given-ability-to pee-standing-up. I want an old-school, hard-core, you-don’t-have-to-aim because everything’s a target style urinal. It will also need one of those big mints at the bottom.

After much searching, I found the urinal that I want. It is over three feet tall, more than a foot-and-a-half-wide, and has that cool automatic flush thing. This is a manly man-toilet. I realized that there would still be room above it to mount a lovely velvet painting.

I was thinking of something tasteful like dogs playing cards, an Elvis portrait (the young sexy Elvis, not fat and bloated Vegas Elvis) or even, dare I dream, this masterpiece.

Or, I could just go with the whole “penis altar” motif. You know, shelves of candles with melted wax like they have at church. They even have candles that smell like Jesus. A nice picture of Saint Dymphna hanging above. That could be cool, too.

Time to get ordering! I checked the price and (holy shit!) found out it was $600 before shipping. That is a little more than our “we didn’t talk about this” price limit, so I went downstairs and described my design ideas to my lovely bride.

“Oh, hell no,” she said, giving me the “have you recently suffered head trauma?” look.

“Yeah, but, it would be cool, and it would save water.”

“You want a urinal? Put it in the basement. Build your freaky little wee-wee shrine down there.”

“I have a urinal in the basement- the sump. Oh, and never put the words ‘little,’ ‘your,’ and ‘wee-wee’ in the same sentence.”

“Whatever. Go remodel.” As she went back to her work, I heard her mutter “freak.”

I sensed the conversation was over.

I went back to the time sink and built a cabinet in my urinal stall. It has three shelves, a tile top, and a door with a little pink flower pull. It is very nice and provides over sixteen cubic feet of storage.

How did I decide to build a cabinet? Simple. When my wife and I first got married, she informed me that “foreplay starts at breakfast.” That is a lot of work, and I usually have to remain scarce to avoid “screwing up.”

I have since learned that if you give a woman either jewelry or storage you can skip that whole “be a good boy all day crap.” I’m spending every dime on the house- but I’ve got materials.

Sixteen cubic feet of storage? In a bathroom previously devoid of storage? Yeah, her skivvies will hit the wall so hard the neighbors will hear it.

Unless I fall asleep first.

Total costs: $2,368


At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom I just don't how you even thought if the urinal was free that it would end up in the family bathroom.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous abbienormal said...

urinal-smurinal - if you want to stand up to pee, that's what you have that backyard for. The Prince must learn how to mark his territory in the morning as soon as he is able also.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I just wanted something in the house to be mine. Sniff.

Seriously, why not? It rains a lot here, so peeing outside is not so great....

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Oregon Coast said...

I told you. The basement is your kingdom.


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