Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How to accidentally kill yourself (and other JOYS of home ownership)

My life almost ended in my bathroom last year when I tried to paint the ceiling.
At least I would have gone out knowing the periwinkle really tied the room together.

Sometimes I can get away with blaming things on being short. However, in this case, sheer stupidity would have been to blame had I crashed to my death into the tub.

I would have been on one of those “dumbest ways to die” lists, right along with the guy that accidentally shot himself in the nuts with a gun he placed in his waistband.

The reason for painting the bathroom in the first place was that my twin sister, Joy, and I were expecting out-of-town company and we had ignored the splattering of mold on the ceiling and tacky turquoise paint for long enough.

The solution (according to Google) was to spray the ceiling with bleach and scrub it with a special brush and then paint two coats of mold-resistant something-or-other on it and dry it with a fan and…blah blah blah….See: $40 at Lowe’s.

When we got home, we looked up at the ceiling of the small bathroom and scratched our heads. How the hell are we going to be able to reach the ceiling?

“No problem!” I said. “I’ve got an idea.”

I retrieved two tall bar stools from the kitchen and placed one inside the tub.

We can stand on these! I said to Joy. The stool’s four wobbly legs balanced unevenly on the tub’s curved bottom.

Joy frowned.

“Don’t worry, I’ll just hold on to the shower curtain rod for balance!” I said.

We then decided that this task would be best with some white wine.

Twenty minutes later, we were ready to start improving the bathroom, but we ran into another problem.
We wondered how we were supposed to prevent the ceiling paint from dripping onto the stools. They had a small cushioned seats that are not removable.

“No problem!” I said. “I’ve got an idea…”

And that’s how I ended up balancing on a wobbly stool inside the tub with a SLIPPERY PLASTIC GARBAGE BAG over the top of it as I faced upwards to roll paint on the ceiling.

(I can just see the tombstone: “Here lies Dumbass Jenny. She was a nice person, but had the safety skills of a 5-year-old.)

I’m pretty sure it was the plastic garbage bag that caused me to slip a short time later, because I remember my foot sliding a bit to one side and then the whole stool shot out from under me.

I fell backwards into the tub, arms flailing in circles like a cartoon, trying to avoid the stool which hit the faucet and somehow “bounced back” at me. I missed grabbing the shower curtain rod because I grabbed the wall on the other side instead.
(Yes, my first instinct was to grab the wall. Fail.)

Four sad, periwinkle streaks were seen from the ceiling down the wall from where my fingers had tried to hold on. It was like the claw marks from Silence of the Lambs.

In what I can only chalk up to cat-like reflexes, my arms locked onto the sides of the tub and I caught my fall. No injuries except to my feet from the F***ING “bouncing” stool.

Joy started laughing hysterically, watching the whole thing from an aerial view from the top of her own stool by the sink.
“Why are you laughing??” I demanded. “I could have broken my neck!”

Not long after that fiasco, Joy was unloading the dishwasher and opened it only to have the entire thing fall out of its slot and into her hands.

She stood there, pigeon-toed, trying to lift the dishwater back into place, as it had come out more than halfway, it’s steel siding showing. She stood there completely confused (how does a dishwasher come out of the wall, really??) and scared that she was going to drop it and hurt herself. And smash all our dishes.

(We did not touch the demon dishwasher for a week, when thankfully our dad happened to be visiting us from New Orleans and fixed it.)

And let’s not forget the dead tree in the backyard.

“We have to get it removed!” Joy insisted one day.
She was on a long phone call and walked into the backyard and noticed the state of the tree and became obsessed with its removal.
“We have to do it now!”

Joy spent the next few days looking on Craig’s List for someone who could remove the tree, and found someone cheap and (on an unrelated note) young and good-looking to do it.

“Does he have insurance? Is he bonded?” I asked, using a big girl term I learned recently.
Joy paused.
“I looked him up on Facebook and he’s got a really cute kid!” Joy said.

“OK, but is he insured? If he hurts himself on our property, he could sue us.”
You’re going to have to call him and ask him about the insurance thing,” Joy said.
“Because I already told him he could do it.”

I told him over the phone a few minutes later that he was going to need to show Joy his paperwork before cutting down our tree.

“Look, if I hurt myself cutting down that small ass tree, then I shouldn’t be a landscaper,” he said.

“Well, things happen sometimes,” I said, ignoring his attitude. “Sometimes smart people do dumb things.” (Like balance on bar stools in bathtubs.)

He promised me he’d show Joy his insurance before doing the work, but he didn’t, and he cut down the tree anyway.

Because he knew I’d be pissed, he turned the entire tree into usable firewood that he piled high against the fence and cut out large rings from the tree and made rustic little stools and placed them around the fire pit.

I wonder if they’d fit in the tub.


1 comment:

  1. His kid WAS pretty cute. I'm just sayin'


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