Okay, so now we’ve got a second bathroom in working order. We can turn our attention to the existing, sorta-master-basically-en-suite ablution hellhole. Interestingly, Ensuite Ablution Hellhole is the name of my Plasmatics tribute band. But I digress.
So, how bad was it? Is ol’ Sippican exaggerating again, like he’s done a billion times? Or is that hyperbole? I forget. But am I lying? You decide. This was our only bathroom when we moved here:
Hmm. Rustic charm, n’est-ce pas?
Rustic, spastic, whatever. I love the scorch marks from cigarettes on the plastic sink. It’s a mark of the breed for the former occupants: Putting lit cigarettes down momentarily no matter where you are or what you’re doing. There was also a voluminous series of ciggie scorchmarks in a semicircle on the floor surrounding the toilet. That one was a new one for me.
The tub might have been the worst feature in the room. It’s a one-piece fiberglass job that was popular about fifty years ago in the real world, so in Maine it’s probably part of a twenty-five-year-old fad. Maine gets everything last, and never starts trends. By the time ideas arrive here from California or New York, filtered through the sieve of Massachusetts, they’re pretty much over everywhere else.
The floor, a birch tongue and groove strip, like most of the rest of the house, was rotting away where the shower spray overshot onto the wall for decades.
This was an especially annoying version of the single piece tub/surround animal. It was designed to fit through skinny doorways, so while it was the standard 5-feet long, it was only about 2-feet wide overall. Subtract the dimensions for the tub rails and the surround thicknesses, and there wasn’t even 18″ to stand in. A normal male human is 18″ wide at the shoulder. I’m not normal, but I am male. I had to stand like a bullet in a box to shower in there, with the shower curtain scrubbing at me like a car wash the whole time. The former occupants bought the wrong one, too, or hired the wrong plumber, or some concatenation of multiple errors. The faucets are on the right, but the drain is on the left. The drain was on old, brass affair that accumulated a muskrat in it every fortnight or so. I was constantly standing ankle-deep in dirty water in there.
The worst part of the whole equation was that only one of this bathroom’s two doors was skinny. The other was a big, wide, solid birch door, and a regular single piece tub/surround would have fit right through it. It gives me a popsicle headache trying to figure out the thought processes of these people, so I’ve given it up entirely. You can have a go if you like. Marijuana is legal in Maine now, so you can set up your think tank here and properly approximate the decision trees that come up with this sort of idea. Just desolating the aisles at the liquor store won’t be enough.
Hey, look! It’s the toilet tank top. It’s in the ersatz closet, covered with shelf paper instead of on top of the toilet for some reason I’d rather not puzzle that one out, if you don’t mind.
I’ve mentioned this before, and at the risk of sounding like some sort of scold, remember, friends don’t let friends drink and decorative paint.
That light switch was a like a slot machine. You could pull the little lever, and every once in a while you’d hit some sort of electrical tumblers just right and the overhead light would go on. We stopped trying after a short while, because we wondered where the electricity went when the light didn’t come on, which was most of the time.
Ye Olde Accesse Doore was a hoot. You really needed it, because the plumbing was strictly tenth-century, and leaked all the time. The door was held on with standard cabinet hinges, with the 3/8″ long wood screws simply driven into the drywall. If you pulled the colonial strap handle, the whole thing would come off in your hand. If the cat brushed up against the door, or you looked at it funny, it would simply fall off the wall onto the floor. I didn’t know any other way to look at it, other than funny, so it spent most of its life off the hinges.
So, whaddya think? Can we do something other than move out to make our lives incrementally better? Can we make something of this bathroom? Stay tuned. The Ensuite Ablution Hellhole is getting a makeover.
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