Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Water Heater was my Watery Judas.

I believe I may have mentioned that our water heater was on it's way out. This first started awhile ago when I noticed that the floor around the tank was a little damp. Unfortunately my plan of ignoring it until it went away was less then effective, so after paying for the guys to install the house electrical box on the pole and then paying for the inspection I then went to town to buy a hot water heater because it's not like I need money to live or anything.

Ha ha no.

So we get the water heater and take it home in the car like the efficient cheap bastards we are. Now the septic guys weren't due to show up for another day, so I figured that we could take a day and install the water heater before they showed up.

I have never been so wrong about anything ever at all in the history of ever.

So along with the heater I had also bought a box of those cheapo peel and stick tiles to put under the new water heater instead of the shittastic plywood and carpet that was under it. Oh and we also thought this would be a good time to tile around that toilet that is inexplicably in the bedroom for no reason at all ever. Mobile homes man, mobile fucking homes.

So we start by shutting the water off and shutting off power to the heater, which was a fucking adventure because nothing on the box was labeled right but hey no one got electrocuted. Our plan was to basically take everything out of the left hand side and the bathroom portion of the bedroom, cut up the carpet, put the tiles down, shove the new water heater in and be done in time to take a shower that evening so we can be clean and fresh for the septic install the next day.

And of course that plan went to hell in a poop basket.

So we cheerfully took the drawers out of the dresser and moved it and took the things off the bed and pulled all of the crap that had migrated in around the toilet back out and proceed to cut up some carpet.

Which is when we discovered the horror.

And by the horror I mean we discovered that the carpet looked moldy. Because the plywood under the carpet was wet. And also moldy. And smelled like all the demons of stink town. So then we were all like, Oh shit fuck. And then we exchanged a look like two people in a slasher flick who have just heard that noise outside and Scott went to find my ass a respirator. Did I mention I had woken up with a sinus infection that morning?

I had woken up with a sinus infection that morning. Ha ha of course.

What followed was us cutting out more and more carpet. And finding more water damage. And then following the water lines across the room like the worst adventure trail ever. This also meant that as we slowly and unwillingly became aware of the sheer scale of our previous laziness the problem we began to remove all our shit from the room. Our clothes. The nightstands. And for everything we took out we saw more mold. On our furniture. On the walls. On our clothes.

Which is when I lost my shit.

I felt hot and cold and nauseated and I couldn't stop pacing around like a caged animal even though I was sick and wanted nothing more then to curl up into a ball and rest. Of course that would have accomplished nothing and unfortunately when you are an adult there is no one to solve your problems but you. And possibly your spouse. I kept texting my Super Best Friend things like 'I am having a nervous break down right now.' And she was all like 'you just have to power through it' and then I was all like, 'we are going to die here' and then she was all like 'mold is something you can fix, just one step at a time' and then I was all like 'the bedroom is a motherfucking lie.'

They say you go through the seven stages of grief when something like this happens. And right then I was in shock. I was in even more shock when we realized that just taking up the carpet wasn't enough and that the plywood under it was shot too. Black mold, the worst kind for me, was growing all over that shit like a minuscule forest.

Right then I thought about every article I had ever read about fungal sinus infections and realized that I was in some deep fucking shit right here. There was nothing to do but rinse my respirator out with mouthwash so I couldn't smell the corpses floor and get back in there. So we began to take up the plywood. Which is when we discovered that the previous owners had left us a surprise. And by surprise I mean basketball sized holes in the floor in two corners of the room.

About that time I also realized that having a nervous breakdown meant feeling really disconnected from my body. Or maybe that was just because I was trying to suck in oxygen through inch think filters.


So I did the only thing I could do. The only thing I know how to do when asking more of my body then it should ever have to give. I got angry. I got plumb mad dog Clint Eastwood angry. I thought about everything that had ever pissed me off. I thought how fucking unfair life was and that the only way to fight it was to seize life by the fucking throat until that bitch cries uncle.

Which is what I had to do, because getting the plywood out the back door and onto the deck sucked balls. See the back door doesn't open fully because of the washing machine. So in order to get a full sheet of that stinking rotting moldy wet plywood out the door we had to bend it. Which involved me standing on the inside of the door and putting my entire body weight on the damn thing while lifting it up over the sill.

Which was fucking fun.

Also we had filled the deck with all of our shit and found myself kicking a path through trash bags and chairs and nightstands and tables until we could stand the plywood up against the stairs and I could try to take a deep breath through my respirator.

Which is when I got attacked by bees.

Apparently the nest of hornets living in our siding did not appreciate my Clint Eastwood anger and had taken to the air in protest. So after freaking out and slapping one angry motherfucker off my arm I looked up to see the air was full of angry black wasps doing some sort of wasp military maneuvers in front of me and I ran back in the door yelling that there were bees and Scott should get back in the motherfucking house. Then we shut the door and I ripped off my respirator so I could fucking breathe in some sweet, sweet mold laden air and then I saw that I was stung on the arm like four fucking times and they were swelling up like motherfuckers and Scott freaked out and tore the house even more apart trying to find Benadryl and then he finally found two pills in the bottom of the first aid kit that looked like they had been there since the Clinton administration and I took one of them and then I texted my friend and told her I was just attacked by bees and she was all like oh shit you really are having the worst day ever and then I told her to kill me.

Of course there was nothing to do but get back at it while I watched my whole forearm get red as shit and send pains into my wrist and elbow because my day wasn't fucked up enough already.

Which is when we discovered the insects. I don't know what they were, other then small black and eating our fucking floor. So Scott mixed Pine-sol and bleach and I rolled up my kitchen glove so it wouldn't even think about touching my arm and then we started to treat the exposed parts of the subfloor. Which is when I came to conclusion there was no way in the history of ever we were getting this in today. The sub floor had to dry and we had to get and cut more plywood. And if we wanted to fix this right we would also need to lay down vapor barrier.

Which is when I slid straight into denial and made Scott pull out some more ruined plywood through the kitchen and out the front door because the deck was dead to me and then we went to buy more plywood and floor tiles.

Of course we had taken everything out of the room at this point so finding some clothes to go to town in was a motherfucking adventure. Since our solution to finding a place for the hanging clothes was to dump them on the floor in the living room and my office it was probably a miracle I found any clothes that weren't moldy or stepped on at all.

Basically it was like the worst scavenger hunt ever.

So we drove out to the lumber store and I paid way too much for four sheets of plywood. It's like plywood is made from the golden tears of virginal unicorns or someshit. Then of course it kinda dawned on me that we had to get this shit home, rip out the rest of the plywood, treat the sub floor and then get it to dry before tomorrow so we could put the new plywood in. Also I came to the conclusion there was no where to sleep in the mobile home except for a four by four chunk of the floor in my office, the bathtub, or the dog crate with the dog.

So I said we are buying some hot dogs and we are going motherfucking camping.

In the backyard.

So when we got back I refreshed the mouthwash in my respirator and then Scott helped me to remove the last of the plywood and I washed down the room with the solution and then I aimed every fan we fucking owned at the worst part of the floor and we drug our water heatery Judas out and threw him face down on the lawn where he could think about what he did.

Then we were all like fuck. The other rooms look like the bedroom has exploded all over them and the house smelled like mold, Pine-sol and bleach and the kitchen was a mess and I was thirsty as fuck and would liked to have a drink other then the case of knock off brand Gatorade we bought and maybe have a shower but ha ha the water is off and our bedroom is a biohazard.

So Scott goes to set up the tent and I carefully creep back out unto the deck and carefully remove the furniture like I am stealing sacred tokens of wasp society like some interspecies Indiana Jones.

Then I stopped and just stared at nothing and tried to both acknowledge that I was tired and also not give into it because we still had to make camp and treat the cats eyeballs and maybe if we were lucky eat something. Before me lay the shattered remains of my day with the water heater on one side and a bunch of rotting plywood on the other with the metal frame to the bed laying half disassembled in the middle. It looked like the there had been an awful battle between the noble Plywoodians and the warlike Water Heater clan and these were the casualties. It was about them I considered throwing up on the lawn but decided I was too damn hungry. And filthy. Which is what led to my next decision.

Bathing in the creek.

I fished out my travel kit and put the soap in a Ziplock bag, got my travel shampoo, and some clean clothes and went out to get Scott and see if he wanted to go with me.

He also suggested we bring towels.

We also took our pistols and a shot gun because it was dusk and we have bears here. So we get down to the creek which is gorgeous as always and I, an old hand at bathing in the creek, found a good spot and set up our stuff and then we get in and it's like the coldest fucking thing ever. Like when you want to find a drink in a cooler at a party so you put your hand in and can't find what you want so you keep your hand in even though it's so cold it hurts because you really want a Mountain Dew. Like that.

And it felt AWESOME.

I was getting clean. The rushing stream slid past me and I watched as the water cascaded over the rocks and everything began to fade to blue and gray as the sun slid away from us and the creek became dark and I could hear the water in my ears and smell the sharp fresh smell of the water and the deep tickly smell of the forest floor and the good green smell of the forest and could feel the cold air moving up from the rushing stream past me into the meadows and I laughed for the sheer joy and impossibly of being chased out of my home and into someplace out of a fairy tale and then Scott laughed too even though he didn't know why I was so happy but we both felt lighter like this was the magic stream from the elvish country from Middle Earth and then I looked and saw the first lightning bugs in the meadow and felt glad that this whole big impossible mess was my life.

Which is when we heard the engine.

My first thought was that someone was stealing my fucking furniture. Scott's was that they were stealing our backhoe. So we toweled off at light speed and Scott shoved his legs in his pants and grabbed the shotgun and I crammed everything back into the bags and we ran. As we moved away from the noise of the water we could hear it clearly. Someone was in our driveway with a big ass truck.

Scott tore up through the field behind the mobile home, shot gun held up high like this was an old western, but I was in sandals so I just jogged up the lower road with my bags cutting a hole in my fucking hands. So then I came around the blackberry patch and got a jolt of adrenaline after a whole day of caffeine and adrenaline and starting running in earnest because there was a truck with a big ass Case Backhoe on the back of it.


I threw my bags down by the tent and hauled ass up the last and steepest part of the hill just in time to see Scott accidentally scaring the ever loving shit our of the septic installing guy who was dropping of his Case Backhoe for tomorrows installation.

With his wife.


Luckily this is the country and he understood and then Scott helped him back in while I got blankets for the tent and my sinus cavities were all like 'you are kidding me with this right?” Then I put medication in the cats eyeballs and then the septic guy left and we made a campfire and ate crappy and possibly undercooked hot dogs and then I crawled into the tent and told myself that tomorrow would be better.

Which was probably a bad assumption.

So what was supposed to take about a day where we pulled the old water heater out, tiled and put in a new one, instead involved taking everything out of the room, ripping out the entire floor down to the bottom sub floor, treating the sub floor with chemicals, spending even more money on plywood and tile, getting stung by bees, bathing in the creek, scaring the shit out of septic guy and then sleeping in a tent that smelled like shower curtain.

So all in all not one of my better days.

Kill me. 


  1. Oh no! What an adventure! That sounds like us around here somedays... the simplest thing gets compounded like a rotten onion as you peel back layer after layer of angst!!! haha....

    I know you already have one, but you know, we went with a tankless on demand water heater and it is the most delightful wonderful thing in plumbing that I have ever beheld. And we didn't pay a fortune, in fact ours was only $80 bucks at Menards, way way cheaper than a traditional water heater. It was installed easily on the wall, and that puppy works great. Endless hot water in the shower. We did not see any noticable hike in our electric either. We run a full bath and the kitchen off it. And the washer but we hardly ever use that. But we could, if needed.

    Hope tomorrow is better for you!

  2. Holy God, Holly! Seriously, I've never known anyone with a constitution like yours.

  3. That is horrifying.

    I hope the next day was better.