A comedy of errors


It was a simple request from The Wife: could I repaint the bathroom? Now looking back, the request was anything but simple. Who knew it would start a series of events that can only be described as a comedy of errors?

It started early Saturday morning. It ended nine hours later with over $1,200 spent, one bathroom completely destroyed, and The Wife questioning both my handyman ability and my sanity. To be honest, looking back all that happened, so do I.

When The Wife said that it had worn out its welcome and now was a time for change, I replied, “By it, you do mean the green color of the bathroom and not me, right?”

She smiled and gave me a hug. Not to worry, I wasn’t going anywhere – other than the giant hardware store with the blue roof to get a gallon of paint. Had I known what was about to happen, I’d probably have never gotten into the car.

Strategically placed between our house and the gallon of paint is one of those over-priced coffee shops with the green roof. I think it’s a law you can’t pass one without going through the drive-through and placing an order. Being the law-abiding guy that I am, I did.

A short time later with four pumps of vanilla, no water, no foam, hot soy Chi, in hand, I walked through the doors of the giant hardware store with the blue roof. Going down the cleaning aisle, I placed the following items in my shopping cart: drop cloth, bag of clean-up rags, trash bags, and a painter’s hat to protect what little hair I have left.

At the end of the aisle was the custom kitchen cabinet area. Knowing that we may want to add a cabinet or two to our kitchen, I decided just to take a quick look.

Two hours after first sitting down with the cabinet design person, I came away with a total kitchen design, paid for my cart full of painting supplies, got into my car and left. It being lunchtime and not Sunday, I stopped by the chicken place for a sandwich and, after lunch, headed back to the hardware store. Seems I forgot to pickup that gallon of paint.

Once home my preparations for painting began in earnest — after first taking a quick look at my favorite stock show on television. An hour later it was time to finally start painting. And that’s when I had a brilliant idea to surprise The Wife.

The cabinet design person at the giant hardware store with the blue roof said there was a sale on kitchen AND bath cabinets. I just love a sale. I think there’s a law that if it’s on sale, you have to buy it. So I decided to tear out all the cabinets, the sink, and yes, the toilet. Besides, it would be much easier to paint the bathroom with all that stuff out of the way.

Important note to my handyman readers: The time to discover the secondary cutoff to the water supply line isn’t when you have just broken it while trying to remove the bathroom sink. The only way to stop the flood was to cut off all the water to the entire house. That cut-off is out at the street.

Unfortunately, you have to have a special cut-off tool in order to cut the water off. Fortunately for me, I have just such a tool. Bought it last year when I broke the kitchen water line.

After another trip back to the giant hardware store with the blue roof for plumbing supplies, the pipe was fixed, water cut back on, and painting could finally start. That’s when I realized that I had bought the wrong kind of paint. Seems if you’re going to paint a bathroom, you need bathroom paint. I didn’t. So it was back to the giant hardware store one last time.

I got back home soon after The Wife did and found her walking out from the wreck that once was our bathroom. She asked me what had happened. My answer was simple, but it befuddled her. “I got the wrong kind of paint.”

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001. To read more of Rick’s stories, visit his blog: storiesbyrick.wordpress.com.]