They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I can give you both. Here’s a shot of the basement a week after a sewer crew fountained Herself’s crapper, ruining carpet, vinyl flooring, drywall and my sunny disposition. The outfit hired to handle the cleanup and restoration is on the job, and God willing (and the toilet don’t rise) we should have a functional garden-level basement once again sometime by, oh, I dunno, the 2010 Tour de France. Maybe.
This is a small house, just 1,300 square feet, and it gets a lot smaller when you don’t have full use of that basement, which housed Herself’s office, bathroom and walk-in closet, the washer-dryer combo’ and the cats’ litter box. We’re both working upstairs now — Herself on a Dell Latitude at the kitchen table, and me on a MacBook in the living room, because the dehumidifiers kept tripping breakers and crashing my office. We’re doing a load of laundry for the first time in a week. And we’re down to one toilet, which makes mornings interesting:
“I need to take a shower!”
“Well, I need to take a shit!”
And so on.
We kept the cats upstairs while things dried out downstairs, which was an exercise in sleep deprivation. After a couple too many early risings I took to waking up Turk’ and Mia whenever I caught them napping during the day, purely out of vengeance. “Big Man don’t sleep, don’t nobody sleep!” I’d growl. Everyone got cranky, even Herself, who is ordinarily the acme of sunniness. Finally we settled on locking the cats up in my office at night. What the hell, I thought, if I can’t use it as an office, it might as well serve as a feline penitentiary.
Throw in a couple extra shifts at VeloNews.com during the Amgen Tour of California, a wine rack full of bottles and a closet full of firearms and you have a recipe for headlines. Happily, so far we’ve avoided the mainstream media. But the wind is howling like a banshee now and my skull is throbbing like a Harley Fat Boy, so all bets are off.