Tales from the Parkside 3 – Vengeance in the Bathroom

The bathroom is our friend. It’s there for us in our deepest time of need. It’s there for us when we’re at our lowest, at times in our lives when no one else would want to be near us. So why are people so mean to their bathrooms when they’re moving out of a home? Why did that poor toilet ever do to them?

The first time the property management office called me and asked if I’d be willing to “once in a while” clean a vacant home for them it was at my husband’s suggestion. The place he was remodeling was in desperate need of a cleaning and they didn’t have anyone at that time to take care of it. So they called me. I told them I’d be happy to do it. Happy. I actually used the word happy. 

I put on some old cut-off sweats and a grubby t-shirt. It was summer. In the south. It was about 90 degrees outside at midday. Have you ever been in a trailer in the summer? You cannot live in these things in the summer without good A/C. They’re ovens!  I looked cute in my grubbies. I put my hair up in a loose ponytail and headed over to the office to pick up some cleaning supplies. They gave me a bucket with bottles of degreaser, oven cleaner, Windex, paper towels, bathroom spray foam and some scrubby sponges. They gave me gloves. They should have given me a bio-hazard suit.

Marty was doing some painting when I walked in. I thought how blessed I was to be able to grab some time with him during the day since he was so busy with work and so tired when he came home at night. Yes, this could be our special time together – him doing some painting and me doing some dusting and window cleaning…. Any romantic notions I had went out the dirty window about five minutes later.

“Honey, did you pour paint in this toilet?” I called out from the bathroom. There was no power on in the trailer and it was about a thousand degrees in there. There were no windows in the bathroom so it was kinda dark. The water had also been off for a few weeks, since the former tenants had vacated. So, there was no water in the toilet, however there was something in there. Right up to the brim. It was brownish in color and appeared to be crusted over on the top.

Yeah. No. It wasn’t paint.

The tenants, facing eviction must have used that ten day period to load that bad boy up to the rim. Solid. And now it had sat there for a couple of weeks.

A picture of Vincent Price in a rowboat flashed into my mind and I could hear him talking about the horrors of an unfresh bowl.

I’d be happy to do some cleaning, sure! Happy!

My husband, my hero, my valiant warrior took that bowl-bullet for me. Say what you want about a man who goes to Jarrod, or Every Kiss Begins with K, I know for a fact that my husband loves me.

With great trepidation I lift the toilet seats of all homes now. Everyone seems to want to take their displeasure at being uprooted out on the poor commode. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are people in this world who just should not be allowed to live indoors.

And what’s with the showers? Does no one ever clean their shower? How do you get clean standing in a shower stall that looks like it has the crusty DNA of a thousand sewer workers permanently bonded to the walls? And how much of an effort would it be to bring an ashtray into the bathroom as opposed to laying the lit cigarette on the side of the molded plastic sink where it burns through and makes those nasty brown stains?

My own bathroom is my refuge. It was the very reason I picked the trailer we live in now. My bathroom is 13′ x 15′, which is pretty big even for a regular house, never mind a single-wide trailer. I have a walk-in shower and an enormous garden tub I can soak in. Here.. here’s my bathroom….

The lower left is the nightmare it was when we bought it. We’ll explore that horror show later.

How long does it take to clean a bathroom? Ten minutes every few days? Those once a year cleanings are brutal. I was tired, sore, sweaty and smelled dreadful by the time I finished cleaning that house. I dragged myself home to my nice tidy trailer, contemplated setting fire to those grubbies I looked so cute in, and spent the next twenty minutes in a lovely, cool shower.

And then I cleaned my bathroom.

Stay tuned…  I haven’t begun to explore the kitchens.

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