Two words: Popcorn ceilings.
“It’s time to make a change,” I announced to my husband one day.
He raised an eyebrow and chuckled, “You threatening to leave me again?”
I shrugged, “Not today. Who would kill the spiders for you?” I pointed over my head and said, “However, these ceilings? They’re history.”
His eyes traveled upward to the lumpy landscape above our heads and surprised me by saying, “I agree. Let’s get after it.”
That’s the American, can-do spirit I love! It built this great country of ours. Carved out the West. Created the automobile and led to the wonders of satellite television. And Slurpees.
Man, I love this country.
That maniacal laughter you heard?
That was me and my husband when learning how much it would cost to have such “acoustical ceilings” removed, then retextured and painted.
And you thought the national debt was bad.
Side bar: And calling them “acoustical” rather than popcorn doesn’t make ‘em look any prettier.
“Seriously? Are you kidding me?” I whined. “I just want smooth ceilings, not the Sistine Chapel recreated in my living room.”
So we decided to take care of the problem ourselves. We would knock them down and paint them.
How hard could that be?....
It was the last coherent thought we enjoyed for six months.
2,795. That was the magic number.
The 2,795 square feet of popcorn-covered ceiling nastiness that stood before us.
It was our Mt. Everest.
It was...our...uh...some other type of monumental task people face that I can’t think of right now.
(What can I say? We stopped achieving greatness after the Slurpee. We Americans - while being crafty - are also a lazy bunch. At least that’s what the French say.)
In any case, we had a whole lotta work in front of us. Manual labor kinda work. The kind that builds character and calluses. Hard days and long nights. And...and...uh...darnit.
I’m already tired just thinking about it.
I’m gonna take a nap.
“What’s wrong with the dog?” my husband asked, carefully eyeing the whining lump of golden fur sprawled on the hardwood floor in the hallway.
I looked over from my spot in the kitchen where I was laying down plastic sheeting to protect the floor and answered, “She’s a big, old fat chicken.” I gestured toward the plastic. “She hates the plastic. Refuses to walk on it.” I snorted. “You’d think it was lava or something. At first I thought it was kinda cute. But that was BEFORE I had to carry her over to the door so she could go outside.”
I paused, carefully turned around and asked, “Could you take a look at my back? I think I blew out a kidney.”
It looked like Mt. Vesuvius blew up in our living room.
Oh. This is not good.
Really. Not. Good.
As the cloud of silt slowly drifted downward to settle into a blanket of fine dust all around - and over - me, I looked down at the instrument of betrayal.
$*&@ shop vac.
Where did I go wrong? I had simply changed the filter.
You know, being the responsible shop vac owner that I am. Looking out for its well being. Taking care of it.
And this is how it repays me? Upchucking crud all over me?
Geesh. If I wanted that kinda payback, I’d have another baby.
Determined to discover the cause of the problem so I could get back to sanding the recently scraped, popcorn-less ceiling, I threw down the hose and ripped off the top of the vacuum.
A cloud of dust exploded in my face, causing my eyes to well up and taking with it my very last nerve.
I screamed, “SON-OF-A- -----”
The door from the garage opened and cut off my oath in the nick of time.
And there stood my husband and our 6-year-old son, eyes wide and mouths gaping open in the shape of a large O as they took in the scene of destruction before them.
I smiled sheepishly then collapsed into a heap on the floor.
My husband smiled and said, “Have a little trouble replacing the filter?” He carefully picked his way toward me through the cloud of grittiness and gently put a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s OK honey,” he crooned. “We’ll go buy you a Slurpee.”
I smiled. I love that man.