They were supposed to be there at 8:00 am and leave at 5:00 pm with a functioning bathroom (i.e. one in which we could use the toilet and shower) in their wake. They didn’t show until around 10:00, which was fine, as I was working through a fevered sleep and a half-bottle of bismuth at the time, but it was less convenient when I was still begging them to finish up at 6:30, before my colon exploded. There was a tense period where I thought I’d have to decide between getting an assfull of dirt and plaster dust, or trying to clean off the toilet seat and possibly re-plastering the walls with my own special brew, but I made it just in time.
The toilet and shower do work – although I immediately had to clean them, and the plastic sheeting draping them makes attempting to shower feel like being slowly laminated. The walls are… well, let’s just say they’re olde-timey. As in, the slats and horsehair plaster have been exposed, then most of the plaster disintegrated, leaving a frontier bathhouse sort of feel. On inspecting the condition of the plaster (look! It’s got hunks of actual horse hair in it!) and wood, I suspect they haven’t been touched since the building was built, sometime around 1900. Layer after layer of plaster and paint had just been slapped on top of them for the last hundred-odd years. No big surprise considering the shape we’ve found the rest of the place in.
While I don’t think horsehair plaster is as evil compared to sheetrock as this guy does, he’s got a point in that it’s incredibly messy. I doubt the contractors had much trouble removing ours, considering its deterioration, but the dust is pernicious. Even with plastic sheeting everywhere, we were hacking and sneezing all morning, and the cats, once roused from the protective flanks of their Mommy Who Would Defend Them From The Strange, Noisy Men, quickly became coated. That’s the most troubling part to me, so if you hear I’ve become rich after inventing a claw-proof filter mask for pets, you will know the inspiration. As it is, they won’t even stay out of the piles of debris when we try to isolate them. (“What’s this? Some kind of chemical-soaked rag? I must roll in it!”)
At any rate, with a much improved stomach and most of the dust hacked out, getting to work was actually something of a relief this morning, considering I have the detritus of sheetrocking to look forward to tonight.
Until I discovered they are doing construction on the office next to mine.