Tiles And Tribulations

On the first day, God created Heaven and Earth, and Everything Else, including Man and Woman. He created Man and Woman to be equals, but bestoweth upon Woman better judgment than the Man.

The Woman intoned to the Man, “Yea, though we have been living in this household for nigh on twelve years, we still have the linoleum flooring in the laundry room that has become an abomination to me. It shall be replaced with ceramic tile and thou shalt do it.

So the Man, thinking that this would be an easy task, said, “No problem. Let me remove the unsightly linoleum and replace it with ceramic tiles for the floor has indeed become an abomination, turning a yellowish colour and filled with grime and dirt that is unbecoming.

Before starting the project, the Man did make room in the kitchen for the washer and dryer and did nearly rupture his spleen moving the washer.

But lo, when the Man tried to remove the linoleum, it proved to be stuck to the floor and came apart in his hands in crumbly little bits. The Man worked long and hard scraping the linoleum off of the laundry room floor until the day was dark.

Resting his weary head, the Man carelessly commented that since the room had been laid bare, that it might as well be painted.

The Woman heard this and thought that this was good.

On the second day, the Man rummaged in the basement of the household in search of left over paint of sufficient quantity to apply not one, but two, coats to the walls of the laundry room. The Man did clean the walls with a dishrag and soapy water before painting them.

On the third day, the Man did paint the trim in the laundry room.

On the fourth day, the Man began to lay the ceramic tiles, for they were beautiful and pleasing to the Woman’s eye. The Man followed installation instructions he found on the Internet and identified the center of the room. But lo, the unfolding pattern was not pleasing to the Man’s eye and he did shift the tiles over a fraction of a cubit to arrive at a more optimal arrangement.

The exposed edges of the floor where there were yet no tiles nearly measured the full width of a tile. So the man took the tile-cutting machine he purchased and did commence to try to cut a small slice off. But alas, the tile did not desire to be bereft of such a narrow piece and it did crack at a random angle with an immense noise.

The Woman advised the Man that perhaps it would be better to cut the tiles closer to the center of their measure. So the Man shifted the tiles again by one half their measure, and did shift them slightly again to arrive at another pleasing arrangement.

Then the Man did cut a great number of tiles to finish the arrangement. He was greatly pleased with himself and beckoned the Woman to come and admire his handiwork.

The Woman said, “It is a wonder to behold and I am truly pleased. Now all you have to do is glue it down.”

The countenance of the Man became puzzled. “Glue it down?” he inquired.

On the fifth day, the Man sought another Man of higher learning to his aid and called upon his father-in-law to help him glue the tiles down.

The Man’s father-in-law arrived and forthwith helped him glue the tiles down and they were greatly pleased with the fruits of their labour.

The father-in-law intoned, “You have to wait at least 24 hours before you grout.”

The countenance of the Man became puzzled again. “Grout?” he wondered.

On the sixth day, the Man grouted the tiles. He began to wonder if this job would ever end. But the laundry room looked marvelous and the Woman was mightily impressed.

On the seventh day, the Man did not rest, for truly, the baseboard molding needed to be put back to complete the finishing touch. The Man did then put back the washer and dryer and the Woman was pleased to cook a fine dinner for the Man.

Before retiring for the evening, the Woman praised the Main for his wonderful work and suggested that the powder room would look nice with ceramic tiles.

The Man offered up his tribulations to the Lord, and fainted into bed.

Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.

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