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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wherein Mary and Pearl Get the Black Lung


Since the downstairs' rental unit’s bathtub soap holder gave up on life and unceremoniously dropped into the tub roughly three months ago, the tile has needed replacing.  A sordid, increasingly moldy spot on the globe, Jon has torn out the tiles surrounding the tub with a sweaty zeal rarely seen among the sober; and in less time than it takes to say, “Holy-moly but that stinks”, we had a bathtub full of broken tiles and what appeared to be great sodden clumps of Hobbit hovel.

We stand over it, our hands on our hips.

“Ya smell that?”

I do smell that.

“That there,” Mary says, her eyes narrowing, “will give ya the scurvy.”

I snort, a sound that goes unheard under the whirr of the fans blowing up and out of the room.  “We’re supposed to do what with this now?”

“Scoop it up,” she shrugs.  “I got eight heavy-use bags.  If we need more, I can get it.”

I wrinkle my nose.  “But I don’t want the scurvy.”

“No one wants the scurvy,” Mary says, “but sometimes, the scurvy’s what ya get.”

“Could I just get the scoliosis with a side of scurvy?”

“What,” Mary laughs, “instead of the cole slaw?”

We grin at each other.

“I’m thinkin’,” she says, “that the side effects of this job will include cellular decomposition of the digits, the urge to yodel, and sleep-gambling.”

“Side effects may also include but are not limited to hardening of the stool, rickets, and–“

“ – the organic appearance of a third nostril.”

“Call your doctor if you begin believing that you dance divinely or if you experience the desire to quit your job and take up ventriloquism.”

We stare at the tub full of heavy, stinking building materials. 

We both sigh – then burst out laughing.

“Our lives are ridiculous,” I say.

“Yeah, but who has more fun than we do?”

44 comments:

Shelly said...

There's much to be said for having fun. Although maybe pulling out the washtub and bathing by the fire on Saturday night might be preferable to the black lung and hardening of the stool~

Vicus Scurra said...

I had fun once.

Pearl said...

Shelly, see what you can do to hook a gal up with a tub next to a fireplace. :-) I like the sound of it.

VS, I, too, had fun once.
Once.

R. Jacob said...

I did not know it could give you scurvy, make you talk like a pirate and turn into an info commercial telling you how the latest wonder can kill you in ways you hadn't thought of. Always trust beer!

;-)

ray

Silliyak said...

I think that's why so many miracle cleaners have lemon in them, fights the scurvy.

jenny_o said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenny_o said...

Mold is the bane of my existence. Although if a third nostril showed up, it would become the bane pretty quickly :)

Leenie said...

What would you DO without Mary to provide such information and blog fodder? Probably die of ebola hemorragic fever or something.

Water damage, rotten walls, bathroom repair--now that's deadly and is a slow killer. Watch out for symptoms of the disease in your own home. It's transmitted by humans you know.

Pearl said...

R., we also believe it causes the bloody scourge, but we're not sure where we got that...

silliyak, ah, dammit. :-) Sorry I missed that one!!

jenny-o, I hear ya. Oh, everyone one THINKS they want a third nostril, but believe me, when one shows up you're making phone calls pretty quick!

Leenie, Where WOULD I be with Mary?! We laugh ourselves silly sometimes...

Geo. said...

You mean I'm not supposed to have this third nostril?

Joanne Noragon said...

I believe every word. I just can't believe you remember them long enough to write them down. Repartee relief.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Only the two of you could turn a tub full of stinking Hobbit bits into fun. Side affects could include outright snorts of laughter.

vanilla said...

Ridiculosity and laughter are swell companions.

joeh said...

I went through that Ventriloquist thing once...it goes away in a few days but you talk out the side of your mouth for weeks..

Vunny stuff!

Eva Gallant said...

You and Mary are so dang funny! I wish I lived in Minneapolis so I could experience that humor in person.

Pearl said...

Geo, no one wanted to tell you...

Joanne, well, some of our schtick translates to other aspects of our lives. We just add on to it. :-)

Delores, oh, we think just about everything is funny. Of course, there may be something wrong with us...

vanilla, and make the work go that much faster!

joeh, I've never been a ventriloquist, although I did once have a relationship with a dummy.

Eva, I suspect if you were with us there would be much more to write!!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, they say laughter is like jogging on the inside ... so your insides must be in very good shape. Plus, you provide US with a nice dose of "exercise", too. (MY kind of exercise!)

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

That's why you're not supposed to chew toffee whist working in a moldy environment.

Scurvy loosens the teeth, and you might rip them out.

TexWisGirl said...

you two are too cute!

esbboston said...

Sheep Gambling sounds dangerous. Remember that I grew up close to where Wild Bill Hickock ended life. Question: What if your occupation already has elements of ventriloquism?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

The sign of a great best friend?
"I got eight heavy-use bags. If we need more, i can get it."
:)

Chef Files said...

Superbly written Pearl, with a divlish tongue-in-cheek style that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Jules said...

My third nostril has scoliosis, but it's what makes me dance divinely so I don't complain.

Luckily, as a Limey, I can't catch scurvy.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

"Our lives are ridiculous....But who has more fun...." Everybody has some kind of ridiculousness in life, but not everyone knows how to get a friend laughing when they need it most. Mary is a treasure, and your friendship is a beautiful thing!

Susan Kane said...

You have to find some levity in the middle of a gross, icky job. Pirates and scurvy do just fine.

Amy said...

A little Limburger for lunch and no one will be smelling the mold anymore. The third nostril however, may become a bigger issue.

klahanie said...

Hello Pearl,
Ah yes and speaking of bathtubs in general, I like to have a bath, leave loads of dog hairs, get out of the tub, race around the house like a crazed dog as my human frantically chases after me with a towel.
I've heard of this scurvy, me thinks I need to purchase a bunch of limes for my bewildered human.
Fun pawst, sorry, post! :)
Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star! xx

Roshni AaMom said...

wish I could participate in your funny!! :(

Gigi said...

Pearl - it does my soul good to come over here, especially after a rough day.

Really.

Indigo Roth said...

Pearl, I have to wonder. In your relationship, is Mary the REALLY smart one? She knows a lot about stuff. Does she take questions? I have so damned many. Roth x

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

I love sleep-X style side effects. My favorite is "Side effects may include sleep-crime".

savannah said...

damn, sugar! i could use a handy gal pal like mary! lookaheah, i got this tiny little problem . . .

;~D xoxoxox

(also, we have a very well stocked bar on the plantation!)

The Elephant's Child said...

You and Mary are stars. Thank you.

HermanTurnip said...

This is the sort of conversation that appears in my dreams/nightmares, depending on whether or not I've imbibed in a bit of whiskey...

Rose L said...

Boy, I think you should have had 2 well-built, young, shirtless (job requirement) handymen come and do the work for you while you two sat sipping sloe gin fizzes (or whatever toots your whistle) and directed the work.

That gentleman's lady said...

I second Rose's comment.

Nothing like having them come to your rescue :-)

Linda O'Connell said...

Even in the muck and mire your imagination runs rampant. You never fail to make me smile.

River said...

The appearance of a third nostril would terrify me!

Tempo said...

I'm guessing (but have no proof) that smells are universal. I mean, I guess your funky wet mold smell is the same as ours, yeah, deeply unpleasant. Was it any wonder then that early Europeans thought most horrible diseases came from bad smells.

Diane said...

You really do have the most fun!

red.neck chic said...

I'm laughing so hard... I had that same sort of conversation today as I was replacing my toilet bobber thingy...

'cept it was with myself. LOLOLOL

I can't quit laughing at you... but I'm laughing at you in a good way.

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NellieVaughn said...

I have mold in my closet, but I plan on keeping mine. I watched this episode of Drop Dead Diva that taught me all about how mold can help you see ghosts. Excuse me, I have a date with John Lennon.

Paula Wooters said...

This sounds like you were in my bathroom, so why does it still look the same? Somebody has to come clean up this mess!