It's not about the house.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Destructo Strikes Again!

All I did was try to close the fucking thing, I swear to god!

See, the front door of the AssVac swells when wet (that's sWells, not sMells, but thanks for reminding me about the basement). And when I say "wet," I mean "when the humidity in the air rises above, say, 60%." So from pretty much March through October, the only way to get it open from the outside is to pound on the top corner with a fist. This always makes me feel like an angry villager -- like I ought to have a torch in the other hand and an air of ignorant self-righteousness (something which is, fortunately, not hard for me to cultivate). To get it open from the inside you have to kick the bottom corner hard enough to make it kickback a half an inch, and then hang on it from the top to pull it down. This always makes me feel like an idiot. And to get it closed from either side you have to give it a good slam.

We've been disagreeing about how to deal with this problem since we first moved in. Johnny wants to take off the door and shave it down, which is all well and good except for the fact that winter will come, eventually, and then we'll have a crack around our front door even bigger than the one that we have now...

I think what we should do is wait until it shrinks back down, then take it off and oil-paint all the edges so it can't absorb the moisture anymore. Actually, I don't just think this: I looked it up. Johnny knows more about his trade than anybody living, but the fact is it never does dry out in Ireland, so it's understandable he wouldn't know.

The compromise that we've come up with, therefore, is to wait for it to shrink, forget about it for four months until spring comes and it swells back up again, and then have the whole fight over from the start.

Okay, disagreement. Have the whole disagreement over from the start.

(We have a similar disagreement regarding the fact that the entire porch is not-so-slowly sinking: he wants to dig holes and pour cement, I want to just jack it up and shove cinder blocks in there for now. And by "for now" I mean 2004. Meanwhile the porch is looking more and more like a smile and pretty soon I fear a window pane will just spontaneously shatter. Also, there's no small possibility that this could be a contributing factor in the Case of the Unopenable Door, because it means the jamb's off-level by several degrees, but oh well.)

We've been merrily-alonging in this manner for five years, but this summer is different. This summer (if you can even call it summer) has been spectacularly wet. This summer has been squashy, boggy, moisture-sodden damp. There are mushrooms growing in the lawn and on the tree bark. There are earwigs in the house. It's been so wet that there are no mosquitoes -- and don't ask me to explain how that one works. Seriously, I'm starting to wonder if somebody took a cosmic spatula and flipped the country over when we weren't looking. I mean, does anybody know if it's been sunny in Seattle this year?

All of which is to say it it's not my fault I broke it. It was so swollen that my normal door-slam didn't do the trick. It didn't close, and when I doubled back to give it a quick tug, the handle simply came off in my hand. Not my fault. The house's fault, really. Or the weather's. Or Johnny's, somehow.

But not mine.


Ladyscot said...

Umm, looking at the picture it seems that the part that is still attached to the door is rusty. If that is the case then it is definitely the fault of the house and weather, not you. No, not you. I am not sure if the Seattle question was rhetorical or not, but the country is definitely flip-flopped. Seattle just went through a spell of 100+ temps, blazing sun and high humidity.

beardonaut said...

In the house?!?! IN? THE? HOUSE? Burn it down. Burn it down now and be done with it.

HPH said...

Never eat a second helping of Wheaties!

Sashimi said...

Try "Fevicol" ..for the door handle that is.

ege said...

Lady -- No, the Seattle question wasn't rhetorical, I was just too lazy to look it up. Thanks!

Beardo -- Oh, man, it's worse that that even, but I thought of you and held my tongue because I didn't want your head to explode. Ready? I'll whisper it (I found one in my BED)...

HPH -- That must be it. Just call me Mary Lou!

Sahimi -- That commercial is hysterical! But is it sacrilegious of me (or just rude) to wonder why all their turbans don't unravel?

12ontheinside said...

My door's like that too.
Can't you put one of those rubber weather strips along the bottom of the door to stop snow coming in? (So glad I live in a civilised place with no snow!)

Sashimi said...

you got me thinking...I guess same reason their clothes don't travel off be able to air the commercial on slots other than late night television! :)

beardonaut said...

There's this thin metal rod with a loop of plastic to hold onto at one end that I use when cooking, to check if potatoes or veggies or so are done. As soon as I get home today, I will take it, push it into the corner of my eye and wiggle it around in my brain to exorcise the image you just planted in my head.

ege said...

12 -- We could, I suppose, but even in the winter it only opens halfway as it is. Adding a strip would, I imagine, mean we'd have to squeeze through a four-inch slot. I didn't say that it opens onto the porch, though, and there's a whole other door that leads into the house -- so it's not like we get snow in the living room.

Sashimi -- Ha! Now everyone will want to go see the video!

Beardo -- I know. I'm sorry. But imagine how I feel!