Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Karma Police

This is what you get…when you get cocky about having a three-day weekend.

I woke up Saturday to a Post-it note on the bathroom mirror. It said, “HELP – my ring fell down between the vanity and the wall.”

The author of the note had a meeting at the Hyatt. A committee made up mostly of physicians had flown in for a weekend meeting, which required attendance at 7:30am both Saturday and Sunday. In her drowsy stupor, she had managed to knock her ring (yes, THAT ring) into the small gap (3/8" or so) between the vanity top and the bathroom wall.

Once I was more fully awake, I started to come to grips with the size of project I was looking at. There would be no quick fix: no hanging a hook over the edge (no visibility), no magnet (gold is not ferrous), no vacuum (not enough room).

Disassembly would be the only option.

I tried to shut off the water below the sink, but the hot water shutoff valve was bad and started spewing water as soon as I turned it. Now I had to shut off the water to the entire house. That limits your day a bit.

With headlamp on forehead, I contorted my body to get underneath the sink. The close quarters basically required me to loosen the nuts about 1/16th of a turn at a time. Finally, I unhooked the water lines and tailpiece to the faucet, and was greeted with a lovely mix of hair and scum. It smelled wonderful, let me tell you. The vanity top ended up being too unwieldy to move by myself, so I had to wait a couple hours until my help arrived/got away from her meeting.

Once we got the top off, we realized we were stuck. There was absolutely no path to the tiny space alongside the vanity. There would be no drilling out the bottom or knocking a hole in the side.

We had to rip it off the wall.

Removed the moulding on the bottom. Knocked out two support braces. Pried (4) 4” nails out of the wall. Used needle-nose pliers, a hammer, and a chisel to knock out a hole big enough to move the backboard of the vanity around the hot water piping, which had simply been drilled through it.

Finally, it moved. We found her engagement ring, plus another ring she had lost 2 years ago and couldn’t figure out where it was.

Putting the damn thing back together was not much easier because I had sheared off the hot water flexible connector, meaning I had to do some surgery. But, in time, the sink was back in business, she had her ring back, and I polished off a half-bottle of wine and a beer.

Great way to kill a day, huh?


Unknown said...

A couple more projects like that and you'll be a "master builder". But you'll probably just grow tired of it in a few years.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

So that's why you didn't answer or return the call Saturday. I'm glad the story has a happy ending at least.

JJSKCK said...

Yeah, sorry about that. How was Joel's?

NikkiDooDoo said...

I must've missed the part about the "happy ending," but I'm glad you found the ring.


Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Joel's was sparsely attended. There were 4 other couples that filtered in and out throughout the evening and, of course, myself. I left sometime around 1am and was being called out for it by the 4 people remaining.