Monday, August 8, 2011

This Enemy Mine, I Know Him Well. Soap Scum Is His Name.

I grew up a renter. My parents have never owned their own home. Still don't. As a result we - my parents, myself and my two younger sisters - have had to move from time to time. Now, a married man myself, I carry on the proud tradition of non-home ownership. I do intend to rectify this one day but that isn't the point of this story.

While I've made it clear before how much I think moving sucks, one of the things about it that bugs me more than anything else is...

The bathrooms.

Whenever I move into a new place I always have to come to terms with having to use a shower that was once regularly used by someone else. What makes this especially weird is that I don't really consider myself a germaphobe. As guys go, I'm as disgusting as any other, and proud of it. Of course, this wouldn't really be an issue it the shower was new and untouched by human gunk. But we all know how hard to find and costly virgin bathrooms are nowadays.

That last part read back kinda weird...

Anyway, The house we just moved into is - let's just say - on the more mature side. While the landlady did redo the entire kitchen, the shower was woefully as old as the rest of the place. It may have been cleaned after the previous tenants moved out but it wasn't by me and before I considered it fit for human (or at least "my") use I had to deal with it. These are the step-by-step events that took place that day:

- Getting my self physically and mentally prepared: I start with stretching. Then I do some quick shadow-boxing (Soap scum can be aggressive, you know) and give myself a good pep-talk and promise myself a drink for after I'm done.

- I assembled all the necessary items: bleach, detergent, disinfectant cleaner, bleach, bucket, scrub brush, tile and grout cleaner, bleach (I use sulfuric acid if they'd let me).

- Briefly, I give serious consideration to making a hazmat suit from garbage bags and rubber bands. Fortunately, good sense prevailed and the idea was abandoned. That and I didn't have enough rubber bands.

- When the actual cleaning process was underway, I realized that I was starting to feel a little lightheaded. This was from the high concentration of chlorine bleach I used in the cleaning mixture I concocted. After stepping out of the shower and getting some fresh air, I added some more bleach to the mixture and pressed on.

You can see why Mrs. C prefers I clean the shower. It get's done right!

Finally, I was finished. When I was done I felt like I needed a good shower. I removed my clothing (to be taken to a local crematorium for incineration, later) and stepped in, confident that the demons were exorcised. Then I saw it. There, right in front of me, in the teeniest hairline crack that was in this one tile.

Is that a tiny... brown... smudge?


  1. Having OCD and an intimiate relationship with Scrubbing Bubbles, I fully appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that went into this cleaning endeavor.

    Make sure you carbo load, properly stretch and ventilate before attempting round two.

    May the force be with you.

  2. Dude. This was down-right dirty. ;)

  3. See I can get my head around bathrooms when moving into a rented place, it's FRIDGES that freak me out. I have to completely fumigate those things because I'm always sure the previous tenants kept severed heads or bugs or something in there where my cheese is going to be. But you're right. The place isn't YOURS till you've cleaned it to your own standards and washed the previous tenants away. :)

  4. I share the same aversion.

    The war on bathroom germs: "Cover me. I'm going in."

  5. @ Abby: I'm gearing up for the next bout later this week. Give that soap scum a chance & it'll overrun the place.

    @ dbs: But once I'm on the job, it won't be for long.

    @ Vege Assassin: Exactly! I say, be gone with them. Down to the last germy molecule.

    @ AC: Bleach gun set on kill.

  6. Q: Can I be outright disgusting here since we're sharing stories about rentals?
    A: Why, yes of course, by all means please do, why would YOU ever hold yourself back?

    Thanks... I was hoping you'd say that!

    An apartment I once moved into, I got the keys from the previous tenant and not the building manager. Being the naive person that I am I totally expected walk into a place as if I had left it for a future tenant myself.

    It was beyond disgusting. Mold in kitchen sink under piles of food trash. Old poop left in toilet for god knows how long. Emptied out ashtrays everywhere on the floor. Oh I could go on but suddenly I have an urge to vomit.

    I feel your pain.

  7. " I start with stretching. Then I do some quick shadow-boxing "

    LMAO!! Great post!

  8. Nothing wrong with being a renter.

  9. @ Nikki: Allow me to vomit along with you in solidarity.

  10. @ Toy Couture: Like I said, don't take grime lightly.

    @ Oilfield: True. But still. It'd be nice to have something that was really yours.

  11. A shower stall. How dirty can it be? Afterall, it's where we go to do just that; get clean. We're clean when we get out of that stall. But.....what the shit did the last renter fuck wash OFF of himself and IN to this shower????

    I feel ya.


  12. "Out Damned SPOT! OUT! I say!"...

  13. @ Sugar Free: Maybe it was all in my head. One thing's for sure, it's no longer on the walls.

    @ Sprite: A lot of people think Lady Macbeth lost her mind. I say, those darned spots can really be persistent sometimes.

  14. She was delirious on bleach after scrubbing her bath tub.....
    True story :)

  15. @ Sprite: Guilt induced imaginary blood just sounded more dramatic. I blame poetic license.


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