Bathroom Improvements

By Alan B. Combs.

This tale came to mind after mishearing a conversation between Jason Epstein and Jason Dias at a restaurant after a recent O. Henry International PunOff Championships. Being a little deaf can enhance marital discord, but it does lead to puns.

“It’s time to change the bathroom tile!” she said. Actually, the time was long overdue, three decades in fact. It wasn’t that I was lazy, no not ever that. Over the years I had tried removing the old tiles with ever increasingly large hammers and chisels, but it was to no avail. The tiles were impregnable and immovable.

I started with a ball peen hammer and cold chisel and graduated to a one- pound sledgehammer with a star drill. I would take months off in frustration, but pushed by my increasingly unhappy spouse, I eventually would get back on task.

Finally last week, I rented a large jackhammer and tackled the job again. First there was a tiny crack in the mortar, next a larger one, then tiles started flying. Even louder than the jackhammer was the noise from my wife. Her thunderous rejoicing signaled the breaking of the thirty-year grout.

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