It all started simply enough. Amethyst wanted to go to the stupormarket, and it seemed to me a good idea to go a bit further to the hardware store to pick up a new tub spout since ours had a leaking diverter. I zipped into the Green Room (our upstairs bathroom), removed the old spout to confirm the type and dimensions of the thing, and while I was sitting there on the edge of the tub thinking about tools and supplies I was naturally enough reminded that I absolutely fucking hate the tub caulking. I hated it the first time I saw it, every time I’ve seen it since, and especially when trying to clean it.
I’m a real mold and mildew free kind of guy. I don’t mind a lived-in look, but I feel like I’m not being a good human if I allow nature to reclaim the resources we’re still using. There’s no rust on my truck, and god damn it there’s not supposed to be mold or mildew in my bathroom. Those nuclear mutant bathtub caulk mold spores, though, they don’t care how we powerless humans feel about them or with which of our feeble chemicals we douse them. I’ve tried everything except fire against them, and have never in my life actually won the war against a colony of the little fuckers. So I say let ’em have the damned bathroom caulk, so long as it’s at the landfill. Caulk out, cove in, problem solved.
It turned out that what I’d thought was all silicone caulk was really silicone in places and mostly a water based caulk, the kind that gets really hard, and it had been pumped into the crevice until it completely filled the void. There are toxic chemical solutions one can buy to soften that kind of caulk for removal, but one cannot buy them in Dinkytown on a Sunday after five o’clock.
If you’ve a steady hand, the proper implements in that hand, and you’re really determined to get it done, it’s possible to dig out that kind of caulk without chipping or cracking any tiles, without the use of toxic chemical solutions. I had my usual oh-shit hands, a hunting knife, a razor blade gasket scraper, and an assortment of mechanic’s picks. But I was determined, and after four hours of cussing and hurting with a few old injuries acting up and the expected pain in the ass from sitting on the side of the tub for hours all of that old caulk was out and not one tile was chipped or cracked.
Unfortunately, what I found was that in places the tile stands a full half inch above the tub so the cove I’d bought wasn’t going to do the job. Which is essentially okay because I wasn’t too happy with it anyway. It was just what I could get on a Sunday in Dinkytown.
Our new bathtub cove is made of duct tape. And so it shall remain until the stuff I just ordered online from Lowe’s shows up, which might be two weeks from today. There aren’t too many things that would get me out onto the highway right now, with our winter being a pretty solid one, and bathtub cove isn’t one of them. It’s not like I’m out of marijuana.
And because I’m nowhere near out of marijuana, I’ll be content to just wait around and rock out with my caulk out.