Monday, December 8, 2014

Didja miss me?

In September my forty-year-old  faucets in the bathroom sink gave up the ghost.  They were leaking badly and they could no longer be repaired - they needed to be replaced.  

Ugly and crusty  (and covered in cat hair!).
A diligent search on eBay turned up the perfect new set at an even more perfect price; they were installed by my friend/handyman.  Look at that spout - it is so tall!  Sleek lever faucets - I am in love! Woo hoo - don't they look wonderful?

Of course after the installation of such glorious creations, I then found myself replacing the handles on the cabinet doors and another lengthy search on eBay turned up this gem: coke-bottle colored glass knob for the medicine/linen closet.

My precious!
Then the tub faucets began to misbehave and again I searched ebay, found a great new set, and these were also installed by the friend/handyman.  Last item needed was a new door knob - since the old dark brass one was becoming increasingly difficult to turn and I feared I would end up either locked in or out of the bathroom.  I found a lovely brushed chrome lever knob on eBay (where else?) and could not wait to install it!  I brought a couple of screw drivers into the bathroom, and set to work.  The old knob was one with hidden screws so it took a bit of research and two days of wrangling before I was finally able to get it to budge.  The metal had corroded over the years.  I was thrilled to finally remove all of the components.    By this time many of my tools had found their way into the bathroom.

Of course the new latch was larger than the old one so I had to play around with needle files and a keyhole saw to enlarge the hole.  I finally managed to install this latch, and thought I should check to make sure I had the latch facing in the correct direction.  

Ever suddenly come to the chilling realization that you should not have done something about a split-second after you do it?  I realized when I shut the door, sans knobs, that I might be in trouble.  I could not open the door.  I was locked in my own bathroom!  My phone was in the living room.  My exterior doors have triple locks.  No one has all the keys except me.  So even if I could phone someone, no one could get into the house - and even from the outside of the bathroom door - no knobs!

Let's see - I could climb onto the counter and squeeze through the window and fall eight feet down onto the ground (and probably break my arm or my ankle) - but then what good would that do?  I would be locked out of my house!  With a broken arm or a broken ankle. Yikes.  Alrighty then, what tools do I have?  I tried a small screwdriver but it was too thick to fit into the jamb to spring the latch.  I tried the keyhole saw - too thick.  Wait.  I know!  The hinges - I'll take the door off of its hinges!  Except they were rusted solid and the pins would not budge - even when I tried to hammer a needle file into the bottom.  

OK - I have water - no food - none of the cats are in here with me.  But there is catfood. I could eat catfood.  (Ugh!)  And the toilet - thank God!  I can pee if I have to.  Oh man, I gotta get outa this place!  Tools - tools!  What other tools do I have in here?  Aha! - a bucket of tools I was using in the shower stall to remove the caulking, grout, and tile.  Hmm.  What is this?  The dull plastic cutter, the one I was using to remove the caulking.  Nice hook on the end, though, and a thin blade - it just might fit....

Inserted it into the door jamb, gave it a twist - and voila!  I am free!  Thank you little plastic cutter!!!

Salvation!  Freedom!  Hallelujah!
The rest of the installation job went smoothly - and I am beyond pleased with my new lever door handles.  

Ain't it purty?
But it sure scares me to think what might have happened if I had not had any tools in there and locked myself in like that.  How long before anyone would have missed me?  My cats depend on me.  My cat people  depend on me.  Yikes.  

Tell ya one thing, I have oiled the hinges and I am keeping that little plastic cutter in the bathroom from now on!