That wallpaper from the Byzantine Empire has to go!

You are just about to open the door to the powder room that is connected to the front foyer of your house, when you flash back to last night's party at Al in Accounting's place. Because of your fondness for certain libations, you found yourself in Al's powder room a few times; and while locked in there, you almost felt like you were interacting with a stunning work of art.

The walls shimmered with colors that were subtly layered, and served to enhance the framed painting of a Chinese landscape and the simple, wood-framed mirror behind the sink. You actually enjoyed being in there.

Which is exactly the opposite of the affect that the faded wallpaper on your own powder room walls had on you. You resisted shutting yourself up in there with the wild red swirls and yellow squares. But when the main bathroom was occupied by a dawdling wife, like it was this morning, you were forced to plunge into that Byzantine torture chamber with a magazine, praying that the necessary business at hand would be brief.

And now you learn that your wife has offered your house to host a holiday party for her fellow school teachers.

Back to searching Youtube you go. Sure, you hired out the painting of the exterior, and, subsequently, the den to the Perennial Painters [the wife stopped you from painting the den as she watched your trembling hand spatter paint onto the fireplace brick]; but now you were dealing with "just" a powder room. What can be so difficult about tearing off wallpaper and painting the walls in a space that is not much larger than most of the closets in your house?

It's almost two weeks until the party; and that gal on Youtube stripped the wallpaper off the walls in a large kitchen in no time. She was even smiling as she steamed off strip after strip, cleaned up the walls and applied two coats of paint. Wow! If she can do it, so can you! After all, you weren't born yesterday.

You return from the rental store with the steamer, and proceed to follow the instructions. Sure enough, after just a few minutes of pressing the steamer against the wall, the hideous paper puckers and slides off. But it's not coming off in strips like on Youtube; instead, it releases in thin, irregular pieces. You jab the scraper at it, but that only mangles the surface of the wall beneath.

As you persist at pushing the steamer onto the wall, you realize that you can barely see through the cloud of steam; the powder room has become a veritable sauna, and your eyes sting from the sweat rolling down into them. You open the door for relief; but after a couple minutes, the wife complains that the house smells like paste. With the door closed again, you decide to go au naturel. After all, who is going to see you in here, anyway?

Now unclothed, you crouch down to retrieve the steamer plate; but you can't see, through the billowing steam, that it is now pooled with boiling water. As you lift the plate, the scalding water splashes onto your stomach and cascades downward to all points south, As you scream, you painfully wonder if the Byzantine's ever used this torture in their chambers!

Now dressed and bandaged, you return the steamer, and scroll through your contacts to find the number for those Perennial Painters you have come to trust.

Moral of the story...the party was a success, the powder room showed off its new, resplendent paint, and your wounds were beginning to heal. And you are thankful, once again, that some angels show up with paint all over their pants.

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