Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Today I spent 5 hours scraping wet drywall off of $20,000 worth of antiques. Turns out we have an alcoholic tenant in the apartment above us. At some point last night he came home soused, and the toilet didn't work. So he beat it until the bottom half of the reservoir broke off. He the proceeded to pass out, and the toilet drained for 6 hours. Lynde came into work at 10 and found water pooling all over our shop, the ceiling caved in, pictures falling off the walls. She called her husband (a fire chief) who called the sheriff. The two went upstairs where the still drunk tenant refused to answer the door, and when they broke in they found him on his hands and knees mopping at the mess with a towel. He says he jiggled the toilet and it fell off. right. So at 11 I came in and found Lynde alone, taking pictures of the wreckage. I then got the distinction of cataloging everything that got damaged. Clothes destroyed. Bottles broken when the ceiling fell. Pictures and frames soaked through. Furniture warped...and the most heartbreaking; a complete bedroom set from the 1920's, formerly in perfect condition, now has the veneer buckling off in sheets. Then, we discovered that the walls were soaked, and the shelves holding a $6,700 doctor's medical collection were coming away from the wall. We raced against time and gravity -- and managed to get the 200 piece collection off the wall before the shelves came down. it's still a mess. We worked for hours. The amazing thing was that we had the gates closed, and the locks in them, and still tourists kept coming into the courtyard. And stranger, even though we had all the interior lights off (there was water in all the fixtures), the ceiling was falling down in places, antiques in piles to keep them out of the water, and carpet torn up in places, people had the audacity to look surprised when we told them the shop was closed. Strange. I did get to use a chamber pot for the first time. Not for that. When we took down the fixtures, water came pouring out -- so I had to find somehting to catch it, luckily we had chamber pots handy. See--antiques do serve a purpose! Anyway. Tomorrow I go in at 9 instead of the usual 11....maybe it'll look better tomorrow when we can turn the lights on...or maybe not.