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New Year, New Sheet Rock

I neglected to mention another apparently annual event:

When we returned after our week and a half holiday in Massachusetts, we found that major portions of what had been our bathroom ceiling were now settling in comfortably on our bathroom floor. We live on one floor of a multi-family house, and something had gang seriously agley with the upstairs plumbing.

Didn't this happen last year? Why yes, it did. We made a very similar discovery. The only real difference is that last year it was northern half of the ceiling which had to be cut away and replaced, and this year it was the southern half.

Last year it took until the summer for our landlord to finish the repairs. To be fair, his chosen handyman had hung up his ladder to write a novel, and our landlord was himself in the midst of a career change.

This year our landlord happened to discover the damage before we did when he dropped by our apartment with an assessor to show how nicely everything was appointed. Everything was going swimmingly until they opened the door to our be-gypsumed bathroom.

Our landlord has already been by once to cut away the remaining bits of southern ceiling, but the promised repair crew is nearly a week late, so for now we have six superfluous extra inches of headroom, and a promise of visitors.


My condolences for your overhead woes. But in my capacity as languagehat I must point out that "gang" is only present tense; the past and past participle are taken from "go" ("gaed" and "gone"/"gaen" respectively). So, though things always gang agley, on this occasion they had gone agley.

How embarassing. I researched that, but all I could find was that "gang aft agley" (or "a-gley") is idomatic. Out of fear of butchering the idiom, I left it alone. Do you think I should fix it?

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