Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Like nothing I've ever seen

I came home last night with a very clear vision of my evening.

I would take Jada for a long walk along whatever lit streets I could find (stupid Daylight Savings Time you know) and then make a big fat salad and White Bean Soup from my South Beach cookbook to wolf in front of MNF while Bubba and I caught up from the day.

Oh, the innocent and naive dreams I harbor. Aren't they nice?

I got part of the way through this grand vision by taking Jada for a walk and coming home alive despite the darkness and poor driving abilities of people in my neighborhood. Perhaps it was the blinky thing on Jada's collar that saved us. Who knows? Either way, the beginning of my Big Evening Vision was progressing nicely.

Until I opened the door and smelled a smell that I will forevermore associate with a Pain in My Ass.

This smell was not what you're probably thinking. It smelled good. Nice. CLEAN. Which was not at all what I was expecting to smell since we're on an off week for The Cleaning Lady and we spent Sunday night drinking a lot of cocktails with friends without doing lot of cleaning up.

I thought that *maybe* it was just the faint waft of detergent from the load of towels I'd tossed into the wash pre-walk that I was smelling.

Mmm, sorta.

It was the DEFINITE waft of detergent from the load of towels I'd tossed into the wash pre-walk.

Turns out that during our successfully realized walk, the washer had been sending out a distress call that I did not receive.


It seems that I *might* have overloaded the washer a bit. I mean, I put it on the "Large Load" setting and all, but apparently I need a refresher course in the difference between a "Large Load" and a "Load So Large It Can Send the Washer Into Convulsions" because the towels (and sheets, fine I admit) had gotten a bit, let's say cozy, in the washer and had bound themselves into a mass that altered the centrifugal force to a point where the machine WOOB WOOBed its way away from the wall so violently that the washer emergency stopped itself right after sending a full GIANT handle of liquid detergent crashing down from the washer shelf onto the laundry room floor.

Oh, and have I ever mentioned my genius method for keeping the cap of the detergent from glooping up the bottle? Yeah, I just throw the cap into the wash with the laundry. The clothes get clean, the cap comes out ungloopy - everyone wins! I seriously thought this was a fabulous strategy for efficient neatness until last night at 7pm.

No, last night at 7pm I found my efficient strategy for neatness pooling in very inconvenient and hard to reach places around my laundry room and kitchen floors. You know, like under the washer for instance. Oh, and under the dryer. And under the catbox. And under the rolling cart that holds my collection of Swiffer cloths. And under the cat bowl. And under the big rolling cart that holds the cat/dog food. And under the recycling bin. And under the cat.

To describe this as a mess would be an impressive understatement of fact. This was a disaster of monumental proportions. Which was amplified by the fact that I had no method by which to contain the wreckage. It was, in a phrase, the Tide Valdez in my house.

I had liquid Tide (or All, or whatever we got at the store that was on sale last) just plain UHverywhere because aside from pooling all around the floor, it also sprayed an ambitious path of cast-off on its way down. And because our house in the size of a pin, I have a lot of stuff neatly organized in the laundry room, which provided nice receptacles for the slippery soap. Things like the inside of my wellies and the inside of the cat box, for instance.

The discovery of such a heinous catastrophe can only be met with one reaction: Paralyzing horror.

And then some giggles, a little wide-eyed wonderment, a few more giggles and then mad grabbing for every rag, towel (not the ones in the wash, those were clean thankyouverymuch) and dishtowel in arm's reach. Plus I think I said, "Oh noooooooooooooo." a hundred times, which is my standard response to situations that are exceedingly bad and messy.

And then a frantic call to Bubba where I begged him to get us a mop on the way home.

Why don't we have a mop, you ask? Well. That is a funny little story that begins with me swearing off mopping forever because I hate it SO MUCH and ends with me getting a Cleaning Lady because I also hate dirty floors SO MUCH. So, we have no mop and in times like these where you have goo squirting and running all over the place, the exact tool you need is a mop and I was feeling pretty dumb for not having a tool as simple as this when I have a tool as complicated and useless as a Scooba.

However, in my haste to call Bubba for help (and the emergency mop), I neglected to recognize my Big Bag of Rags in the laundry room as obvious mop alternatives. I mean, didn't they like used to use rags to clean floors in the olden days or some such nonsense? Anyhoo, approximately 30 rags/dishtowels/beach towels later the soap was corralled and the washer/dryer both sat upon the cleanest floors they've ever had the pleasure to know.

Also, the cat had a brand newly scrubbed shitter and everything that had been awash in the detergent tsunami was freshly rinsed or hosed off, as appropriate, and returned to its original home.

And then Bubba showed up (no mop though, I called to cancel after finding the Big Bag of Rags) just in time to hear my mind-numbing recount of the whole scenario amidst multiple outbursts of banshee-esque laughter. Much like you are now (imagine the laughing part as you will).

And not to let an opportunity pass here, let's all recognize the fact that nowhere in this fabulous re-enactment did I mention anything about swears or throwing things or screaming or tears. Which, for me anyway, is a pretty big leap from my days of slaying my bedroom wall with a pair of sewing scissors.

It appears I have something of an hysteria threshold where, if things get bad enough, I go from Maniacal She-Beast into Quietly Insane Crisis Manager rather swiftly. Something I suppose is good to know for futures when I find myself in OMG Is This Really Happening territory and start to reach for the nearest spear-like object.

Sidenote: All I can smell in my nose is detergent. It is not right.


  1. Well, being able to handle all that w/o swears and throwing things is definitely worth a mention -- kudos! I had a similar reaction with the living room flood this past summer (and spring): a lot of "noooo!!" while calmly (though internally hysterical) throwing down beach towels.

    Hey, have you seen the tiny bottles of All "Mighty"? One of the main reasons I buy it is in the interest of damage control. Love it.

  2. at least it is a clean smell.
    I'm laughing so hard that I'm afraid i will fall over. However, I think I will see if a friend can help me relevel the washer before mine breaks free.

  3. "It was, in a phrase, the Tide Valdez in my house."

    I know I shouldn't be laughing as hard as I am, but I also know how funny this would have been to see for myself.
    I am so sorry Fin! How are things now?

  4. What?!? No photos??

    I'm so sorry about your mess. I can only imagine how awful it was to clean up. And I'm sorry that I'm laughing with tears in my eyes.

  5. Yes, indeed -- where are the photos? And look at the bright side -- think of all the cleaning you've saved your cleaning lady -- maybe she'll shave a buck off of your bill!

  6. Yes, photos were my thought exactly. The second thought being I need to comment just to thank you for the greatest laugh I've had all week - and I definitely needed one this week.

    So thank you. and next time - photos please :)

  7. People - if I could have transported myself to get the camera and returned without spreading this hot mess throughout my house IN ANY WAY, I would have. But I discovered the full depth of this nightmare only after I'd stepped fully in it. In my socks. Yew.

    I did, momentarily, think of getting the camera but then realized the soap was in the cat's bowl and decided that the cat's health should have priority over me photographing Disaster Porn.

    Maybe next time...

  8. So, do we still need that mop?


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Sucks, right?

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