Friday, February 20, 2015

The Road To the Laundry Room Is Podded With Good Intentions

Let the record show that Val Thevictorian has no cleaning lady. No cleaning man. Nobody who pops in off the street with an untreated addiction to dusting, sweeping, scrubbing, scouring, Hoovering, polishing, away-putting, or mopping.

Oh, Val is not exactly a hoarder. We don't tromp across pizza boxes or climb mountains of two-liter soft drink bottles to get to the kitchen while the bones of forgotten departed dessicated felines crunch beneath our Crocs. No. Val, like Abby the nurse/doctor in love with Luka/Carter/Luka on ER told that little kidney girl about her professional skills, is "Technically proficient, despite certain attitude issues."

Val knows how to clean. She has a motivation problem. She can't do everything for everybody. If it's not tripping her or blocking her view of the TV or emitting a rotten smell, Val lets sleeping dogs lie. Not actual dogs. They belong outside. She's not a hoarder, remember! No, metaphorical dogs. Things other residents of this house drop here and there with no inclination ever to return to reclaim them.

So yesterday I got the urge to straighten up the coffee table in front of the long couch, mainly because I sit on the end of it to fiddle about with my Shiba while upstairs in the light, and the space for my rumpus is decreasing. The only other alternative is that my rumpus is increasing. Which I am sure is not the case. So I started picking up spare cell phones and wires and plug-ins and boxes to carry to Genius's room. Then I gathered two black and one blue Spiral notebooks that The Pony claimed he would use for his poetry writing, which has escalated, now that he has a paramour. I moved a pack of manilla envelopes to the shelf area under the TV, and tossed a Walmart bag with TurboTax onto the couch. Val KNOWS how to clean. I picked up a folder with new account information from when The Pony got his checking account and debit card last June. And there it was. Inside the bank folder. This baggie:

Sorry to disappoint those of you who expected cannabis. The Pony attended the gathering of HIS PEOPLE in Columbia, Missouri. Not inside the borders of Colorado. He was gone three weeks to his nerd convention. I figured he might do four loads of laundry. So I sent four Tide Pods. Let the record show that Val is not a fan of Tide Pods. She is a loyal Tide user, but those pods are creepy. They feel like eyeballs. Don't ask where Val has been feeling eyeballs. She's a science teacher, for cryin' out loud! She has felt her share of eyeballs.

Genius, laundry-doing man o' the world, swears by Tide Pods. I bought him some last summer. You know, because he was working 40 hours a week for $20 an hour, yet was broker than when he was existing on his Grandma's five dollars a week at college. I think it was shortly after he confessed to surviving on $0.88 frozen pizzas, and the landlord's dog stole his last piece off the plate. Genius said he could spare a few Tide Pods, so I sent four with The Pony. As you can see, three remained. And have been laying in a folder on that coffee table since last June. Good thing my rumpus cheek did not expand and compress that folder.

The Pony also loves the Tide Pods. You know. After using ONE of them eight months ago. "They're squishy. Don't lick them! I think they dissolve in water."

"Okay. I'll try to resist. I'm going to throw one in with the laundry now."

"I'll come up. I like them."

"Do you want to throw it in?"

"Sure. See? It squishes."

"You didn't lick them, did you?"


"Because you seem to know an awful lot about that coating."

"I think, at MSA, I put that pod in the compartment where you put detergent. But it still worked okay."

"I have nothing to say."

I guess we're lucky that The Pony wasn't whacking those pods with a ball peen hammer, creating modern art spray to attract a companion.

After that colorful discovery, the urge to tidy up the coffee table flew out the window and sailed away on a zephyr. Such are the housekeeping habits of Val Thevictorian.


  1. I'm willing to wager that your house is cleaner than mine.

  2. If we didn't invite people over twice a year, the house would never be straightened up.

  3. Does that mean he only did one load of laundry in 3 weeks?

    That reminds me of one Boy Scout who brought plenty of extra pairs of socks for the week of camping, but only one pair of underwear. I'm sure on day 7 he was quite ripe...

  4. Sioux asked my question. So now I want to know why Tide Pods get filed in the same folder as checking account information. When I clean, my daughter asks who's coming over.

  5. Stephen,
    You should never wager. Unless you are laying your money down on scratch-off lottery tickets.

    Whoa! You are quite the social butterfly. Now I will start inviting people over twice a year. Hope my house gets magically straightened up.

    YES! That's what it means. And he only did that when he was down to his very last set of clothing, the 15th set of shirt and shorts that I had rolled together for him, lest he make his own fashion choices. They were the stretchy athletic kind of shorts and shirt. The Pony prefers cargo shorts and polo shirts with a collar and buttons.

    I had only packed the athletic clothes in case The Pony was coerced into some type of physical activity. He was not.

    Filed? FILED? Do you think this is some kind of orderly office setting? True, the pods were in a folder. Filed right there on top of the coffee table for eight months. Inside a blue pocket folder that was handed to The Pony at the bank, with sample deposit slips and legal info about his account.

    He got home from MSA, put all of his clothes in the laundry for ME to do (whatever happened to the benefits of teaching a man to fish?) and stashed those three unused Tide Pods inside the bank folder. I wondered why it looked kind of lumpy. But not enough to investigate. Until that urge to tidy up hit me. I think there's a virus going around.

  6. My clutter never bothers me until someone else sees it. Then I suddenly see it through their eyes.
    I used to cross stitch, long ago when my fingers were nimble. The one item I framed that always finds a prominent place where ever I live says "You can touch my dust, but please don't write in it."

    1. Well, if you ever take up cross stitch again, you can make little signs suitable for hanging on auto mirrors or sticking in the back window that say, "You can touch my dust, but please don't write WASH ME in it."

      I'll sell them on the counter of my proposed handbasket factory. I'll give you a discount on those Selfie Sticks that Leenie is making for teens and the hard-of-seeing.