car keys

Saturday afternoons are my favorite time of the week. This afternoon was no exception. It’s the perfect time for me to write. Everyone is out of the house. No interruptions from daughters wanting me to be their personal taxi service or demands to “please tell my sister to stay out of my room.” Just a few precious hours of rare alone time, perfect to get in the mood to write my column. No distractions.

This week’s column was going to be an insightful commentary about the challenges of attention deficit disorder, which afflicts many people as they approach middle age (not that I have any issues around this). As I got ready to write, I looked down, and that’s when I noticed it: a large orange stain on the carpet by my desk. How long has that been there?

carpet stain

I went downstairs to get the stain remover.  When I got to the laundry room I noticed a load of clean clothes in the dryer. I decided I might as well fold them. Before I could get started, I caught a whiff of cat spit up on the floor. So I went to the kitchen to get a paper towel to clean the cat spit up.  That’s when I discovered that someone had made an omelet and had decided to leave all the evidence strewn around the kitchen.  (I am not naming names but I think it was my wife). As I started to clean the stove top, I spied a plate in the family room with a half-eaten bagel, a Diet Coke, a bag of tortilla chips, and a Snickers candy bar wrapper (pretty much covering the key elements on the food pyramid).  I went to retrieve these items when I saw that the TV was still on. Well, that’s no way to be energy-efficient.  So I went to turn off the TV, only to discover that the remote was nowhere to be found.

I wandered around the house, exploring every nook and cranny, looking in vain for the remote. That’s when I noticed that the sink in the master bathroom was clogged. Better get some Drano. I was just about to pour it down the drain when I remembered that Drano is toxic. Better close the bathroom door to keep our cats out. That’s when I noticed that the door stop had fallen off the bathroom door. So I went down to the garage to get the tool box. When I got there, I saw that the garage overhead light had burned out. That just won’t do. Must replace the bulb.

I went back into the laundry room (where we keep the spare light bulbs) and noticed a plaid sock in the crevice between the dryer and the washer. In order to retrieve the sock, I had to push aside the dryer, which is when I discovered how filthy it was behind these appliances. I wondered if we’d ever cleaned that space in the 12 years we’ve lived in this house. So I disconnected the washer and dryer and pushed them out into the room so I could access the space behind them. OMG! What a disaster area. There were more socks, a red thong (I don’t want to know whose), a flip flop, 4 pens, a library card, a stapler, something that looked like it once was a Milky Way bar, and my daughter’s 3rd grade drawing of Santa Claus and eight flying pandas pulling Santa’s RV. Don’t ask.

leaking window sillI went to the kitchen to get a broom and dust pan. Once there, I noticed standing water on the kitchen window sill. Time to seal the kitchen windows. Sounds like a trip to Home Depot. I went to get my car keys but they were not in the usual spot. I looked high and low, with no success. I even looked in the master bathroom – I know – why would my keys be there? That’s when I noticed that my little pill box for my daily vitamins and supplements needed to be refilled.

I opened the medicine cabinet to retrieve the refills of my vitamins and about 17 other herbal supplements apparently mandatory for someone of my age, to maintain the health of my joints, prostate function, bone density, hair growth, memory and about a dozen other failing bodily functions that until a few years ago seemed to be doing just fine. That’s when I noticed we were out of toilet paper.

I went to the garage to get the extra toilet paper rolls. I saw that the garage overhead light was still out. Oh right. I’ll get back to that. So I grabbed ten rolls of toilet paper for the master bathroom. Then, as I was trouncing up the stairs, I tripped over a pair of cowboy boots. Ten toilet paper rolls went flying in eleven different directions. Annoyed, I grabbed the boots and flung them back into the front hall closet, where they belonged. When I closed the door to the front hall closet, I noticed that the handle was loose. Got to get a screwdriver to tighten it.

disorganized drawerI opened the drawer in the kitchen where we keep the screwdriver. Normally it’s right there next to the pens, post-it notes, paper clips, scissors, calculators, locks we no longer have the combination to, and spare keys from cars we sold before our kids were born. But no screwdriver. The drawer was a complete mess. Time someone organized it. Oh well, why not.

I dumped the contents all over the kitchen counter and onto the floor. One pen rolled all the way to the cabinet door under the sink where we keep the kitchen waste basket. That’s when I noticed a greenish toxic ooze dripping from the cabinet where the waste basket is stored. I slowly opened the cabinet door to discover that nobody had bothered to empty the overflowing kitchen waste basket, which had even more greenish toxic ooze dripping from it.

I started to take the over-stuffed, greenish toxic ooze-dripping trash bag to the outdoors trash bin, when I said to myself ENOUGH!! I was getting nothing done. Forget it. Is it my job to clean up after everybody else’s messes? Is it my job to do the laundry, put away other people’s dirty dishes, change every burned out light bulb, unclog all the drains, clean up after other people’s encrusted omelets, empty the toxic trash, and remove alien life forms from behind the washing machine? After all, at last count there were four people living in this house.

So I just stopped. Enough already! Defiantly, willfully, I plodded back upstairs to my office to return to my column.  I sat down at my desk, raised my fingers to the keyboard….. and that’s when I noticed it. A large orange stain on the carpet.

Oh, crap.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

Tim Jones - Profile at Safeco - TinyPS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it athumbs up or sharing this post on Facebook. I really appre- hold that thought. There’s a spider on my window ledge I need to squash….

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010

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