Monday, October 09, 2006


If well-laid plans were like trains, then my plans for this weekend would be the Old 97. Wait, that’s not quite right. If weekends were like songs about trains, then this weekend would’ve been the Wreck of the Old 97. Except I wasn’t scalded to death by the steam; I only suffered minor injuries, and the nagging sense that I’m not nearly as clever or effective as I think I am when I’m drinking and making big plans. On the other hand, we are pretty adaptable, and ultimately we did get a lot of stuff done this weekend—just not anything I actually planned on getting done.

I’d been looking forward to this set of days off for a few weeks now. I envisioned these five days (Friday through Tuesday) as the perfect opportunity to get some BIG THINGS accomplished. MizBubs was starting to worry that our household was coming unglued; the clutter was piling up, and while my lovely and talented daughters were doing well in school, they were apparently losing their ability to clean up after themselves.

Between my side business and a three year losing union organizing campaign, I have generated a frightening array of clutter in the form of documents, transcripts, catalogs and publications that take up big chunks of our dining room and bedroom. Our garage needs to be cleaned out and reorganized; an organized garage would give us a place to store the little canoe that could over the winter. Our basement had reached a point where stacks of ill-defined stuff threatened to close off access to the washer and dryer.

I was going to step in, clean like a maniac and set things right. I’d start with routine stuff on Friday, transition into the big two-person jobs on Saturday and Sunday with Miz, and then finish up on Monday and Tuesday

Here was my original plan:

Friday: catch up on laundry and generally clean the house.

Saturday: Clean out the garage. Create a safe place for the little canoe that could.

Sunday: Clean out the basement.

Monday: Clean and reorganize our bedroom, including the closet.

Tuesday: Clean out and reorganize my files and shit-can anything useless.

Two things ended up affecting my grand plan: the storm that brought half a tree down in my backyard, crashing my neighbor’s fence in the process, and a 14 hour workday on Wednesday night that included a 7 hour defensive tactics/ground fighting training session.

Here’s how my plan worked out in real life:

Friday: Slept late, and then drank coffee until almost noon. Remembered that I had half a tree down in my backyard, and some in the neighbor’s yard too. Spent the rest of the day cleaning up the backyard, and then went to Homeowner Hell to buy lumber to repair the neighbor’s fence.

Saturday: Slept late. Took the whole family to a big garage sale at Maryville, and bought a funny-looking toy monster for my office. Then we went to a resale shop where long-suffering but plucky MizBubs bought herself a chest of drawers for $29. (Our laundry situation has been badly aggravated by the lack of drawer space for MizBubs. She purchased a small chest at IKEA that literally fell apart, and we’ve been looking, for months, for a replacement. I hear guys at work beefing all the time about their wives spending money, and I get lucky enough to have a bride who works her ass off and does stuff like buy old furniture and refinish it.) Got home and finished planting the front garden. Started cleaning out and reorganizing our bedroom. Then went next door and drank with the neighbor and her friends.

Sunday: Slept late. Skipped church, prayed for forgiveness. I went down to the basement to do some laundry, and made a fascinating discovery. The concrete floor all around the washer/dryer and slop sink was covered in an invisible film of detergent, rendering the floor just slippery as anything. I discovered this by stepping onto the detergent slick while carrying a basket of laundry. This caused my left foot to slide quickly forward toward the washer, while my right foot stayed in place and my upper body twisted to the right. A large metal pipe stopped my falling forward onto my face, and I was able to push back from it, using the laundry basket as a bumper. I finally stopped sliding and stood shakily upright. Well, not completely upright, because some damaged muscles in my thigh, groin and lower back would not let me. I thought maybe I put the goocher on myself by writing about the Iron Crotch. I am not an athlete, and I am not a particularly agile or flexible person. I am not suited for this type of scenario.

What I think happened is that the vibrations of the dryer caused the detergent bottle to slide off the top of the dryer and hit the floor, cracking the cap, giving the detergent time to cover a 4’x4’ area. You want good times? Try standing barefoot, groin and back throbbing, on detergent-slick concrete, and then clean it. This made me mad at the basement, so I started cleaning it. And then MizBubs charged in and started, and we got about halfway done. And then I iced myself, muttering darkly and folding laundry, gobbling ibuprofen and Wild Turkey.

But today is a new day, and today, by God, today we’re getting back on track.


Tenacious S said...

Sounds like an average weekend at our house. Frequently the weekend ends with Mr. Ten S laying on a heating pad gobbling ibuprofen. Falling down is for children. It hurts too much as an adult. Additionally, my two little lovelies also seem to need to be *motivated* to do their chores. How did I raise such lazy children? Can't they see we are old and tired?

Anonymous said...

wow hope you feel better. When your done cleaning the basement I have an attic that needs some work

Melinda June said...

that completely sucks, but think of the positives...gobbling ibuprofen and Wild Turkey is always a bonus. Now that's a mickey for successful pain management.

Hope that all heals soon.

Bubs said...

The healing is proceeding well, and now the only lasting damage is to my dignity and sense of self-worth. Now, a deep bleeding gash doing manly work, or a broken limb, now THOSE are worthwhile injuries. Pulled groin muscles and lower back pain just makes me feel like a geezer.

TenS, usually it's a race to see who gets hurt first--me or Miz. We're both tied for trips to the ER requiring stitches, but she's ahead of me in ankle and back injuries. I lead in burns. As for the kids, I constantly temper my comments with the knowledge that if I piss them off too badly I'll end in a home, or in the gutter. Glad to meet a kindred soul.

Katy, good luck with that attic. I only have a crawlspace up there so I'd get dizzy in a real attic, all that space.

Melinda, the ibuprofen/bourbon cure has worked for me for years. It's a winner! Well, I think it is. We'll see how my stomach lining looks in 20 years.