I have a morning routine that is predictable and satisfying: I joyously leap out of bed as though (less joyously) stuck by a tack, mosey out to the kitchen, pour myself a cuppa tea, and stare out the window at my back pond with its gloriously large mutant GOY fish (….an unholy marriage between Koi and Goldfish, which could ONLY happen at Chateau Donovan). The scene never changes.
Only THIS morning, it changed dramatically.
I leapt outta bed, poured my tea, and looked out onto the pastoral diorama. Only said ‘pastoral scene’ was being translated to ‘murder scene’ even as I witnessed the perp live: Mr. Raccoon had caught Oliver Twist (our smallest Goy) and was busily washing him in preparation for a feast.
Now, there are several things SO WRONG with this scenario, to wit:
1. Oliver Twist is ALREADY CLEAN, considering his native environment. So it makes NO sense for Rocky Raccoon to be WASHING his catch in the very clean water he’s already caught him in. (He obviously has an obsessive-compulsive disorder revolving around hygiene. I got my degree in Psychology. I should know!)
2. Mr. Raccoon espied me watching him but even whilst his mask was riveted on my shocked face, his busy little hands continued to dip and wash, dip and wash Oliver. Who at every ‘dip’ gave a little flick towards freedom. Indicating his current state of life and future intent to continue living it.
But was I about to run outside, screaming and waving a threatening broom in defense of Oliver?
NO – because I suddenly had a BRIGHT IDEA (as The Peanut Gallery calls ‘em).
Now consider this: around here there are two things Diane Never Does.
1. Laundry. Because Diane’s (admittedly) warped idea of ‘washing’ essentially involves the same basic routine: set washing machine water to ‘warm’, stuff the entire basket contents into washer [which to my way of thinking is entirely why we opted for ‘large size’ versus ‘economy’ during the purchase process], press ‘go’ and go outside to whitewater raft or swing.
2. Bathroom cleaning. ‘Cause I see NOTHING wrong with filling the toilet with bleach and walking away for a 2-hour motorcycle ride while it CLEANS ITSELF. That’s why bleach was invented.
3. The Peanut Gallery, having different (and stronger) sentiments about both processes, thus gets the gory of doing both jobs His Way. (He obviously has an obsessive-compulsive disorder revolving around hygiene. I got my degree in Psychology. I should know!)
But that doesn’t mean I’m not above cooking up a better approach to the whole mess we call ‘doing laundry’.
And did I cook up a doozy as I witnessed the pastoral (in-progress) murder scene before me.
Just then Bill, arising uncharacteristically early, appeared by my side. Apparently he too was anticipating ‘pastoral’ but also unwittingly got ‘murder in progress’… but unlike me, he was not Inspired With Brilliant Ideas by this nativity scene gone awry.
Peanut Gallery: “WTF!!! That m**f is EATING OLIVER! Why are you just standing there??? DO SOMETHING!!!”
…and he rushed out the door screaming and hollering like a banshee, at which point Rocky Raccoon’s sedate defiance vanished, Oliver was summarily plopped back into his pond, and Rocky vanished (after giving a too-obvious figure gesture to Bill, who was effecting a brave face-off with broom weaponry in hand).
Oliver Twist swam to his underwater hideaway frantically (obviously intent on telling his children about yet another near-death experience whilst in search of an oatmeal breakfast) and Bill stormed indoors, effectively bringing his battlefield right into the kitchen.
Bill: “WHY in the h** were you just standing there watching??”
Me: “That’s how it may have appeared to you, but in fact I wasn’t “just watching”. I was concocting a Brilliant Business Scheme. Which you have JUST ruined.”
A moment of jaw-dropping silence ensued.
Peanut Gallery (incredulously, recounting his bravery): “I just RESCUED OLIVER while you STOOD THERE AND DID NOTHING”.
Me: (smugly): “Ah, true genius is never recognized for what it is by whose who are ‘not’.”
Bill (snidely): “So what was your “GREAT IDEA”?”
Me: “Well, just the other day you were bitchin’ that I never do any laundry around here. Even though the reason I ‘never do laundry around here’ is because I refuse to do it YOUR WAY.” (…a fête which involves: separating said laundry by color and fabric, doing 2-3 loads per basket, playin’ with water temp controls, adding stain remover at appropriate and specific points during the washer cycle in carefully measured amounts, and finally: performing rituals which extend the entire process by at least an hour).
Me: “So I was on the VERGE of engaging a washer so NEITHER of us would have to wash the laundry, when you barged out there and ruined things.”
(Note: It’s always funny when a man’s mouth forms a perfect ‘O’, but actual words fail to appear.)
Me (continuing): “Rocky Raccoon has GREAT washing skills. He can wash for HOURS. ALL we had to do was tempt him into the garage and present him with a fishy-smelling basket of laundry and voila! ‘Who does the laundry around here?’ becomes a non-issue.”
Bill: “ …:O”
Me (smugly): “I figger these things out! ‘Cause I earned my degree in Psychology. I should know!”
Bill: “:O ….”