Thursday, February 08, 2007

So That You Might Be Saved From Making The Same Mistake

I must first remind you all that I live with boys - twenty-something year old boys who have not had the benefit of proper (attempts at) training from wives or long-term live-in girlfriends. Many years have passed since last they lived at home, with mothers to gently remind them how to behave in polite society. They are raw and unruly… in an environment almost completely free from nagging they have returned to their most natural, most instinctual, most unrefined state. They are messy.

And I have neither the time nor the energy to do anything about it.

(So the boys are messy. You all get that, right? This fact will be important later on when we assign blame.)

A few nights ago I walked into a kitchen that looked… strange. Mounds of dishes, with days old food caked on them, had somehow disappeared. Oh, the crumbs and dried spills and various bits of dinners long since passed remained on the counters (and floor)… but the dishes were gone. Panic set in as thoughts of dish robbers raced through my mind. Not the good plastic cups! Please don’t let them have taken our good plastic cups!! Just then, I opened the dishwasher. And, prepare yourself, it was full of dishes. Now, they hadn’t been rinsed off or anything momentous like that - countless food boogers still clung to plates for dear life and a cure for cancer might very well have been growing on the milk residue at the bottom of a few glasses - but the dishes were in the dishwasher! Hooray!

And now I must point out another very important fact/aide-to-blame-assignment.

Our dishwasher SUCKS. It really ought to be called a dish-redistribute-the-dirt-er. (I believe in truth in appliance naming… blenders blend, toasters toast, ovens… well, whatever. A dishwasher should WASH DISHES. Mine does not.) So really, this appliance should only be used to rinse several pre-cleaned dishes with very hot water all at once. Its usefulness is questionable at best. If it wasn’t installed, nice and neat, into our (rented) kitchen, I would throw it away... in an instant... off a three story roof.

But I digress.

So, my very messy roommates placed their very messy dishes into our very crappy dishwasher. And did I mention the dishes were piled in the dishwasher two to three dishes deep? NO WAY were these things getting clean. But it was late, and I was tired, and I was so happy that dishes, in any state/quantity, got removed from the sink/counter that I didn’t care. I wanted to run the dishwasher.

And here’s where you should take note of what not to do.

In addition to dishwasher soap, I also poured in (a VERY small amount of) regular liquid dish wash soap… you know, the kind you squirt on a sponge to hand wash all your pots and pans. The kind that makes lots and lots of fun soapy bubbles? Yeah, that stuff.

Don’t look at me that way! I wanted to give the dishes a fighting chance at getting clean!!! And sudsy dish soap was the only thing I could come up with short of unloading the entire dishwasher and hand-scrubbing each and every dish. You weren’t there. You can’t judge.

Well, the folks at Ajax should be pleased to know that just a small(ish) squirt of their Ruby Red Grapefruit Original Formula dish soap goes a VERY VERY long way.

I dropped in my dishwasher tablet… poured in some Ajax… closed the dishwasher door… hit start… and happily went to bed.

Ten minutes later there was a frantic knocking on my bedroom door.

The awesome grease cutting suds that were supposed to be inside the dishwasher, awesomely cutting grease, were, instead, pouring (like an avalanche – coming down the mountain) out the front of my dishwasher.


The kitchen floor was COVERED in snowy white bubbles… several inches deep… and getting deeper by the second. And the worst part? There wasn’t anything I could do about it. Even if I turned the dishwasher off, which I did immediately, there was still no way to get the Ajax soap out. So I just had to let it run its course… and dump soap onto the floor… which I then scooped up and deposited into the sink as fast as I could.

It only lasted 15 minutes, but it was a mess. My pajamas were soaked, the kitchen was soapy and filled with soggy towels that proved to be all but totally ineffective, and my nerves were frazzled.

I think it’s safe to say that the incident was not entirely my fault. There were mitigating circumstances up the wa-zoo. BUT, still, wa-zoo aside, if I could go back in time and NOT put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher, I would.

Please learn from my mistakes.

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