Today’s spill in question is another laundry room incident. This one turned into a small flood of water ... and cat food.

I’m now officially too old to leave anything unattended. It's dangerous. I can't leave a pot of water heating on the stove if I’m not in the kitchen. I can’t turn on the lawn sprinkler, or leave the car running while I ‘run in’ for a minute. A minute is enough time to forget. And, I do forget.

When I forget, bad things happen. Lawns flood. Gas runs low. Pans boil dry. Cookies burn. I have acquired a wicked little memory loss which causes a wide variety of messes. So, as a preventative measure, it's important for me not to leave things running unattended.

Here’s an example. I’m not going to write it out in tidy paragraphs. This is a series of unfortunate events in list form. It’s my best recollection of a spill due to forgetfulness. And it’s worth remembering, because we’re supposed to learn from our mistakes. Right?

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Setting: Morning. A small laundry room with window, washer, dryer, counter, drawers, and sink.
  1. Turn on coffee maker.
  2. Go downstairs put in a load of laundry.
  3. Discover shirt with grease stain.
  4. Find bucket and stain remover.
  5. Spray stain.
  6. Put shirt in bucket.
  7. Put bucket in sink.
  8. Turn on water faucet to fill bucket, and soak shirt.
  9. Phone rings.
  10. Go upstairs, answer phone.
  11. Hang up phone.
  12. Start breakfast.
  13. Pour coffee.
  14. Talk to sons.
  15. Head back downstairs.
  16. Step off bottom step and experience a soggy wet sensation when foot meets carpet.
  17. Stand still with in an expression of total confusion.
  18. Attempt to figure out why foot is wet.
  19. See large puddle forming in carpet and 2” of water sloshing out of laundry room.
  20. Remember water is still running.
  21. Curse silently to self.
  22. Step into laundry room.
  23. See sink overflowing, shirt floating on the surface, water cascading down off the counter, into an open drawer, then out of open drawer onto floor like a waterfall.
  25. Stand for a moment in utter disbelief.
  26. Remember the floor drain.
  27. Remember that the floor drain was once emitting a foul odor so it is now covered with a baby food dish, and can no longer drain the laundry room properly.
  28. Go upstairs to get something to unwedge the baby food dish.
  29. Take off socks and wade toward the drain while holding a knife and spoon from the kitchen drawer.
  30. Attempt to pry baby food dish off drain with butter knife.
  31. Watch water begin to drain out of room.
  32. Sigh with misplaced relief.
  33. Look to the right.
  34. Notice a 20 pound bag of cat food sitting on floor by sink.
  35. Do not think first.
  36. Impulsively pick up cat food bag in order to get it out of the water.
  37. Watch the bottom of the wet cat food bag disintegrate.
  38. Watch 20 pounds of little brown triangles be released into the water.
  39. Notice how they quickly join the draining water, like spawning salmon in a fast stream headed for the drain.
  41. Lose the race.
  42. Listen to the drain fill quickly and glug to a halt.
  43. Curse silently to self.
  44. Pick up spoon.
  45. Begin bailing soggy brown mush out of newly clogged floor drain.
  46. Wonder what your life would have looked like if you had not gotten up this morning.
  47. Continue scooping brown mush into garbage pail.
  48. Listen with satisfaction as water resumes draining.
  49. Put remaining soggy cat food in a huge garbage bag.
  50. Take heavy garbage bag to garage.
  51. Mop floor.
  52. Sop up water from carpet with a pile of towels.
  53. Put towels in wash.
  54. Dump out full bucket in sink.
  55. Make mental Note to Self: “Do not ever leave water faucet running unattended.”
  56. Forget where you put note.
  57. Hit “Control/Alt/Delete” on the day.
  58. Start over.

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Kimleonard said...

#46. That's the important one. #46.

You make me laugh, Kelley.

Anonymous said...

I don't even think I can tell you how sorry I am. Really. Having my own disturbing memory issues, I feel your pain.

(I once asked Evan the same question 4 times in one day...not a silly question like, 'did you brush your teeth'....but an important question like, 'did you forgive that person'. Troubling.)

Anonymous said...

Another thought: you hate the phone!! I think you should blame the entire thing on the phone.

lindyjroberts said...

Hahaha. Kelley this just made my day!
I'm sorry you experienced such a mess, but thanks for sharing! It made laugh :)

Bill Philbin said...

You cannot be such an old lady.

After all, it reflects badly on me!

Kleigh said...

@Kim & Lindy. It's very good to know you laughed! : )

@Adina. Thanks for the sympathy. And, I'd love to blame it on the phone. Really. Maybe I should start blaming all memory issues on the phone. Would anyone buy it?

@Bill. It should make you feel better, not worse, that you have a double advantage -- more age and mental wits than I do. It reflects goodly (!?) -- not badly.

Kelly said...

#56 is the one I relate to most. "Forget" that word is a big one in my life. Thanks for providing me with another great laugh.

anumma.com said...

In our building, we had been having some reports of strangers jiggling the back door knobs for entry. Also, we had a mental health facility nearby whose patients took long walks, plus the usual area homelessness.

Was in front room studying, heard pots and pans clattering in kitchen. Listened a while to be sure, then walked out front door down to neighbor, called non-emergency number for cops. Cops arrived, I explained calmly that I simply didn't know what was up back there. Cops go in (guns drawn, flashlights blazing). A pause.

"Sir, were you cooking something back here?"

Dang: the hard-boiled eggs. Ruined a good saucepan.

Kleigh said...