Monday, September 19, 2011

Tools, Tampons and Oven Mitts: A Series of Unfortunate Incidents

Recently, Jon wandered into the kitchen, used one of the gas stove burners to light a cigarette, and wandered off to a keg party at a neighbor's house, leaving the burner on high.  No one else was home.  The lit burner was discovered by Seamus, hours later and luckily, the only consequence was a super-heated kitchen.   This harks back to a similar incident in which I came home from a run on a winter day.  The smell of burned hair penetrated all the way to the street and when I entered the house, it was full of smoke, reggae music was blasting, and Jon, oblivious, was spoon-feeding Seamus who was an infant at the time.  An unattended stove burner was lit and an oven mitt was smoldering.  It was lucky for us that I  insist on 100% wool oven mitts, which are nicely flame resistant.  I still use that oven mitt, but its burned-off corner is a constant reminder that life with Jon is unpredictable.

Another unfortunate incident occurred this weekend when Seamus and a friend attempted to bake cookies and the house filled with toxic smoke while tongues of flame darted up from the space under the oven floor.  After the fire was put out--by ineffectually poking at it with a spatula and then a coat hanger (plan C was the fire extinguisher)-- I dismantled the oven floor and found it was filled with dog food. Fucking mice! Hoarding dog food in the bottom of the oven is something that mice do in kitchens across America, as google will tell you.  At least I immediately recognized the charred lumps as dog food and didn't mistake them for rocks, somehow essential to the function of the oven and call my oven manufacturer to ask about it like this poor sod.

Ian, up in Buffalo, had his own oven mitt-related unfortunate incident a few weeks ago when oven mitts stored in the oven by his roommate caught fire.  Ian lives in a Victorian-era tinderbox, crammed tightly into a neighborhood of other Victorian tinderboxes.  Thank God the Buffalo city fire department understands the seriousness of fires in Victorian houses of this sort.  They responded so quickly that the only damage was to the oven itself, which is beyond repair.  The landlord doesn't appear to have plans to replace it.

In yet another unfortunate incident, Jon forgot to turn the lights off on his motorcycle, causing the battery to die.  He has done this so many times, we've bought a battery recharger.  So, it's no problem, right?  Wrong, because this was his new motorcycle and he had never charged its battery before and it turned out he needed a ratchet set to get at it, only in another unfortunate incident, Seamus took the ratchet set to Belmont Park and left it there, where it was stolen (naturally).  So Jon was angrily ransacking the tool drawer looking for the nonexistent ratchet set.  I saw him pick up a colorfully-wrapped cylinder and look at it uncomprehendingly before tossing it back into the drawer since, whatever it was, it clearly wasn't a ratchet set.  It was a tampon.

Long story short, he got the battery charged eventually.  This motorcycle has been a big bone of contention, the mother of all unfortunate incidents, starting five years ago when he insisted on buying a vespa, which, in an unfortunate incident, was stolen.  Then came motorcycle #1, and this summer, motorcycle #2--a Yamaha "Virago" to which I voiced strenuous objections because of the whole two kids in college thing. Nonetheless,  it was purchased, after which, in an unfortunate incident, he drove the gas tank bone dry and fucked up the carburetor which required a $325 repair and it still stalls and sputters.  Jon assured me that the old motorcycle would be sold, only hardly anyone has shown an interest in it, except Paul Curreri, who borrowed it for use in one of his music videos, which is cool, but doesn't change the fact that we own two useless motorcycles while struggling to put two kids through college.  It is pretty awesome that Paul's new album is titled The Big Shitty, as it is, however tenuously, linked to us by Jon's motorcycle's role in it and it so aptly sums up our domestic life right now.  And don't think I am unaware of the irony of Jon riding around town on a "virago."

The final unfortunate incident occurred when I opened the washing machine and discovered that it was crammed with dirty laundry in a lively mix of colors and textures.  Delicate blouses, bras, heavy pants streaked with motorcycle grease, towels, dresses, whatever.  It appeared that the clothes were dry, but when I tried to sort through the mess and rescue my blouses from the greasy pants, I discovered that the clothes weren't really dry because the washer was half-filled with water.  So I had this soggy mass of dirty clothes to deal with all because Jon still has not grasped Basic Laundry Concepts.  Why did he fill the washer halfway with water and then abandon it?  I don't know, I didn't even ask.  I have told Jon many times that he is welcome to help with any of the housework except the laundry because he makes such a colossal mess  of it, every time.

Last night, when I was writing this, I thought I had come to the end of a long list of recent Unfortunate Incidents, but no, there was another one later last night that I don't have the heart to write about.  Don't worry, the house isn't burned down and no one died but we are now sucked into a maelstrom of inconvenience and expense.  This was intended to be a funny post, but it doesn't feel funny anymore.  The Big Shitty-- a 43 year old husband who behaves like a 20 year old frat boy.

13 comments:

  1. I have got the delights of washing Tartarus's overalls from the engine room once in a blue moon. They are almost stiff with clart and can only be washed once they have been hammered to death on the driveway outsideds.

    A tampon? There is a question that I'm dying to ask, but shall refrain :-)

    Ali x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Between the hoarded dog food and the burner I'd say you've experienced enough grief for one year. "Unfortunate" is a gross understatement!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I know that this post is full of Unfortunate Incidents which are parts frustrating, heart-breaking and expensive. But, for someone with her own set of Unfortunate Incidents (memorably a cat setting its tail on fire and strolling through the house UNAWARE that he was aflame - even after we put it out) - I found in yours a very much needed laugh. With sympathy (and thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmm. . . and I thought my husband caused me problems :-) I can see how it might not seem funny from your end.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You poor wee soul, what a load of bad luck.
    Actually reading it again, it's not so much bad luck as male inattention.

    We blokes do tend to get a bit foccussed on our current project(s) but it sounds as if your load of males need a good smacking (or some sort of anti-autistic medication)

    Why was the tampon in the tool drawer? Yhe mind boggles.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hate mice. I finally found a mouse-proof and dog-proof container for the dog food. I still rant about the time I lost the remote in the couch (while watching tv) and found it 20 minutes later with the buttons chewed off.

    House snake. I think I need one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A man is just a child in big clothes who eats too much and can't be trained better. Sorry yours is giving you a run for your money right now. Mine is too. Thankfully, mine agrees motorcycles are NOT allowed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Come on Patience, I MUST know about the Tampon, It's driving me crazy

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't know exactly how the tampon got into the tool drawer. (There were, on closer inspection, three tampons in the tool drawer.) The most likely (and boring) explanation is that the tool drawer is in the kitchen, and groceries are unloaded in the kitchen. Somehow they must have escaped the grocery bag and dropped into the drawer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah. Thanls for that, it does seem the most rational explanation. I was just wondering if your big lad had decided to plug up a leaking sump with an alternative method.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe we could use them to plug the mouse holes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good frick, that's a lot of unfortunate-ness. I hope you get a break for a while.

    No one in this house other than me is allowed to touch the laundry. Actually, my husband is allowed to do his own laundry, but he darned well better be sure that there are no stray articles not belonging to him in the mix. I'm just a tad psycho about the laundry.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My approach to intractable problems is to plan, carefully time, and throw such a monumental hissy fit that there is fear of physical reprisal the next time the overgrown boy a)touches my laundry b)leaves a sponge to mold in the sink c) bathroom stuffs. I save them for very special occasions, and for the most part it works. It's not the adult way to solve things, but I don't feel like I'm dealing with an adult the twentieth time I gently request something.

    ReplyDelete