On Saturday morning, I awoke to my daughter saying, "It smells like Death in here."
Since I knew she'd never actually smelled Death before, I wondered how she could identify the odor with such conviction.
I opened the bedroom door and instantly knew the answer.
No one has to tell you. You just know.
Field mice, so cute in storybooks and in Mr. MacGreggor's garden, aren't so cute when they run amok in your house. Apparently, one decided to kick the bucket in a hall closet, and a thorough search finally revealed his decaying little corpse. I gagged and ran off, while my man took the offending body away in a Ziplock.
The stench of Death, however, lingers on, despite the air fresheners, Lysol and candles.
And so began the day.
We had our lists of chores to do: my husband's main task was to replace a broken seat belt on the driver's seat of ye olde Explorer. Literally doing an impossible job, at one point he came in to get some water and said, "Don't talk to me." I knew it was bad, so I turned and left him to his solitary manly misery.
And suddenly, he was banging on the sliding door, covered in blood from head to toe! He stood, dripping red, while my mind raced a thousand directions. I braced myself for him to fall over from blood loss, thought of dialing 911 and choked back terror. He'd obviously been shot with a shotgun at point blank range. He was a horrific, awful sight.
"It's PAINT!" he managed to say. "A red spray can exploded in the back seat and it's everywhere! I can't see, it's in my nose and throat and it's EVERYWHERE inside the truck!"
The entire contents of the can had detonated with volcanic force, when he'd accidentally punctured it with a sharp tool in a moment of careless frustration. But this we learned later, much later, when he was speaking again.
So we all sprung into action. We tore towels into pieces and began wiping everything down with paint thinner. The back seat was solid RED, as was the carpet, backs of the front seats and all over the ceiling. The insides of the doors and windows were thick with quickly-drying enamel.
We felt like the CSI: Miami team, cleaning up a gruesome crime scene.
There, in the hot afternoon, we toiled away for hours...Meghan (20), Grayson (15) and Tom and me. In stunned silence.
Finally Meghan asked, "Does this kind of thing happen to OTHER people too, or just us??"
There was a long pause, and all looked at each other. We were sweaty, spotted with red paint and our rubber gloves were dissolving like decaying flesh at the fingertips. Then we just fell over laughing. When the laughter subsided, I assured her, "Oh, no, Sweetheart. It ONLY happens to us."
I hope you'll make me feel less alone in my awful mishaps by participating in a Small Thing that I KNOW everyone has to deal with. Please, please tell me this happens to you, too.
A Grotty Tub.
It's one of those things that, when you clean it, you wonder, "Do OTHER people's tubs get this bad??"
Yes, Sweetheart. They do. It just SEEMS like yours is the worst ever.
Soap scum, tub rings and shower mold are never enjoyable to scrub. But surely, if we do it TOGETHER, it won't seem so bad! Take 5 minutes and scour the tub until it sparkles. We will be forever joined in victorious teamwork!
And you can pretend you're cleaning up a crime scene, just for fun.
POINTS: 40 for making something good happen in your tub (or shower).