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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on September 16th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 27

Dirty round secrets

Tragedy hits the Krider family kitchen

We recently had a loss in our family. It was very tough emotionally, and obviously quite tragic—as you could imagine. Out of all of us, my wife has taken it the hardest. It’s been rough. Things just haven’t been the same at our house since the dishwasher died.

It wasn’t a complete surprise. The dishwasher was up there in years and had been on life support for quite some time. Even though its health was on the line, it wouldn’t stop smoking, so we finally had to pull the plug. But knowing it was coming didn’t make the news any easier. The worst part was how much our lives were adversely affected by the loss. I mean, the unthinkable happened at our house: We actually had to do the dishes by hand.

Of course, we didn’t start doing the dishes right away. We tried to fight it at first, but that only lasted as deep as the sink. We each became quite skilled at stacking dirty dishes toward the sky. Ignoring the dishes in the sink is like ignoring a pregnancy—as the days go by, things start to grow. Sooner than later, we had a mountain of skanky dishes in our kitchen.

My wife, whom I love, was under the impression that I should do the dishes by hand since it was my fault the dishwasher wasn’t fixed yet. I thought she should do the dishes, because I was pretty sure the washer was broken due to her lack of technical understanding that a dishwasher doesn’t have the capability to extract chicken bones from dirty dishes and then make them magically disappear into the atmosphere. We both blamed each other, and also we are both quite lazy, so the dishes continued to stack up, untouched and unwashed—although every once in awhile, my wife would suddenly blurt out the obvious observation: “Looks like the dishes need to be washed.”

“Really?” I like to play dumb.

“Yes, really. You don’t see them in the sink? The dishes are dirty.”

“Are they really dirty? It’s not like we actually put dirt on them. Shouldn’t we refer to the dishes as being ‘foody’?”

“Dirty, foody, use whatever adjective you want. Either way, they’re still smelly.”

“Really? I hadn’t noticed”—which was a lie. I had noticed, but chose not to comment because I knew that such a comment would lead to an unwanted discussion about me doing the dishes. I didn’t want to go there.

My wife couldn’t understand why I hadn’t fixed the dishwasher yet. This made me laugh. What did she think—that in junior high school, when they separated the boys and the girls in P.E., while the girls played volleyball, we boys took a class on dishwasher repair? In the garage, with my dad, I grew up working on Camaros and El Caminos. I never spent any time trying to get more horsepower out of a dishwasher. I had no idea why the dishwasher died (I had theories, one being that my wife thought if she put six pounds of mashed potatoes in there, the potatoes would go to a magical place and the dishes would come out sparkling).

The corpse of our dishwasher remained in our kitchen while the pile in the sink grew larger and larger. One night, the dishes mysteriously settled and a glass fell, breaking into a hundred pieces in the sink. Now our sink was filled with piles of foody dishes and glass shards. Even though it was one of the kids who left a glass still half filled with apple juice teetering on top of a stack of rickety bowls filled with half-eaten cereal and spoiling milk, I was blamed for the incident and the broken glass, of course.

To quickly rectify the dirty dishes issue at our house (before one single additional dish could be soiled, thus requiring somebody to hand wash it, thus requiring my wife and I to fight about who was going to do said washing), I went out and bought paper plates and plastic cups. Yes, that’s right, I said paper plates! I know that the words “paper plates” are like an arrow to the heart of an environmentalist. Sorry, I didn’t have time to save the whole planet. I was just trying to save the kitchen sink. You know the phrase “think globally, act locally,” right? I was thinking globally—my world being my marriage—and I acted locally by going to the store down the street and buying some paper plates. The paper plates were working pretty well, but we were still making more foody dishes with pots, pans, and knives while cooking dinner. So I moved the family to plan B: Always eat out.

Why work so hard to cook and do dishes when there are people who have businesses set up to feed you and clean up after you? Oh, that’s right: money. It costs lots of money to go out to eat three times a day. Then again, it costs money for paper plates. And it costs money for a new dishwasher. Piles of dishes I had an abundance of; piles of money I was short on. So I hit the dollar menu at Taco Bell and grabbed my tool belt out of the garage. If this dishwasher is anything like a 1978 El Camino, we are in luck. If it isn’t, then we are going to soon have a kitchen full of dirty dishes and a half-taken-apart dishwasher.

Rob’s wife took the kids to visit the in-laws. She said she won’t be back until the dishwasher issue is resolved.




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