Monday, March 28, 2005

Accidents happen

A few weeks ago, my parents came to visit. There’s something cool about having your parents come to visit you in your own house. It’s like you’re a little birdie with your own little nest – an overpriced, tiny little nest, with old pink wallpaper all over the place, and a vague aroma of indeterminate origin that somehow reminds you of wet dog mixed with Earl Grey tea. But my parents love it just the same, mainly because our little house may be many things, but it is not their basement.

When we realized we had an imminent parental visit on the horizon, my wife Kara and I ran through the house in tri-corner hats, ringing cowbells and yelling, “The parents are coming! The parents are coming!” Our parents always come by land, but if they ever sneak up on us by sea, the house is going to be a total mess when they get here.

The day before my parents’ arrival, Kara wandered around the house, finding all of our ferret Chopper’s “accidents”. I put the word “accidents” in quotes because, by this point, I’m fairly certain that we should be calling them “on purposes.” Chopper is 98% litter trained; he reserves the 2% to remind us who’s boss.

Kara is an extraordinarily talented accident finder. If you ever need help finding your pet’s accidents, you should hire Kara for the day. She has a sixth sense for locating even well-hidden pet accidents, and pointing at them, so that you know exactly where they are. Oh, you want her to pick them up, too? Yeah, right. Ewww. That’s gross.

Once Chopper’s messes were disposed of, we were forced to focus on our own. We’re not the tidiest people. Whatever we happen to be holding when we walk through the front door, which is usually fistfuls of junk mail, will be dropped within five seconds. And while I do appreciate the hard-hitting journalism in the PennySaver, I like to give it some time on the floor before I throw it away, just to see if it will biodegrade a little first.

Like any good slobs, Kara and I always leave ourselves walkways. A bad slob will cut off access routes to other rooms by dumping stuff all over the floor. A good slob plans the mess to avoid sprawl, keeping the major thoroughfares free of congestion. Otherwise, you’ll trap yourself and have to clean your way out, which defeats the purpose of being a slob in the first place.

Once we got all of that mess taken care of, we turned our attention to the fridge, home to the jar of spaghetti sauce that we would throw out, except that it’s gotten so furry that we’re afraid PETA would picket our house. We just put fresh milk in there and called it done; if you have fresh milk, you obviously have it together.

If our parents never came to visit, I fear for what would happen to us. Our shower would probably become a Superfund site, which sounds super at first, but actually isn’t.

Luckily, though, we have four great parents now, two of whom I have not addressed by name in the last year, mainly because I have no idea what to call them. I know they’d be perfectly fine with me calling them Mom and Dad, but it seems so weird to just start calling them that all of a sudden. I think if they let me spit up on their sweaters, and maybe if they powdered my bottom a couple of times, it would feel more normal.

I’ll run that by them the next time they’re here.


  1. Hee. Let me know how that conversation goes, because I'm pretty sure it'll be a tickler.

    I'm thankful, occasionally, that a visit from my parents involves transatlantic flights and accomodations for jet-lag, because it usually gives me weeks to do the required straightening and scrubbing.

    And a story involving ferret on purposes is always good. I have a cat, and we both know who rules-- it's the one with the silly little bowls.

    Uh-oh. I'm rambling.

  2. I sincerely hope all slobs' houses in America have a "dumping room" (or in smaller houses a "dumping closet") like we do here; they makestidying for imminent arrivals just easy peasy lemon squeezy!!!!

    Throw everything in there, lock the door and tell your guests that is where Chopper does all its accidents!!! Voila!!!

  3. Hey JL and Mikka -- thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. I'll just drop them here by the door.

    Mikka -- there wouldn't even be a blog here if it weren't for rambling. Ramble on any time.

    JL -- we just have a junk drawer. A whole junk room, though -- now that's a great idea. You could fit a whole lot of scissors and batteries in one of those.

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