DOIN’ A LOAD!

I am doing some laundry, making a very small dent in a self-replicating pile of regurgitated-formula-encrusted tee-shirts, pungent undies (“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Pungent Undies!”), socks that have given up all hope, jeans that no longer conform to the lower halves of anyone currently residing here, and a shirt advertising some type of annual event that takes place in Millinocket and involves softball and Jagermeister.  I don’t mind doing the laundry too much once I get going, nor washing the dishes, nor removing objects from surfaces where they look bad and relocating them to surfaces where they look bad out of eyeshot.  Cleaning doesn’t use up a lot of brain space, leaving one free to go to ones happy place, and no matter how half-assed a job you do, there is always a result.  It’s a little better when things are clean.

We have never been clean people.  Over to the right there if you click on “Thursday Night Squalor” under Categories, you’ll see that I once devoted each Thursday night to taking photographs of designated areas of the house, for the purposes of monitoring how the detritus changed from week to week, and for making funnies about how we’re pigs.  I had to stop after awhile because it was getting depressing, and rather than impelling me to maybe pick up once in awhile given that I was essentially showing everyone in the world I was gross on a weekly basis, it just made me sad, which made me tired, and thus more messy.  It really worked out excellently.

I guarantee you that crock pot to the left was positively caked with moldy corn chowder, and likely remained in that condition for upwards of a fortnight, if not considerably longer.  I remember one time taking the crock pot out of the fridge after it had been in there for at least a month and a half, then smelled the contents, I guess to be “funny”, then began involuntarily shouting “WAH!  OH NO!  OH WAAAAAAH!  WAAAAAAAAAAH!”.  I then put it back in the fridge.  It has since been cleansed, and is used sparingly.

Adding a child to an environment of pre-established disarray and filth is a terribly counterproductive plan.  It’s like wiping your butt with a poop.  As much garbage and clutter and smelliness that my wife and I are capable of creating simply by going through the motions of an average day, Freddy can triple our combined output without even possessing the capability to walk, or to prepare food, or to purchase six books at Border’s because they were on sale and then leave them on the kitchen table in an unruly pile atop a coffee-stained cardigan, four pay stubs, a Devil Dog wrapper, and a mysterious remote that doesn’t seem to control anything we own.  So when we’re not funneling pablum or decimated legumes down his little throat, pulling down his pants to verify the presence of urine and/or feces, or pleading with him to stop squalling like a banshee with a bladder infection for no discernible reason, we’re frantically tidying up, racing to combat the encroaching landmass of sticky bottles, foul bibs, piss-plumped Pampers, socks so tiny they look like sight gags, clunky and barely acknowledged playthings, cloudy “suck-sucks”, cloth “wipeys” in varying stages of damp stinkiness…all manner of once-foreign-now-commonplace paraphernalia.  And this on top of our own mainstay contributions of unwatched bargain bin $5 Walmart DVDs, well-worn PJ pants, thrift store paperback adaptations of dumb 80’s movies, self-burned but unlabeled CDs, grocery store receipts, controllers to outmoded video game systems, bills both paid and less so, sticky bottles of our own, take-out menus, etc.  Where we once lied around and let crap accumulate, we now clean constantly to maintain roughly the same level of perceived accumulated crap.  It’s a constant process and the place never looks anywhere near as good as I want it to or envision it will.

My dream is to take a weekend during which I will evaluate every single object in our home, giving everything fair and equal consideration, from the tiniest screw to the most dependable appliance, and make a decision as to whether or not to keep or discard it.  It’s something I’ve only done while in the act of moving to another location (something we unfortunately do fairly often and will need to do yet again in about another year, unless David Blaine stops by and magically pulls a house out of my ass before then), but it would certainly help us to better appreciate and utilize our limited space.  Why, just think of how many useful objects I could cram in the space once reserved for a VHS copy of “Freebie and the Bean”!

What the fuck am I thinking?  I can’t get rid of “Freebie and the Bean”!  That’s top shelf buddy cop!  Did you watch the whole thing?  You didn’t, obviously, it’s over six minutes long.  Go back and finish it!  They run over a marching band at one point!  Such gleeful racism (in the title of the film, no less)!  Such unforced banter!  Stuntmen and extras all in clear peril!  James Caan back when he had that funny high-pitched voice (“Dirty bastard!  Dirty bastard!”)!  Alan Arkin doing anything at all!  I love “Freebie and the Bean”.  You can get it on a weird bootleggish DVD from the Warner Archive (along with tons of other old hard-to-find stuff, including a lot of great grimy 70’s TV movies like “Bad Ronald” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” , both of which I want you to buy me for Christmas, please), but in the end I much prefer to have the hefty old videocassette in the shiny, smooth, outsized Warner Brothers snapcase.  Because the poorer the quality, the cozier I feel.

Speaking of “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, it stars Kim Darby, whom you very well may not recognize by name.  I knew her as the spunky little girl in “True Grit”…

…but I was unaccountably thrilled to discover that she also, much later, played the delightful weirdo mom in “Better Off Dead”!

File that under Exciting Exclusively to Me, if you like, but I thought I’d share my newfound wealth of Kim Darby knowledge.

So to sum up, cleaning is hard, “Freebie and the Bean” is good, and Kim Darby plays the mother in “Better Off Dead”.  I think I touched on everything here, and the clothes have just finished drying besides!  Another successful evening for winner me!  Mail me a fiver!

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