Friday, August 10, 2012
Diaspora in Reverse: Bracketology
So as of last night I was down to twelve boxes. I say "I" was down to twelve boxes, because there's a CUH-RAZY amount of boxes remaining in Spouse's office with respect to which I disclaim all knowledge and/or responsibility. Also Spouse's:
Two boxes of ties. I knew he had a tie fetish before we were forced to move at gun point, but I didn't know how bad it was until we were freed from our hostage situation and more than two boxes of ties were presented to me - that's right, boxes of additional ties have already been processed. Again: crazy.
A box of sweatshirts that may or may not be bound for Goodwill.
A box of shoe trees. This box resides in our bathtub. I have not bothered to move it from our bathtub, because there's other stuff in there as well, specifically, excess Elfa shelving. I don't know what Spouse's intentions are with the shoe trees, but even if I did, there's no point in removing those if I'm not also going to tackle the Elfa shelving - and tackling the Elfa shelving would involve carrying bulky objects through the crazy mess that is Spouse's office, crossing the Africa-hot backyard, entering the even-more-stifling carriage house and locating an appropriate storage spot. Which Spouse will deem an inappropriate storage spot, so, really, why try, when I can avail myself of the showering-and-bathing amenities in the remodeled hall bath?
Also, I find it kind of amusing that we are using our bathtub for storage, because this seems to be a running theme in Spouse's family. One of his brothers is known for using a garden tub as a shoe closet, and on one particularly memorable occasion I entered his parents' master bath intent on using the facilities and discovered a soaking tub filled to the top with rifles and shotguns. No, they are not doomsday preppers, and in their defense: (1) they live in the country, and actually use guns to fend off coyotes and mountain lions and such, so as much as the concept of my kids being exposed to all of those guns may have been unsettling at one point, I have decided that the specter of wild animals chewing on my kids is a smidge more unsettling, so, yes, let's keep some guns handy, shall we?; (2) none of the guns were loaded (refer to "my kids," above); and (3) they were only there temporarily, while they were being maintained, or organized, or some such. (I did not grow up in the country, so I only have a vague sense that occasionally you get guns out, and you do things with them, and you put them back.)
Back to my twelve boxes: they do not contain ties. Or shoe trees, or guns, or mountain lions. They represent the contents of all of the junk drawers in the house: the drawer in the living room that used to serve as a "mail and important paper" repository, the old kitchen junk drawers, and the drawers in the chest that serves as my bedside table. While I was watching the decathlon (a word that always looks mispelled to me), I condensed four boxes into two, and then I decided that, in the spirit of sport, I would continue to handle the rest NCAA basketball-style: two boxes would go head to head, that box would be pitted against the surviving box from another early round contest, and so on. Except that I wasn't starting with sixteen boxes. I briefly thought about appropriating four of Spouse's - and then I decided that this was crazy talk. This is why God invented the automatic berth, and the play-in. I would find a way to work around the numbers.
While I was plotting my course on the bracket thing, I heard water running through a wall. The same wall, coincidentally, where I heard water running roughly a year ago, when the whole flooding thing began. Hmm. Did someone leave a faucet on for the cats? (Our cats, like most cats I know, think that bathroom faucets are cat water fountains. Human hygiene is only a secondary usage.) Nope, no faucet running. Jiggled the toilet handle: not the problem. Clearly someone wasn't using the bathtub (refer to "I have leftover Elfa shelving in my master bathtub," above). Washing machine on the other side of that wall? Nope. That left two options:
(1) The water was on in the backyard.
(2) Houston, we have a problem - again.
I tried to stay calm. I tried not to flash back to the last time that I hopefully asked the question, "Maybe we left the water on in the backyard on accident?" I sent a twelve year-old out to the backyard. Asked him to check on the side of the house as well as in the back. He came back in and reported no H20 activity.
Calm flew out of the open door that the Big Kid came in from. I dialed Spouse, who pretty clearly had just finished his tennis match - and pretty clearly was enjoying a beer in the clubhouse, and some "guy time." I explained to him that guy time needed to be over, pronto, because we appeared to be having another water "event." While I waited for him to make the drive back to our house, I started bargaining - with God, Mother Nature, and anyone else who would listen. Please, let this be nothing. I cannot move out of the house again. I can't, and I won't. "Groundhog Day" was a funny movie, but NOT a funny concept in real life.
It's possible that some irrational sobbing and hyperventilating came into play while I was waiting for Spouse to arrive. I did consider going into the backyard to check the Big Kid's detective work - but I was afraid that I would determine that he was be right, the problem was with a pipe in a wall, or under the house, and I would have no choice but to completely unspool.
Spouse arrived. Big Kid turned out to be wrong: the water was on, but the hose was pulled WAAAAAAY out to the back property line, so I guess if you're twelve and largely clueless you wouldn't have heard it. Apparently, Spouse was working in the yard before he left for tennis, rinsed out a container of some sort, and forgot to cut the water supply when he went inside. He turned the knob, the noise in the wall stopped, and - mercifully - so did the panicked voices in my head.
And so Bracketology shall continue this evening, and tomorrow, and thereafter, until everything - EVERYTHING - is in its rightful place. At which point dynamite isn't gonna displace me from my house.
If the place floods again, I'm pitching a tent in the backyard. Period, paragraph.