Spaf's Journal: A Brief Tuesday Interlude


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• • •

I don't need to leave home to have excitement.

So, I got up early to allow time for two things. One, to work on some memos I have been meaning to write, and two, to get in some time exercising. My schedule is a bit constrained because I have visitors at 9am, but I'm up with time to spare. Ha!

First glitch -- Kathy had trouble getting to sleep, and doesn't feel up to getting ready this morning, so I will need to take Elizabeth to school. This is not a huge problem, but means leaving earlier than planned. Thus, I won't get to work on the memos. Oh well, they've been waiting for weeks, why not a little longer?

So, I'm having a cup of coffee and seeing if there is any urgent email from anyone. Suddenly, Elizabeth comes running into the office. "Daddy, Daddy!!! Come quick! It's an emergency!" I hear Kathy yelling from the kitchen area, in a tone of voice and with an urgency that usually signifies two things: my life is about to get more interesting for a short while, and I am not going to be happy about it.

I dash into the kitchen with Elizabeth trailing in my wake. Kathy is standing in the doorway of the laundry room, transfixed, pointing to the cabinets. She is paralyzed it seems, transfixed as if she were caught in the gaze of a giant boa constrictor. This is not reassuring as I also am hearing a loud "hiss" from inside the laundry room.

I look inside the cabinet, expecting to see a huge snake, the Giant Rat of Sumatra, or maybe evidence of a burst pipe.

Instead, I see a huge mound of white foam. The cabinet should not have foam. This is the cabinet where we store general household cleaning supplies. Many of them have foam, but the foam is supposed to be on the inside.

Now, if this were dessert topping on a young lady, it would be a particularly fine way to start the day. If it were foam on a giant cappuccino, that would also be dandy. I could even tolerate it if it were scrubbing bubbles taking some initiative.

Instead, it is a large can of industrial-strength wood paneling polish that has sprung a leak along its heavily-rusted seam. The foam is filling the cabinet where the can is -- covering the shelf and all the other contents. What is more, the odor of the polish has basically driven the oxygen from the room. I'm vicariously "huffing" simply by being in the same county.

Kathy decides to cope with this expeditiously. She goes back to bed. Elizabeth wants to "see" until we get her to go upstairs. I think she has Pokemon on the TV upstairs -- another form of noxious pollution, but at least it isn't chemical. Now, I get to deal with the wayward can.

The cleanup was not particularly unusual. It only took almost an entire role of paper towels. I had to leave the room twice to get some real air -- the hallucinations were distracting me from my work. Large dancing cans of Comet and Liquid Gold were singing some of the tunes from "Cats." I really don't like "Cats" so this was annoying. I am awaiting the sequel -- "Cats II -- The Neutering." But I digress.

The polish covered everything -- cabinet walls, top, sides. The jars and cans were coated, too. I wiped everything down repeatedly. Everything now shines -- not because I cleaned them, but because they have a thin veneer of polish on them. The windows are open in the kitchen in some hope of getting the smell out.

Now I need to get showered so I can take Elizabeth into school. So much for exercise. I also need to figure out who planted the leaky can of paneling polish. See, we don't have wood paneling here. We didn't have wood paneling at the old house. In fact, the only place where Kathy & I have lived where there was wood paneling was a house in Atlanta where we lived shortly after we first got married. I can only imagine that we've moved 3 times with the polish. Maybe Kathy has been keeping it as some odd momento of those early days. Heck, maybe she had it from before then -- a souvenir of some old boyfriend. I don't think I want to know, if so. After all, why would she have known someone paneled?

I hope this wasn't the first of many such incidents -- the result of pressurized spray cans not being Y2K compliant. Naw, that wouldn't be it. Spray cans don't run Windows. Yet.

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