Let’s play “What if?” It’s a good thing to do. You know, so you know you’re prepared for whatever life hurls at you. Car trouble or power outages or zombie attacks... You know, the basics.
Alright, now it’s time to play our game. What do you do if you’re putting away the dishes and the phone rings?
You answer it, I suppose. And then while you chat with your friend, you pace the house, because you’re a pacer. We’re supposing here.
And when you finish your chat you mosey back to the kitchen to find that your toddler has dumped an entire box of dish detergent (new and full, mind you) into the empty dishwasher.
You’re not fool enough to turn on the dishwasher, that’s for sure. Plus you called your mom to rant about her grandchild and she told you not to, so you don’t do that. In this highly hypothetical situation, she might suggest vacuuming out the powder.
Good plan. Except that the toddler followed the powdered detergent with a half a bottle (big bottle) of the liquid soap. You know, the kind you keep by the sink. The sort of stuff they use to clean petroleum off seabirds caught in oil spills. The resultant mess is sludge. No vacuum will work here.
You’d probably scoop the sludge out, right? That’s a pretty reasonable course of action. Of course, you’re not going to get it all. Dishwashers, as it turns out, have a lot of nooks and crannies. And this is a lot of soap we’re talking about here. So much so that the door of the dishwasher won’t even close at first because so much of it is caught in the hinges. Plus, you’d of course be distracted by said toddler – now doomed forever to single-child-syndrome by the way – who is pushing the rack that used to be in the dishwasher around the kitchen floor on its little wheels making bulldozer noises and banging it into the furniture.
Are you following me here?
So what do you do? After you’ve scooped out the bulk of the sludge, you force the dishwasher closed and cautiously turn it on on the rinse cycle. So far so good. But no pacing, right? You’re not going to leave the kitchen, right? Because that would be dumb.
So when the foam which you mostly expected comes pouring out of the dishwasher and across the floor, you’re totally right there, flailing at the “off” lever and running for towels. Good. I’m glad you’re prepared. What now?
Well, you might let it sit for a bit. You know, to let the suds die down, and to let the Magic Fairy of Soap Removal arrive to do her job and leave a quarter under your pillow.
‘Cause that’s likely.
So you try it again. And again. More towels. Rinse, lather, repeat, rinse, lather, repeat.
You might call Mom again to tell her that there will unequivocally be no more grandchildren. But she’d just laugh and ask what the little darling doing now and make baby noises at the phone, so don’t bother.
So you say screw it. You grab your purse, your kid, and get the hell out of dodge. Pizza for dinner. Pizza out. Because the plates are all dirty and you can’t to the dishes because the dishwasher is full of foam. And all the towels are wet. And you’re out of ideas.
On the way home, you stop off at the supermarket to pick up some more dishwasher detergent. This doesn’t seem logical, as this is a substance of which you technically have too much as the current state of things lie. But, you argue, that eventually you will kick this problem in the butt and the dishes will, in fact, need to be done. The box at home is most certainly empty. The little darling is very thorough.
You’re still holding out hope for the Magic Soap Fairy, you see. You need to get over that.
So you get home to find foam and.....ants. Remember those dirty dishes you blew off to go for pizza? That was a bad move, genius. Now you have ants, and foam, and no dry towels.
You’d do the dishes by hand at this point. (Hey, it’s like camping.) And while you are smiting ants you’d be wondering how so many bloody dishes stacked up like that in the first place. I mean, didn’t you just do the dishes? Like on Saturday, or something?
Meanwhile, rinse, lather, repeat, rinse, lather, repeat.
The dishwasher, by the way, is no better off, but the floors look great. Very shiny and springtime fresh.
So in this highly hypothetical and idealized situation, what do you do? Besides ponder the strength and reliability of your choice of birth control?
What do you do?
I’m accepting suggestions. You know, in case. It’s important to be prepared.
Next there could be zombies.