Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Sparkle in a Woeful Tale

“AAAHHHHIIIEEEE!!!” I heard first thing a week or so ago, or at least AAAHHHHIIIEEEE is a rough equivalent to what I remember hearing. The mornings here are hot and humid and sometimes anty, buggy or mosquitoee. I like to start off the morning with a tree-ripened banana and thus left my bride of 40 some odd years snoozing in the boudoir while I stayed regular. The outburst from the other room startled me and left me a bit preoccupied for safety and well-being of the jewel of my life. Leaving the banana, hoping to get back to it before the ants, I hot-footed back to the bedroom. Whoa, the bedclothes were completely disheveled, perhaps more accurately, demolished! And Linda was scouring the floor: pillows, socks and unmentionables flying every which way. I was somewhat fearful for my personal welfare and hesitated briefly before barging ahead to succor the obviously distraught and agitated mother of our children. “What, pray tell, has happened?” I gently pried. If she was in the throes of a sleep-walking nightmare I was a bit fearful of waking her. I’ve heard waking sleepwalkers is to be discouraged. Ahh, Linda was awake but significantly distressed. “Have you seen it? Did you hide it? How could tease me so unmercifully?” she wailed. I immediately embraced and held my precious close while muttering among other imprecations, “What is the ‘it’ that seems to be missing?” “One of my diamond earrings, you know the studs you gave me a half a lifetime ago.” Well as I’ve already made a brief yet tearful account into a long verbose tale, let it be sufficient to say we dejectedly spent the morning searching high, low, under and over for the errant stud. We shook, wiped and cleaned everything, floor to ceiling all to no avail. The poor dear finally stoically surrendered to the obvious. The pair was now a single. “Remember the time I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring and after you replaced it Becca found the diamond under the fridge?” “We have already looked under the fridge,” I thoughtlessly reminded her. A moment passed before I realized she was not interested in cold facts but was searching for a glimmer of hope. Well as the days continued to zoom by Linda finally allowed me to purchase her a pair of replacement studs. This time faux diamonds. In fact, she had so much fun looking for earrings, she shopped a bit more and purchased another pair, then ordered some miniature gold tumies (Inca ceremonial knives) on studs.
Well, still trying to keep this short story short I’ll fast forward to this week. It was wash-day Monday… You think you know where this is going. Yep, I washed the sheets. Being the brilliant quatral-lingualed dear that Linda is, she suggested dumping the washing machine drain water through our spaghetti strainer. See, the apartments around here don’t have washing machine hookups so we kinda jury-rigged a connection at the dish sink with two hoses. One smooth one for the water (there is only one temperature available) and one ribbed one for the drain hose. That hose we tied onto the sink faucet to keep it stable then directed the flow through the strainer. False hope. We watched as the wash water squirted through the strainer. Then the rinse water was strained. No diamond, fortunately nothing gross either. White shirts and undies next. I like to bleach them both to keep the fungus under control and to help the whites stay sparkling. Linda likes to also use bleach in the mop water for the tile floor then when she’s done mopping, throws the bleachy water down the toilet to help keep it fresh. She said, “Why don’t you just let the washing machine drain into the bucket so I can use that to mop the floor?” Always thinking ahead, eh? Again muttering under my breath, I untied the drain hose, lowered it down from the sink and held it to fill the mop bucket. Now that was a bit of a chore. You’ve got to hold the hose and the bucket and pause the washer when the bucket is full. Count them. It takes three hands. Then because the hose is now lower than water in the washer, just hitting the pause button with your elbow is not enough. This I know from experience. The water keeps on coming. Oh well, the floor was about to be mopped anyway. So while Linda is mopping away and I’m draping the undies over our indoor dryer and hanging-up the white shirts, once again, “AAAHHHHIIIEEEE!!” I hear. “Look at that sparkle in the mop!” “What is the screeching about?” I mumbled. “Look at this sparkly spot on the mop.” She yells again as she waves the mop around for me to examine it. “I think I see my diamond!” Afraid to be disappointed or smacked with a wet mop, I’m hesitant to examine it very closely. Wow, I start to explain, the diamond must have been in the sheets or pillow cases then was detained in the drain hose by the corrugations until I lowered the hose and it was washed out into the bucket then picked up by the mop threads. . .  “Wait, wait, wait,” she said, “spare me the half-hour scientific explanation and just be happy the diamond has reappeared.” (As did the sparkle in her eyes.)

Our nifty semi-portable clothes washer.

A jury-rigged diamond trap.

Note the drain hose leading from the floor upward. Also note the sans sparkle mop.

When did I grow such a pansa (breadbasket)?

Making a pioneer bonnet for a future post.


  1. What a tale! I thought by the yell that Dad had adopted a pet tarantula.

  2. Yes. This truly a Kenneth Whitney story. Very fantastical and amazing. I am happy it had a good ending and extra replacement ear rings to boot!