This is actually a throwback post. As I was folding clothes today and looking at the permanently etched streaks across the side of my washer, my mind went back to a particularly eventful evening, and I had to chuckle. I thought maybe you might get a chuckle out of it too, so I looked back through the archives to share this one with you.
ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 2013 THE GODDESS HOWE BLOG
One night he had pulled the washer/dryer stack away from the wall to clean out the dryer vent. I was cleaning up the supper dishes when I suddenly heard him SCREAM a stream of expletives that would make a sailor captain blush.
Now I can’t explain why, but my first thought was that he got electrocuted. Not that there is anything electrical in the dryer vent, but that was my first thought.
I turned to see him running at lightning speed from the laundry room to the guest bathroom (still screaming and a-cussin’) and then I heard the water run.
My brain was still running on the electrocution track, so I couldn’t figure out why he would get mix water with electricity.
I quickly made my way to the guest bath shouting “What happened?” over and over again, but I got no response other than obscenities from behind the shower curtain.
“Are you okay?” I asked, and he answered by shouting, “No!”
(I guess in hindsight it was a rather unintelligent question given his screams and obvious distress, but my brain was in slow motion as I tried to process what had happened and why he was standing in water if he had been electrocuted.)
“Save my shoes! Save my shoes!” he shouted.
I looked down to see his shorts in a pile on top of his shoes…..smoking. And bubbling. And gurgling. And hissing. Yep, I said his shorts and his shoes were doing all that.
I reached down and picked up the shorts and the material was bubbling, hissing, dripping, and smoking. Now, I have always thought I would be pretty good in an emergency situation. But I now know that my brain slows down to almost negative speed. I could not figure out what was happening.
The shorts were disappearing as I held them, and he was now looking at me from the pulled back shower curtain and screaming again, “Save my shoes! Save my shoes!”
I looked down at his shoes transfixed and mesmerized, frozen in place as I watched them melt.
“Do something! Pick up the shoes!”
The madman was yelling at me, but I couldn’t move. I could not for the life of me figure out how he had gotten electrocuted and melted his shoes and his shorts.
“Are you okay?” I asked again. (Brilliant under pressure, aren’t I? I should run out and join a disaster crew right away.)
My Knight: “No, I am not okay. My ass is on fire. Do something with my shoes.”
I looked at the melting shoes and wondered what on earth I was supposed to do with them, and it was about that time that I felt heat on my hand as the bubbling of the shorts reached close proximity to flesh. I dropped the shorts and stared at him, still not able to comprehend what had happened. So I asked again.
“I knocked over the industrial strength drain cleaner. See if you can get it up off the tile before it ruins it.” Ahhhh, see now I realize why professional cleaners and handymen will probably look to Bulk buy industrial glove and workwear supplies for your workplace and organisation (or even just at home considering it’s happened to us!) Let this be a lesson for next time maybe?!
I turned to go to the laundry room and found drops of black, hissing, smoking bubbles forming a path in my carpet from the laundry room to the guest bathroom.
“The carpet is melting!” I shouted. “What do I do?”
“Get it off the tile!”
I reached the laundry room and saw the huge plastic bottle laying on it side with its cap busted and its contents gurgling and chugging out on my tile. The paint on the walls where it had splattered hissed and bubbled, and the white paint on the side of the washing machine had been stripped to reveal a shiny silver splash pattern.
My brain was still stupefied. I couldn’t spring into action like you’re supposed to do in case of emergency. I was still trying to switch tracks from electrocution to industrial strength drain cleaner. And the tracks weren’t switching smoothly or quickly.
Why do we have this big bottle of drain cleaner? Why is it in the laundry room? Why is it on the floor? Why is it busted? Why is the paint bubbling up on my walls? What is that god-awful stench that is burning the inside of my nose and eyes right now? What on earth do I put on this to clean it up?
I stared at the floor and tried to figure out what someone intelligent would do.
I grabbed a towel from the dryer and threw it on the floor. Suddenly black hissing, smoking, melting spots appeared on the towel like something from a demonic horror film. I grabbed another towel and threw it on top of the first, but not surprisingly got the same results.
“It’s burning the towels!” I shouted as they disappeared in the spreading liquid, leaving only black gooey threads.
“Wet them first” was the direction from behind the shower curtain.
I soaked a couple of towels in the kitchen sink and put them on the laundry
room floor, and they still hissed and sizzled, but not as much. I was able to somewhat corral the liquid and keep it from spreading with the wet towels, and then I could put the dry towels down on top of those and absorb some of the acid. But I couldn’t hold my hand on the pile of towels too long. As the acid burned through, it released an almost unbearable heat that made my hand feel like it was touching a hot stove.
Which made my thoughts quickly speed up to normal speed again as I processed that if it was burning my hands that badly through a pile of towels, then what must….
“OH MY GOSH!! ARE YOU OKAY?????”
It finally dawned on me in full recognition that my sweet husband had this stuff on his body, without a towel barrier. And given the condition of the rear of his shorts……let’s just say I was suddenly extremely concerned about his condition.
I ran to the guest bathroom and immediately noticed that my shower curtain, which I loved dearly and had decorated my entire guest bathroom and guest bedroom around, had gaping holes burning through it. I guiltily admit for a BRIEF moment, My Knight was forgotten.
“My shower curtain!! It’s burning my shower curtain!!”
He whipped that hissing curtain back and looked at me with all the vehemence and daggers that I must admit were completely called for at that moment.
I quickly changed focus to “Honey, are you okay?”
He turned to reveal little sores and burns in a splash pattern from his butt cheeks down to his calves.
“Oh no! What can I do?” (I know–FINALLY, right? The poor man has been on fire all this time, and his wife FINALLY notices and shows concern.)
Long story short and twelve towels later, My Knight is fine and I got it cleaned up. (Although I will tell you that “how to dispose of melting towels and sizzling shower curtains” is not listed on the side of the curbside trash can provided by the county. Just in case you were wondering.)
My Knight is tough and can handle battle scars, but his running shorts are nothing but a memory, and his favorite pair of Nikes are hideously disfigured.
Turns out the drain cleaner was sitting on a table in the laundry room with other cleaning supplies, and he bumped the table as he was working behind the washer/dryer, knocking the jug of cleaner to the floor, where the cap busted and the contents sprayed.
Blessings to be counted:
1. My Knight was not severely injured, and since it splattered from the floor, it only hit his derriere and legs, not his eyes or face.
2. No kids or dogs were assisting at the time, so the injuries were contained to the adult who brought the industrial strength cleaner in the house and stored it out in the open on a table with random cleaning supplies without telling anyone else in the house that it was there. (Not sure if that should go under blessings to be counted or lessons that we learned.)
3. I am not sure if this is a blessing or not, but I am now thankful that I do not work in emergency situations. ‘Cause evidently my brain ain’t cut out for it.