So we have something of an ongoing saga happening here, and it’s one of those things where I’m never quite sure how much to say and how much to just bite down VERY FIRMLY on my tongue, but suffice it to say that I was participating in a test drive program for some SUPERCOOL and VERY SHINY large objects upon which we rely for things like clean clothes and food free of botulism, and instead of being supremely awesome it has, instead, been a carnival of How Many Things Can Go Wrong? How About One More? No, How About Two More? Hey, You Didn’t Want These To Work, Did You? Etc. And although I still believe that it will all be okay in the end (I also believe in unicorns, by the way), it has involved MANY deliveries and service calls and hours upon hours of People In My House.
(Moral of the story: You get what you pay for. Remember that before accepting things which are free, is all I’m saying.)
Anyway, as GOSH DARNED FUN as the entire process has been, the pinnacle was, without question, the service call a couple of weeks ago when a new crew came to do a whole new installation of one of these Shiny Things. There’s one particular crew that has come with such regularity and been so patient and awesome that I actually baked them Christmas cookies—no lie; I figured they’d earned them—but this particular different crew was assigned for reasons unknown, and they came to the house in the middle of a storm and completed the installation as required.
They also tracked mud all over the carpet in my office.
Now, look; things happen. I get that. But for one thing, owing to the storm and the wet, I specifically asked them to put down floor coverings. They trotted out a single, tiny mat and put it down in my kitchen, and then proceeded to walk around it (although mopping in the kitchen is no big deal). For another thing, I suspect they really did not NEED to go outside and turn off the water on the side of the house, but they insisted they did, and that’s fine, but HOW DO YOU NOT NOTICE that then your boots are covered with mud and you are now walking across a carpeted area? HOW?? The mind boggles.
[And for those of you unfamiliar with Georgia mud, allow me to remind you that Georgia does not have dirt, it has clay. Red clay. Rusty-colored, thick, incredibly staining, CLAY. I could tell you the number of pieces of clothing I ended up throwing away our first year here in Georgia, before I figured out the magic formula for actually removing most of the damage in the laundry, but that would be embarrassing.]
Suffice it to say that I freaked out, completely, as the carpet had been ruined and this was the last straw in this particular drama. So when I called The Person In Charge I mentioned the carpet and the big red footprints, and said Person was appropriately horrified. I was told that they would pay to have the carpet cleaned, of course.
So last night—after spending the entire day working with Chickadee on her Science Fair Project and working with Monkey on his Viking Project, both of which are stories of the head-exploding kind in their own right—Otto and I carried just about everything out of my office. We ended up leaving my desk, because it’s a monster, and also because we had nowhere to put it. And we left a few things (like the dog’s crate) that I could move on my own this morning. But the kitchen is filled with my office and the garage is filled with my office and once we had it all out we were able to really look around and go, “Whoa, this carpet was actually kind of disgusting even before the footprints.”
And then I started feeling kind of cheerful about the carpet cleaning, you know, because WHO KNOWS what color the carpet actually is! It’s kind of exciting!
This morning I was about to take the dog out for her last romp before the cleaners came, and I bent down by the back door there to pick up a leaf she’d tracked in, only it turned out not to be a leaf, but a slug. I know this because as soon as I grasped it it caused my entire body to convulse with ICK. I screamed loudly, executed a giant hand spasm, and the slug went flying across the room. (Licorice merely cocked her head at me, as if to ask why I feel the need to be so DRAMATIC all the time.) Now, you would think that in a room almost completely void of furniture, a slug—even a slug that’s been airborne—would be easy to find. But no. I couldn’t find it. Which I fear means it’s… somewhere on my desk.
Um. I am sort of going to miss having an office. Especially with the carpet being all clean and all. But you understand why I’ll never be going back in there, right? Right.
Anyway. The cleaner came and there is a very pleasing WHIRRWHIRRWHIRR sound coming from that room now, as I sit on the couch with my laptop. There was the usual small talk before he began, and he asked what I do and I told him I’m a writer and he asked me if I write books. I don’t know if it was the irritation over the whole saga with the carpet or that I didn’t get enough sleep last night, but I was seized with an irrational urge to tell him that I write the scripts for p0rn movies. Fortunately, I thought better of it. But I told him that I write for the web and for magazines, and he told me he just cleaned the carpets for a guy who writes for GUNS Magazine. I really didn’t know how to respond to that, so I just tried to look busy.
I figure that if this particular saga continues for much longer, eventually I’m going to get a whole new house out of it! But in the meantime, I’m hoping to hear just five little words from the guy who’s in there cleaning right now…
… “Hey, I found a slug!”