|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
May. 26, 2004 - 4:24 p.m.
Dangerspouse Gets Down
I always suspected as much:
Probably explains why women have avoided getting their mouths near any part of my body most of my life. Even my Mom breast fed me through falsies. They know instictively somehow.
I violated my Laundry Restraining order last week. After ruining $400 worth of her panties in one day , I swore to NewWifey(tm) on a stack of Maxims that I wouldn't come within 20 feet of our washer and dryer ever again. And I meant it.
A few years ago, when I was still Dangersingle, I splurged on a real down filled comforter. I was living on Ramen Noodle wrappers (couldn't afford the actual noodles), spray painting my ankles black so I didn't have to splurge on socks, and driving a car whose sole means of braking was hitting things. Yet still managed to save up $200 for a fluffy, down filled comforter.
A guy's gotta have priorities.
That comforter probably saved my life on more than one occassion. Because I was as fastidious about paying my heating bill as I was about all other aspects of my life, I generally found myself without heat. And at the time I was renting what was essentially a converted root cellar attached to the side of a restored 17th century Dutch farm house in Wantage, New Jersey. You had to walk down 5 steps into the earth and duck your head to fit under the four foot high beam. They made people a lot shorter in the 17th dentury. But for the most part, although cramped and somewhat musty after 280 years, it was a cozy little arrangement for a struggling single Radio Star. I had a cot, a hot plate, a minifridge stocked with empty cellophane wrappers, and a $200 queen sized down filled comforter that spilled over the side of the cot and halfway across the floor to my cinderblock dinette.
One thing you may have heard about root cellars is that they are efficient thermal units. That is, all that earth surrounding its walls acts as a very efficient insulator, keeping the temperature inside relatively cool no matter the conditions outside. So during the meltingly hot days of Summer, the cellar stays at around 65. Ice bound winters are weathered inside at around 40. These were perfect conditions for preserving butter, milk, game and other perishables in the days before refrigeration, and you see these root cellars at many Colonial era residences in the Northeast still.
Unfortunately, after 2 1/2 centuries my humble little walk-in fridge was showing some wear. The earth had pulled away from the wall, in some spots as much as a foot. Cracks in the ancient timber let winds whistle in, and sometime rain. A fresh layer of fuzzy mold regularly covered my toilet seat during the overnights.
And with that, of course, the insulation was lost. When the temperature outside rose to 112 degrees, it was 100 inside. During the tundra winters here in North Jersey, a reading of 17 outside guaranteed a dip inside to 6. I used to leave the mold on the toilet just so I wouldn't cleave to the plastic seat. When I couldn't afford heat, the situation became perilous. That's why for two months I put aside the money I should have sent to the energy people and sank it into an oversized down comforter. (I made it oversized so I could fold it over for added warmth on the really brutal days. And during the summer, it made a wall to wall "rug".)
Well, this plan worked wo well that I've never been without a down comforter since. My current model is a $450 dollar job, with baffles and a fill weight that probably involved strangling several hundred dozen baby ducks for their fuzzy coating.
It's well worth it. Light, warm, and oh so soft, it probably saves us at least a hundred bucks a month in heating costs the 8 months a year that Winter lasts up here. Rest in peace, little duck chicks. I looooove my comforter.
So imagine my horror last Friday when I came home to find that somebody had suffered a severe attack of diahhrea on top of my comforter!
I immediately suspected NewWifey(tm). She knew how much that comforter meant to me, and she was still mad about the whole underwear episode. She was not above a little anal expulsion as a way of voicing her displeasure. I called her up at work.
"Hello, this is SuperWifey(tm)" (her new designation since being promoted to Supervisor).
"Hi Honey. Listen...did you shit all over the bed before you left for work this morning?"
"Never mind." I quickly hung up the phone. I can tell when she's sincere.
So that left...the kids.
I first considered Gloria, since her propensity for eating 3 or 4 uncooked chipmunks a day would seem the sort of diet that would encourage intestinal tectonics. However, judging by the sheer volume on the bedspread, I had to take her off the suspect list. The cat weighs 2 1/2 pounds. There was 4 pounds, easy, on my formerly white comforter.
Casey the Corgi weighs 35 pounds. J'acuse!
At that point however I realized that who shit the bed was unimportant at this point. What I needed to do was to try saving my blanket. And fast, before it set.
The nearest stiff, flat scoop turned out to be a library book on NewWifey(tm)'s nightstand ("Under the Tuscan Sun", which was already shitty to begin with). The plastic coating on the cover turned out to be the best quality of this poorly written hack job, because it scooped dog poop like a champ. (I dropped the book off in the library's Night Drop slot later, hoping that the smell would migrate to other books and they wouldn't be able to pin it on me.) 10 minutes later I was left with an irregular 2 foot long reddish-brown stain, and a smell that would gag a raccoon.
In cases of cloth staining, NewWifey(tm) has trained me to reach for the Resolve first, and the Fabreze second. For those of you unfamiliar with Resolve, it's a lifesaver in a red spray bottle for husbands. The stuff will lift lampblack ground into a silk tapestry at 100 paces.
But not, it turns out, dog shit from a down comforter. And the Fabreze...well, I might as well have just done a Hopi rain dance around my bed for all the good it did. I don't know what that dog ate, but god forbid the terrorists get their hands on it. There is no defense.
At that point then I decided on the obvious. Into the washer. I knew had been some sort of special washing instruction tag affixed to the comforter when I bought it, but in violation of federal law I had torn the sucker off even before I got the checkout counter at Macy's. So I had to wing it.
A good thing about down is that it's almost infinitely compressible. This gigantic satin square, probably 8 feet on each side (it's a King), easily scrunched into a Sears toploader. After waffling back and forth for a minute, I decided on the "Warm / Cold" setting and punched the "ON" button. No softener, extra Tide.
Forty minutes later I pulled a heavy, waterlogged satin bag of feathers out of our washing machine. But...it was clean! There was only the vaguest hint of a rust colored outline where the dog had exploded. I was a happy, happy husband. Even the smell seemed to have run down the drain with the now toxic wash water.
I vaguely recalled hearing warnings over the years about the incompatability of dryers and comforters, but I couldn't remember the specifics. I decided to play it safe though, and use a fairly low setting instead of the usual "Auschwitz" level I typically favored. Oh - and a Bounce sheet for good measure. Nothing worse than a static-y comforter. The timer was set for 70 minutes.
I spent the next hour and ten minutes perusing the daily offerings over at worldsex.com. Then right on time, the dryer buzzed. I hitched my pants back up and headed downstairs. The dryer was still warm to the touch. I opened the door.
Uh....uh-oh. Where...where was the comforter?! All I saw was snow! LOTS of snow. Snow practically pushing out the seams of there dryer, there was so much of it. It spilled out over my feet and covered me to almost to my knees.
On closer inspection it turned out not to be snow, but duck down. Probably 3 or 4 cubic feet of fluffy, white, tiny, weightless duck down. Do you realize how much that is? 3 cubic feet is half a restaurant dumpster.
And behind all that duck down, wadded up against the back of the tumbler, was a limp piece of 8x8 satin cloth.
THAT was the warning about putting down comforters in dryers! Now I remembered!
Well, it was time to call up Damage Control once again. This wasn't actually too bad, as far as my recent disasters go. All I had to do was stuff 4.23 x 10 to the 23rd teensy tiny duck feathers back into a baffled silk envelope. How hard could it be?
It turns out it wasn't hard at all...once I'd ripped open a 4 foot wide seam at one end. By carefully wiggling, shaking and cajoling, I actually achieved a somewhat even distribution in among the baffling. I probably lost about 20% of the feathers to the dryer filter, stuck to the walls, floor cracks, etc. But that wsan't enough to really diminish the comforter as a whole. It took almost an hour's worth of finagling, but at the end I had a pretty respectable facsimile of the pre-poop comforter laid out before me.
Except...it still had a 4 foot long gap where I'd opened the seam. That needed to be fixed, and fast. NewWifey(tm) was due home in about two hours, and I didn't want to have to explain yet another boneheaded maneuver on my part.
Now, I'm not a seamstress. NewWifey(tm) has a nifty Brother sewing machine with all sorts of settings and gadgets, but other than pressing down on the little foot peddle and pretending I'm in a Formula 1 racer, I have no experience with it. I opened the manual, but I knew I'd stand a better chance of translating a text on ancient astronomy from the original Farsi than figure out what bobbin went in what spool before NewWifey(tm) walked in the door.
Time to call on the Universal Adhesive.
Duct Tape. (Hey, what better for duck down?)
Suprisingly (to some, maybe) it worked pretty well. I actually was smart enough to work the tape inside the seam of the comforter and press the opposite seam onto it. That way, nothing showed. I kept a couple of heavy Le Creuset enameled cast iron pots on top for the next hour or so to make sure it had really set. Then, back onto the bed, fluff the pillows, and...back to porn.
I didn't get to see much though, because NewWifey(tm) pulled into the drive probably not 5 minutes later. I'd just made it!
Predictably enough, her first words to me were "Why the hell did you call this morning to ask me if I'd taken a dump on the bed?"
I already had an answer prepared: "Oh, you know my wacky sense of humor, baby! I was just havin' some fun."
She bought it, mostly because she was giddy from her first day as Evil Overlord at work. Power had gone to her head. And her loins too, it seemed.
"I feel so empowered!she said. "Let's fuck. Now." It wasn't a request.
I had no objections. After emerging victorious from my struggle with the pluckings of several thousand baby waterfowl, I was pumped for a Victor's Fuck too. We left the classic trail of clothes behind us as we groped each other all the way to the bedroom. She threw me on top of the comforter.
We bought a king sized mattress when we got married for a reason - because I snore like a Gattling Gun and NewWifey(tm) wants as much distance from me as possible during the night. But there is the added benefit of having a large expanse of playing field under us, allowing for all sorts of exhuberant sport. Plus, it may come in handy if we ever throw a party. If we ever make friends.
Anyway, we made our own party this night. And let me tell you, there is no libido like the libido on a redheaded Irish gal drunk with power. I haven't been used like that since my days at Joliette.
As befitting her newfound title of Office Oppressor, she wanted to be on top. Again, fine with me. My arms were tuckered out from jackhammering all those duckfeathers back in anyway. I just lay back and followed the bouncing balls.
Everything went smoothly for the first 5 minutes or so. I could see that familiar red flush start on NewWifey(tm)'s chest that meant in 30 more seconds, tops, she'd have neighbors phoning the police again. We have noise ordinances in this hamlet.
But then, just as NewWifey(tm) really started to bear down, grunting rhythmically, eyes scrunched shut and breathing rapidly...it started to snow.
NewWifey(tm) stopped, the flush immediately disappearing from her chest and face. (How do women do that? When us guys are that near to Paradise, you could fire a .38 slug into our left eye and we'd STILL finish before flinching/dying. It's evolution - we're gonna pass on our seed no matter what.)
"Why is it snowing in our bedroom?? Wait! That's not snow - it's FEATHERS! What the hell is going on?!"
What indeed. It turns out that - and I'm just guessing here - 350 pounds of combined Italian/Irish flesh bouncing up and down at an ever increasing rate was just too much for that one four foot length of duct tape. On her NewWifey(tm)'s last enthusiastic downstroke, the poor thing finally gave up its tenuous grip on the satin and let breach the dam. 3 or 3 cubic feet of ducky down were once again shot out, probably at about 45 psi. It looked like we were fucking inside a Queen Anne furnished snowglobe.
NewWifey(tm) dismounted, didn't say a word, and walked all aroung the perimeter of the bed. When she spotted the four foot gash with the ragged end of duct tape sticking out she just got dressed, shook some of the feathers out of her hair, and left. I followed her into the kitchen.
"Ok, what happened this time?"
I sometimes despair of her lack of faith. Really, how did she just assume that I had something to do with this? Other than the wisdom of experience, I mean.
Well, I explained the situation as best I could, and to her credit she really wasn't that mad. Probably because I would be the one back at Macy's the next morning forking over another $450 for a baffled, white down comforter. She actually even gave me credit for making it as far as I did without actually shredding the entire thing, which is what she would have thought would have happened if told of my attempt in advance.
Anyway, I'm not actually going to purchase a new comforter until tomorrow, when all the big Memorial Day sales start around here. In the meantime, we have our old light wool blanket, and it's doing an admirable job. And despite the fact that it's not as comfortable or luxurious, it hasn't interrupted NewWifey(tm)'s chest blush even once. We can really get down on it, as a matter of fact.
Hey, lookit this: I just had to make one measely mention of dancingbrave not posting, and she came out of retirement. Talk about power! Not only that, but she was apparently so drunk when she returned that she wrote gracious, actual-sincere-sounding things about me! If I wasn't such a testosterone riddled Manly Man I'd swoon right here into my stack of YM's. Thanks dancingbrave, I haven't felt this flattered since NewWifey(tm) first grudgingly allowed me to be seen in public with her. And thanks to everyone else who stopped by and left her notes, upping the pressure. We all benefit when we coerce as a team.
Ok, I don't mean to throw a wet comforter over the procedings, but I've gotta get some sleep. Perchance to dream of baby ducks.