I was washing a dish in my kitchen sink which, for the record, is a lot more sanitary than washing it in the toilet. When I was done and ready to place the wet dish back in the cupboard, for I am way too lazy to dry it with a dishcloth, the little bugger slipped out of my hand and smashed on the floor. I looked at the shattered plate in silence for a few seconds and then thought to myself, “Man, I didn’t need to wash that then.”
On a subsequent day, I was screwing around in my refrigerator when I knocked over this open cup of homemade salad dressing consisting of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and residual toilet water. While the sanitation lesson I revealed in the first paragraph still holds valid, if your sink is overfilled with dirty dishes and silverware and your bathroom sink is filled with used dental floss and snotty tissues that wound up there when you were aiming for that little foofoo waste basket you keep in the crapper but because you haven’t played any eye-hand coordination sports since grade school you aim is kinda crappy, you have to make due with whatever water source is available.
Since the salad dressing cup was on the top shelf in the back, it spilled the brown, sticky, vinegary substance all over the rear of the bottom shelf, which would have required removing things in order to get to. Rather than immediately running for the paper towels, or one of the used tissues in my kitchen sink, I reflected like the sculpture The Thinker, only I didn’t sit down and rest my head on my closed fist, although I suppose that is as comfortable place as any to rest your head.
I thought that what is important is to be like a mouse in a maze, placed there by his human abuser because the natural habitat of a mouse is in garbage, NYC subways and my apartment and not mazes, for God’s sake, and learn from your experiences so you can get the cheese, or whatever is held out in front of you on a string to motivate you into action.
“Last time I washed a dish it broke. I’m not cleaning up this mess.”
Within a couple of weeks the refrigerator man came to deal with a problem I was having with the old gal. The last time he was over I was complaining that she wouldn’t get cold and my food was going bad. He said, “Have you tried closing the door?” I said, “Dude, it gets hot in this apartment at night with those NYC radiators blasting away! Do you have any other suggestion?” This time he was not so flippant with me.
“This refrigerator needs to be replaced.”
Immediately I thought of how I had faced adversity in the form of the slippery dish turned foot hazard, and “paid it forward” with a lesson: I didn’t waste any expenditure of energy washing the dirty refrigerator after the Exxon Valdez dressing mishap. Had I washed the refrigerator and within the month been told that I was getting a new fridge I would have probably cursed and screamed like a little girl hired for a Hollywood blockbuster film as the little cursing and screaming girl.
But now I was beaming like a cat who caught one of the mice that live with me and was holding him hostage using “enhanced interrogation techniques” until he squeaked where the rest of the mouse family was storing their cheese. I think this illustrates the old adage:
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T CLEAN IT OUT
I’m not sure if that is an old adage. It might be a new adage. But clearly it is one filled with the wisdom of a Buddha and destined to be in a sequel to that book he wrote, the Bible or Koran or what have you.
This adage could soon find itself wrinkled and gray, sitting side by side with other fellow old adages like, “If there’s grass on the infield—play ball!” shooting the shit about their youth before all the fame and paparazzi, back to their humble beginnings when they were working in kitchens as dish washers and occasionally having one of those slippery bastards slide through their fingers like a carp when hand fishing in a shallow lake…
If he plays his cards right. I hope he does. Nothing sadder than a washed out adage that never amounted to nothin’.