How can you tell that your family is back from their vacation? Your garbage cans are empty and your dog is preg----Wait a minute! That's not right. That's how you know a Frenchman has been in your backyard, according to Teddy DuChamp in Stand By Me the movie, or in The Body the novella, thanks to that witty Stephen King.
You can tell that your family is back from their vacation because there's a pile of dirty dishes beside the sink, a black trash bag full of dirty clothes on the floor in front of the washer, and a crack in the glass of your cell phone. Stand clear, cell phone. I have no interest in you today. We're dealing with the audacity of dopes.
I am not surprised that The Pony expects me to do his laundry. At the tender age of 15, being so busy avoiding driving lessons and putting away his new permit laying on the kitchen table, more than likely expecting me to blenderize his favorite food of chicken strips with a cup of ketchup and spoon the mush down his throat while he plays computer games, he is not yet ready for self-laundry.
The #1 son has a few short weekends before he's off to college. You'd think he would be leaning over my shoulder from detergent scoop to dryer sheet, observing, telling me I was doing it wrong. Girls don't make passes at boys who smell like...Never mind. He has a girlfriend already.
Farmer H is the one who got my goat. He cleverly combined The Pony's dirty clothes with his own. Even though they each had their own suitcase. No mesh laundry bag or traveling canvas hamper for Farmer H. A black Hefty tall kitchen bag will do. You know. Because it's airtight. And it absorbs the sun's rays as it lays in the back of a Pacifica in North Carolina in July. Those anaerobic bacteria must have been havin' a hoppin' shindig inside those dark, impenetrable walls.
The #1 son at least had the decency to dump his dirty clothes in the home laundry basket upon arrival. I washed them forthwith this a.m. But I could not find any clothing for The Pony. I admit, the thought briefly flitted through my mind that The Pony wore the same outfit for five days. I called downstairs to him. "Pony! Are your clothes in that black trash bag?"
"And Dad's, too?"
"Well, you're coming up and sorting them out, because I'm not digging in there."
The Pony's method was to reach a hand into the neck of the bag, much like a soft-sided game of Feely-Meely, and pull out an object of clothing. If it was his, he handed it to me to put in the washer. But if it was Farmer H's tighty-whities, or socks, or even a shirt, he dropped it back in. Seriously? I thought he understood the law of probability better than that. Like brother, like brother. Same as #1 reaching for a short fork in the dish drainer, and putting back every utensil until he finally snagged Shorty.
"I though you would just dump them out in a pile, and then put yours in the washer, and Dad's back in the bag."
"Oh. I can do that." Except he was putting Farmer H's single items in the bag every time he grabbed one, wrestling with the opening.
"How about you hand me yours, and put Dad's in a pile? Then I'll hold the bag for you while you dump in the pile."
Perhaps I've mentioned that Farmer H has done his own laundry since refusing to deposit his dirties in the clothes basket shortly after our marriage ceremony. I'm not one to pick up the soiled underwear of others from the floor. He made that decision, and has lived with it for nigh on 24 years. Don't think it's such a hardship. He has a uniform service for work clothes, so he can easily go a month or more before washing his weekend casuals. And yes, he has a month's worth of underwear.
Now Farmer H was trying to trick me into indentured laundritude. But you'll notice that he STILL did not put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Something even an 18-year-old can be trained to do. I refused to reach into the Hefty bag. Life-with-no-parole inmates may drink institutional hooch out of there, but I'm not sticking my hand into whatever's been brewing.
I'd sooner go elbow-deep in a box of Auction Meat.