Before Biogirl went to grad school, she lived in this apartment. We called it PinkDick. The reason for that was that the apartment she lived in before that was a weird tan color, and when we really looked at that color, somehow it reminded us of the color of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. You know the color I mean, right? It’s like a tanned Barbie, but smudgy. So we called that apartment TanDick. When she moved, she moved into an apartment that was built in the 50s and had one of those pink bathrooms that were so popular then. It also had pink elements in the kitchen. Thus, PinkDick was born.
Listen, it sounds perfectly reasonable if you were there.
When she lived in PinkDick, it was discovered that the walls in that apartment building were pretty thin. Thus, we got to hear her neighbor who lived upstairs from her. This person seemed to do one of three things whenever she was home at night. These were, in order from most frequent to least frequent (but all of them pretty dang frequent):
1. She vacuumed. A lot. A whole lotta lot.
2. She ran on a treadmill. Again, a lot.
3. She made a sound that can only be described one way. You know when you are taking a bath, and you sit in your tub, and you scoot down or back, and you bare buttockal area sort of skids on the bottom of the tub, and it makes a low pitched squeaky sound? This lady was apparently taking a lot of baths and scooting around because she made that sound OMG SO MUCH.
We concluded from this that this lady did nothing but vacuum. On the off chance that she wasn’t vacuuming, she was running. And if there was any time leftover from any of that, she got her scoot on in the bathtub. We called her Booty Skidmore because of it. Well, mainly because of the bathtub thing.
We realized that she might have had some sort of OCD issue, because how could someone possibly only do these three things so much of the time? We also realized that diagnosing someone at all, much less through an apartment ceiling, probably wasn’t the smartest thing in the world to do, so we stopped that. We also realized that perhaps the sounds were not at all what we thought they were and perhaps she was doing things far less weird than we could have imagined. Maybe it wasn’t a vacuum cleaner. Maybe it was a power tool and Booty was creating glorious works of art in there. We didn’t know. One never knows in these sorts of situations.
Hey, remember my yard? The one that was total Jumanji time when we moved in? The front yard is still looking sort of sad, but at least it is cleaned up and the plants and trees are healthy and not trying to strangle each other. The backyard though, is still Jurassic Park-ish. I really don’t have a lot of interest in going out there and cleaning that shit up, to be perfectly honest. Not because I don’t like doing that sort of thing (well, maybe a little bit because of that), but more because it can feel overwhelming. Also, we have lots to do on our house and that backyard has just not been a priority so far. So there could be orangutans and yeti back there for all I know.
My friend K8’s daughter L is on break from collegiating herself and it came to my attention that she was looking for odd jobs. Hi L, meet my backyard. It is odd. I will gladly pay you should you want to stage dive into that mess and not drown in greenery. What do you say?
She said yes. And she showed up on Saturday, and she started to work, and it was glorious- GLORIOUS- to be in my house getting other stuff done while she wrassled the brambles.
As Nordic Boy and I left to go to the store, I left L with a key to our house, so she could use the bathroom, or get some water, or take a break, whatever. “Hey, just so you know, we started our robot vacuum cleaner, so don’t be alarmed if you go into the house and it’s running around in there,” I warned her. I don’t know why. Who would be scared by a robot vacuum cleaner? Jeez.
On Sunday, she came back again. We left to go out to lunch, and again, I left her the key. As I was leaving, I remembered that the vacuum cleaner had been grumpy the day before (ok, maybe it’s busted) so I better try that again. I set it to on, and then left.
When I came back later that afternoon, the robot vacuum cleaner had gone totalmente kaput. It had cleaned up half the house and then decided to stop right in the middle of everything. Sheeyot.
So, I hauled out our big upright vacuum cleaner, plugged it in, and vacuumed the house myself. Who needs robots? Screw robots.
As I was vacuuming, I happened to look up and see L out the window, working away. This is when it dawned on me. Yesterday, I had warned her about the robot vacuum cleaner. Today, when she came into the house while we were gone, she probably saw the vacuum cleaner running again. And now, she could clearly see that I was vacuuming the house myself, AGAIN. Two days in a weekend, and she has witnessed three vacuuming attempts. Oh, Booty Skidmore, if only you could see how the tables have turned.
Next time L comes over, I am going to make as many squeaky bathtub sounds as humanly possible.