According to Rita Rudner, bachelors live like bears with furniture. I’ve found this to be true. A quick shout-out to Rita Rudner: She is classy, funny and clean. If you ever get a chance to see her, I guarantee you will laugh a lot.
But back to the bears:
I have known two bachelors in my life who fit Miss Rudner’s description perfectly. One was my brother, the other is my friend Lonnie. Both are wonderful, kind men who would give you the shirt off their back (Oh, no — that is not a pretty sight — put it back on, please!) But they do have their peculiarities. One, which they both shared, is their method of washing dishes. I call it the “fire hose method.” It works like this:
Take all the dishes out of the sink. Turn the water on full blast — all the way. Pick up a dish, hold it under the water to remove any loose food, squirt it liberally with dish soap, rub the dishrag over it, rinse it off and place it in the drainer. Repeat with the next dish. The entire time, the water is gushing out of the faucet at approximately a gallon a minute. Depending on how many dishes you have, you can empty an entire 50 gallon water heater using this method. Imagine — your hot water is always fresh! And — Bonus! — you can also go through about 1/3 bottle of dish washing liquid. No stale dish soap, ever. What a relief.
One of the most fun parts of this method is that as you hose off any scraps, they float down into the garbage disposal and after only a few minutes, the sink begins to fill up with the soapy water with the scraps floating in it since the fun (I guess?) is to see how long you can do this, how many dishes you can wash, and how high the water rises in the sink until you’re forced to flick the switch to activate the disposal. I think my brother once got to within 1/2″ of the top of the sink before he flipped the switch. It’s evidently some kind of weird challenge: Man v. Garbage Disposal.
And another thing — apparently, bears are attracted to hardware. One of the first times Lonnie visited, I asked him to secure the towel rack in the bathroom which had come loose. I showed him my assortment of nails and screws, handed him my bag of screwdrivers and wrenches, and got out of the way. After dumping everything on the dining room table and rooting through the assortment of do-hickeys and whatchamacallits, he informed me he would have to go to Lowe’s for the right screws. I handed over the car keys and saw him several hours later when he came home carrying two large tool boxes and several smaller packages containing various hooks, washers and other unnamed and unknown thingamabobs. Lonnie spent quite a bit of time sorting everything into the proper little compartments and when he finished, the tool boxes were truly a thing of beauty. That night the towel rack was still hanging by a thread, but almost everything a person could need to repair something was neatly sorted and stored and in its own tool box. He fixed the towel rack in the morning. It only took five minutes — all he needed were the right screws.
During his most recent visit, Lonnie did a lot of gardening, cutting back a huge honeysuckle that was, literally, tearing apart my fence, and digging out some plants that had died over the winter when it snowed. Yes, snowed. (Desert plants do not do well in snow, just sayin’.) So, those were gone. And then we went to Lowe’s and picked out a nice, big honeysuckle to fill in the gap in the hedge between my driveway and the neighbor’s junk pile in their driveway. While doing all this gardening, Lonnie found the hose end where you screw in the spray nozzle was somewhat ragged. At first he thought inserting a rubber washer would do the trick, but alas — in neither of those two magnificent tool boxes were there rubber washers. Back to Lowe’s. Unfortunately, that didn’t do the trick, so he went back and got a new coupler (is that the right word?) but then discovered a couple of leaks in the hose — it’s only a couple of decades old, for goodness sake — so after attempting to fix them with heavy tape, I went with him back to Lowe’s and got a brand new hose. What was that? Four trips to Lowe’s in one day? I would say a record, but perhaps for a bear, not really.
In any case, I must say it’s always entertaining. I don’t understand how going to Lowe’s for a washer can occupy three hours, but then, I’m not a bear. But truly, I am grateful for all they and others have done for me over the years. I don’t know how I’d manage without them. OH, and after Lonnie has put in four or five days of work, he then takes me to the Top of the World Restaurant at the Strat as his reward. (Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Next time, for sure.)
(Lonnie, if you’re reading this, please know that nearly every time I turn around, I see something you have repaired or replaced. I SO appreciate you. And please hurry back — the curtain in the bathroom window came crashing down (perhaps because the cat was clinging to it) and I don’t know what to do!)