Coffee heat rising

Dumb Tax: Monster Morning!

Grill, inside-out

Yesterday, after an amazingly hectic day during which I fell off the wagon big time (a glass of wine and two beers!!!), I tumbled into the sack around 10:00 p.m. Weary of awaking at 3:00 a.m., as had happened again in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I dropped an antihistamine hoping to drug myself so as to sleep through the night.

It worked. Didn’t wake up until six.

Stumbled outside to wring out  the dog in the backyard, there to find…a soggy, soggy landscape.

It must have rained all night long. Eighty degrees and the air was just wet. Thick with humidity.

The dog, no fool, refuses to go out. So I have to walk out into the yard trying to coax her (unsuccessfully) to visit the doggy loo. That’s when I notice that…oh yes…

Last night after I marinated and grilled the pound of awe-inspiring prawns I’d nabbed at Costco, I left the grill lid open so the perforated pan that held the shrimp would cool enough for me to wash it. Then, in my exhaustion (not to say inebriation), I totally spaced that I’d done that.

Even when, right before bedtime, I went to let the dog out and found it sprinkling, I failed to recall that the grill was hanging open to the evening skies.


You never saw such a mess in your entire put-together! The drip pan under the burners was overflowing with rainwater and grease. The cast-iron grates, highly rustable, were dripping greasy water into the interior of the grill. Formerly burned-on grease had somehow absorbed water and swelled up into blobs, like greasy puffed wheat. The ignition knob was soaked, as was every other part of the $400 grill. You could hear the meat-eating ants singing, a little squeaky ant chorus, as they danced a jig of joy around the perimeter of Ant City, knowing all this grease was spread across the earth for them to carry home. A gift, no doubt, from the Ant Goddess.

Two hours later…sweat was dripping into my eyes and off the end of my nose, I was drenched with sweat from top to bottom, my shoes were ruined from greasy water and detergent splashing on them, my hands were a wreck (the rubber gloves having died in the last fiasco I had to deal with), and yesterday’s $50 hairstyle was a sad memory.

And the pool was still full of leaves and devil pods.

To enhance the joy of that challenge, the pool needed to be backwashed. The filter was so clogged, the pump couldn’t push water fast enough to mound the leaves and seed pods into discrete piles so they could be sucked up by the hose bonnet. No way Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner could manage all those devil pods: they would choke him to death before he could get halfway across the deep end.

And for more joy enhancement: I shock-treated the pool yesterday, turning it into a puddle of Clorox. This meant I couldn’t even dive into the water this morning to cool off from the hard labor.

Backwashed the pool into the alley, hoping the neighbors would imagine the resulting lake came from the rain. Fortunately, most people don’t go out and about in swampy weather like this.

Recharged the filter. Let the pump run while I fed the dog and…and…yes. Cleaned up the little gift she left under the table, since she wouldn’t go outside into the soggy soggy landscape. Fixed and ate breakfast (mostly coffee, annoyingly decaffeinated). Plodded back out to clean the pool.

The hose bonnet is one of the great unsung inventions of humankind. It vacuumed up about a half bushel of leaves and devil pods. Matter of fact, it cleaned the bottom so well, there was no need to put Harvey back into the pool. Which was good, because he’s allergic to hyperchlorination and shouldn’t be crawling around in there until a shock treatment has dissipated.

Jumped in the pool in spite of the no-no levels of carcinogenic chlorine guaranteed to rot away Harvey’s plastic carapace. This left the skin stinging. Stood under the hot shower for god knows how long, soaking and soaping chemicals off.

The barbecue is now so clean it’s almost good as new. The pool pump is running so efficiently it’s almost silent in its operation.

It is almost noon. And I am going back to bed.

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