Eat your vegetables

This weekend I experienced the damaging effects of NOT eating your veggies.

I knew I had to fit in two long training walks this weekend, and Evan and I had also invited a friend over for dinner Saturday, so instead of packing my weekend with the exhausting combo of cleaning a very messy house and fitting in a 15-mile training walk, I decided the Donna Reed work could fit in my very lame Friday night stay-at-home plan.


I quickly set to work cleaning out the fridge in anticipation of a fresh Farmer’s Market bounty. Good thing, because I had a couple containers of barely identifiable leftovers and two storage containers of rotting veggies and hummus that I had packed for snacks at some point over the previous couple of weeks but hadn’t eaten.

Typically, on Sunday evenings I pack my snacks for the week–yogurt and fruit for morning snacks, raw veggies and hummus or an ounce of cheese for the afternoon. Inevitably, I don’t eat it all. I get busy and forget or I’m simply not hungry. Most of the time, I can incorporate those “leftovers” into a salad or a snack on the weekend, but, sadly, sometimes the food goes bad before I can eat it.

Friday night, that came back to bite me in the ass.

My Glad ForceFlex bag* was stocked with trash–the aforementioned moldy leftovers as well as remnants from the cat’s litterbox and at least a week’s worth of coffee grinds and whatever else I’d thrown out that week–some banana peels, the carcass of a lime I used in my water, etc.

The distance between my kitchen and front door is rather long and entails a large flight of carpeted stairs. As I was about to reach for the doorknob I thought “Oooh! I have a free hand. I can also take out some spare boxes to be recycled.”

I should have known better. Mark Bittman posted an article about the ineffectiveness of multitasking that I tweeted earlier in the week. At that moment, I heard a horrible wretching sound. Coming from my trash bag. At first, I thought maybe my cat was coughing up a hairball–you know, it was that sound of a stomach convulsing to empty its contents.

Except it was my Glad ForceFlex bag. Liquids and partial solids were spewing from the bag in a grainy, yellow-ish green fountain. I was horrified. I’m sure one of those deep, slow-mo, gutteral “NOOOOOOOO!”s escaped my lips in the panic that ensued.

It’s was a little like this brilliant scene from Team America: World Police which–coincidence of all coincidences–I watched earlier in the week.

Immediately, I ran down the stairs, foolishly stopping to slip my bare feet into flip flops before navigating the path to the Dumpster in my apartment complex. I retraced my steps back to my apartment to assess the damage before Tweeting the following:

OMG! a week’s worth of coffee grounds + the rotting souls of veggies i didn’t eat just spilled from their Hefty cacoon + vommed on my carpet.

I had a swirly path of coffee grounds and odorous juices that smelled vaguely of cheese, which is odd considering I don’t remember throwing out any cheese. Further proof that food gets new life as trash. It made me wish I was able to start composting.

At that point, my planned dinner of coconut steamed shrimp and mango couscous was on hold since I now needed to set off to Target to find a carpet cleaner. Halfway to Target I realized I never finished putting the cat’s litterbox back together. It was empty and linerless. I found myself praying to God that the cat could hold it and fighting traffic like an anxious dad-to-be with a laboring wife in the backseat. In a further abuse of prayer, I was also pleading with God to make sure Target HAD carpet cleaners as I knew my patience would NOT be able to navigate a Wal-Mart experience.

I miraculously found a parking space close to the store entrance and darted into the store, cursing a wandering kid who almost sent me flying into the greeting card aisle as I sped to the home goods section. I played a game of duck-duck-goose as I tried to identify the machine that would do the trick: vacuum-vacuum-dustbuster-CARPET CLEANER! Except they were out of that model. And the next one. And the one after that was $170. Finally, I found a carpet cleaner meant for spot treatments and identified the appropriate shampoo. Ten minutes and $114 later, I was in my car, heading back to the crime scene.

Side note: It’s always tragic when I leave Target without wandering aimlessly through the purse aisles and office supply section.

At this point, I was feeling better about things. After all, it wasn’t as if I couldn’t afford the steam cleaner. I’ll need one eventually. And the Target trip was delightfully brief.

As soon as I got home, I went to set up the litterbox to avoid any additional unecessary uses of the steamcleaner–and nearly skidded across the laundry room thanks to a wet spot. “Foiled!” I thought, assuming the cat pissed on the floor. But I quickly realized the leak was the size of Lake Michigan and coming from the washer. Again, this is where multitasking comes to bite me in the ass, as I had put in a load of laundry prior to the trash debacle now leaving me with two messes to clean.

Fortunately, the leaky washer helped me clean the kitchen and laundry room floor and the steam cleaner did a great job on the carpet. By 9pm, I had a clean-smelling and straightened-up house and was sitting, exhausted, on the sofa watching TV and eating a frozen Weight Watchers meal. Now, I’ve had time to fully recover and–minus a few leftover dirty dishes from last night’s dinner party–the house is still clean and sparkly.  Despite the happy ending, I have certainly learned my lesson and will think twice before skipping my veggies the next time.

* In my Tweets Friday night, I misidentified this trash bag as a Hefty bag. I was wrong. But perhaps I may try a Hefty bag the next time I have a week’s worth of rotting garbage that needs to be transported across a large carpeted area.




2 responses to “Eat your vegetables

  1. chocolateprn

    Hilarious, I can just imagine the scene.

  2. you can imagine me sitting @ my desk in my house laughing absolutely hysterically as i read this… Only because if i had done something to this standard, you would do the same to me. 🙂

    Now that your kitchen is clean, I think some Tina cupcakes are in order. . . just an idea 😉

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