Crazed In the Kitchen: Why I Won't Be Doing My Family's Laundry Any More   

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I Won't Be Doing My Family's Laundry Any More

Not long ago, I informed my family that I would no longer be doing their laundry.

No, this is not one of those Lifetime Movie of the Week things about a disgruntled housewife who goes on strike against her ungrateful family. In fact, I don’t really mind being my family’s Head Washerwoman. It’s fairly easy and has immediate results—my kind of chore.

Nope, nope, nope.
However, I won’t be doing it any more.

You see, our washer and dryer are in the garage. The garage is attached to the house, but to get there you have to walk out of the house and about 10 feet through the backyard to the back door of the garage.

No problem, right?

Well, actually, there have always been two major problems with this set-up: Son 1 and Son 2. During the day, I have to leave them briefly unattended in the house if I want to do laundry. Thanks to Murphy’s Laws of Parenting, I know that even if I am gone for literally ONE FREAKIN’ MINUTE, that will be the time that they either try to fight each other to the death or that one of them will attempt to fly from the couch to the coffee table with disastrous results.

So let’s just say I have learned from experience that daytime laundry isn’t worth it.

That leaves laundry for the evening, after my rambunctious darlings have gone to bed. Until recently, this was no problem. I’d throw clothes in the washer, then settle down to watch The Bachelorette, er, PBS.

But then I realized that my backyard at night is a scary and dangerous place.

And so I can’t go out there after dark. Ever. Again.

I learned this a couple of weeks ago when I blithely headed out to do laundry. I heard a noise at the back of my (fairly small) yard, so I peered through the semi-darkness and saw a shape on the brick wall back there. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw it was a HUGE raccoon—like, the size of a golden retriever, at least. (MAYBE a large German Shepherd, even. He was big. BIG.) Anyway, he looked at me, arched his back, and let out a hiss that said, roughly translated, “I will eat you alive and then poop you out all over your laundry if you so much as look at me again.”

So that was the end of laundry for THAT night.

Contemporary legend? Or TOTALLY REAL??
The next night I stayed up late writing. At about midnight, a round of horrible screeching and screaming erupted right outside our front door. It sounded at first like cats, but as it went on it became clear that it was something else. I peeked out the door, but I couldn’t find the source. Eventually, the screaming evolved into enraged chattering that went on for over an hour.  I knew there was just one thing that could be making such a noise: a chupacabra.

OK, yes, I realize that a more rational answer would have been “a raccoon.” I had just seen one in the neighborhood, after all. But it was past midnight, dark and quiet, and my thoughts turned naturally toward this less-likely probability. As the chattering continued into its second hour, I became more concerned. I called animal control.

NO, I did not tell the nice lady who answered that there was a chupacabra outside my house. I may BE crazy, but I don’t like to APPEAR to be crazy. I explained the noise to her and she said, surprisingly, “Sounds like a raccoon to me.”


“Well,” I said, going with this absurd raccoon theory, “could it be injured? It’s making a lot of noise.”

“Is it in the street? Did it get hit by a car?” she asked.

The face of evil
“No,” I replied. “It’s definitely in a tree.”           

“Then it’s not injured,” she said. “Raccoons don’t get injured. They’re way too aggressive. They win every fight they’re in.”



Raccoons don’t get injured??? Like, ever???” I asked.

“Nope!” she answered cheerfully, before informing me that there was nothing she could do about the devil menacing my neighborhood.

This news about raccoons bothered me. I mean, I knew raccoons were mean garbage-eaters, but now I learn that they are actually INVINCIBLE, evil baby-killers? (<--That part is just me extrapolating from the information I have. Seems reasonable.) Nope. Never leaving the house after dark again.

I woke up my husband to inform him of this turn of events re: his dirty clothes, but I didn’t have to say much because just at that moment the raccoon/chupacabra ran screaming right under our bedroom window and over the fence into our backyard. Where it went from there, I don’t know, because I haven’t been out there since.

OK, that’s not wholly true. I did get desperate for clean clothes last night, so I snuck to the garage with my super-beam, heavy duty, could-beat-a-raccoon-off-of-me-if-not-actually-injure-it flashlight. Out of curiosity, I flashed it around the backyard to see what was out. No raccoons. No chupacabras. But the light did shine momentarily on what turned out to be a spider web in a corner. I went to check it out and what did I find? Not much. Nothing, in fact, except for A BIG BLACK WIDOW SPIDER conveniently hanging belly-side-up as if to say, “That’s right! Check out my red hourglass! Just like you’ve seen on Google late at night when you should be sleeping or doing laundry!” If spiders had fingers, this one would have been flipping me off.
Oh, look! A spider! I'll just go check it--aaaaarrrgggghh!

Well, half a can of Raid Flea and Tick Spray (it’s all we had) followed by a phone book squish-and-smear (you know what I mean), and I had taken care of that cheeky spider. But not before it screamed out in spiderese to all its friends and family about what I was doing. (<--Again, extrapolating.) So I think it’s fair to expect that they will all be out and coming to exact revenge on me each night at sunset, along with the super-raccoons.

Which is why I won’t be doing laundry ever again.

photo credit: nal from miami via photo pin cc photo credit: fingle via photo pin cc photo credit: EJP Photo via photo pin cc


  1. Molly, you make my day every time I read. I think you should never do laundry again. That 'alleged' raccoon probably has rabies, right? I'm with you and think it's the chupacabra. I don't like wildlife, or nature, if you will, so I might also advise setting traps for those beasts.

  2. Thank you, Cari! I like wildlife and nature *in theory* but not so much in practice, as it turns out. I'm trying to get my hubby to be as hysterical about all this as I am, but I just can't get him there. Something about how you never hear about black widow bites killing toddlers because it never happens. Harumph.

  3. I think it's time your husband cuts a hole in the wall of your house. The only logical solution to get in the garage without going outside.

  4. That's genius! It's going to the top of the Honey-Do list (note to self: Make a Honey-Do list). Wait--we rent. Do you think that hole will affect our security deposit? ;)

  5. Love your blog design. My washing machine is in the kitchen so no need to trek to do the laundry. Is there any chance of repositioning the machines in your house?

  6. Hell hath no fury like that of a spider scorned...
    You've made the right decision never to do the laundry again.

  7. Oh my gosh, if I saw that spider there would be no phone book smear, I would spray and ruunnnn! yech!

    We decided to camp in our backyard this summer...the night before we did, I heard horrible screaching of an animal in the backyard, lol. Never heard such a thing the whole time we lived here, but the stinking night before camping out there... lol

    Guess it's just Murphy's Law. And we survived. :) Just added that last part in case you decide to brave laundry again. I bet stinky stocks will win out against racoons and spiders. Just guessing... :)

    Cute post!

  8. LOL!! First of all I have set the scene to look like when Elliot had to take out the trash and ET was out there. Girl I am so glad I didn't read this at night. I would most certainly have dreamed about chickawhatevers. And if I were in your shoes, I think I might start going to the laundry mat or either arm myself with something a little bit powerful than a flashlight. ;-) Perhaps those white suits they wore in ET when he was discovered?

  9. I think racoons are cute.... when they are in someone else's yard! I don't even know if I would have had the courage to spray the spider. I would have picked up the nearest rock or stick, threw it at it, then run off screaming. I hate spiders *shivers!*

    Good decision on not doing laundry again. It's definitely a choice I would have made too!

  10. @Dominique: No, sadly, there is no room for the two machines in the house!

    @Pepper: Thanks for your support! ;)

    @Rosey--you are very brave. I would NEVER camp out in my backyard, now that I know what's out there!

    @Kenya: Those white suits from ET are a perfect idea. Think they sell them on Amazon?

    @Theresa: I appreciate the support!

  11. love the blog design!!! I.just.laughed.out.loud.A LOT! Sorry...sort of! Yeah, I think my family would be walkin around in dirty clothes... I can totally relate to how your mind works!

  12. Thank you, Amy! It's not too smelly around here yet... ;)

  13. Having had a showdown with a raccoon in a tent on one memorable, rainy night in Jalama Bay, I would recommend the cessation of all laundry activities henceforth!

  14. That sounds like a nightmare. I"m glad we're all on the same page about laundry. Now if I could just convince my husband...

  15. Your post is hilarious and scary! There are so many things that go 'bump in the night' that I don't blame you one your husband going to do the laundry from now on? Maybe he'll get inspired to move the washer and dryer into the house.

  16. Thank you, Becky Jane! To be honest, my husband usually does his own laundry. Just keeping up with myself and the kids keeps the washer going full time most evenings! (Well, it used to. Not any more, of course.)


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