Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Out of the Closet

I was lying in the recliner staring at the television praying for a comet to hit my house. I had stomach flu. I had my little companion on my lap and I started wondering if other houses possessed such an item. It is an old pan, quite worn and not good for much, but perfect for one thing, which is why we keep it around. It even has a name. The Barf Pan. For times you may not make it to the other room, or for placing on the night stand of a sick child. Then, in my state of semi-delirium, I started thinking about other things that most houses probably have. Here is my short list.

1. The Junk Drawer. There are several versions of this drawer, but I believe most kitchens have at least one. Ours contains keys, flower seeds, manuals to various appliances, restaurant menus, random coupons (I can almost see Lois cringing), and a device that will make our neighbors' security alarm stop if it goes off (again) during the day when he is working 30 miles away and she is in court (she's an attorney, not a serial felon).

My desk junk drawer currently holds key chains, batteries that are probably dead, a large white feather, scraps of paper with names and numbers of people I don't remember why I have their names and numbers, three old cheapo calculators, some orange rubber ear plugs, about a hundred pens and pencils, a button that says I Am Loved and another that says Minnesota for Bush/Cheney '04. Don't ask, I don't remember.

2. The Coat Closet. Near the front door, for guests to hang their coats (preferable to piling them on the bed, especially if they are overnight guests). Ours has coats, boots, hats, mittens, scarves, a vacuum cleaner and a Bissel steam cleaner. Because we don't have an appliance closet.

3. The Junk Closet. Randomly placed in a hallway somewhere. Because bedrooms have clothes closets and bathrooms have linen closets, there has to be somewhere else for your other junk. Like board games, old towels, a couple of boxes of art supplies that are on the bottom and you have to move a mountain of crap to get to, a sleeping bag, a small tent and an AeroBed. The AeroBed would actually fit into the tent. But if you were out where you needed a tent, there would be no electricity to fill it. You could fill it and put it in the back of the van to haul it. But if you had an AeroBed in the back of the van, why would you take the time and trouble to put up a tent? I'm just saying. But I digress.

4. The Cookie Sheet/Pan That Won't Come "Clean." You buy a cookie sheet or some sort of pan, you use it, you wash it. It gets brown stuff. You put it in a dishwasher where the temperatures are the same as the surface of the sun, it's still not all shiny and new. I fail to comprehend this. When we lived in Duluth, Lois brought us one of her ridiculously delicious rhubarb pies, which was in a cake pan. One night for supper, I pulled out a pan and cooked some meat or other in it. After supper, we finished off the rhubarb pie. I washed dishes and then decided to take Lois' pan back to her. Except I couldn't tell it apart from mine because it was the same size, shape, had the same handles, and the same brown-ness in the same places. So I took both pans over and guess what? Lois couldn't tell them apart, either. I don't know if we ended up with our biological pan babies or not, but every time I use that pan, I think of her. Which is always a good thing.

Here's to never needing your barf pan.


Anonymous Lois said...

I'm trying to figure out why I brought you a pie in a cake pan!!! Should I tell you the pan is clean since we've gotten a dog?!!! You hit the nail right on the head about cake pans looking yukky--Ive given up trying to get them to look like new. But you already know that, since my pan matched yours!!!I'm so sorry you have the flu---get better real quick, please!!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

lois - It was more like a rhubarb crisp thing. You gave me the recipe, but I could never make it taste as good as you did. I'm done with the flu, thanks! I woke up this morning with an insatiable craving for house cleaning. What the hell kind of flu is this?

8:46 PM  
Blogger Mooselet said...

A friend of mine once told me you could get those nasty pans clean by using oven cleaner. Never tried it, but nice to know I'm not the only one with grotty pans.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

mooselet - I may have to try that since I'm on a cleaning frenzy anyway. Grotty, I like that word!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Harmonica Man said...

I dream of having a junk drawer... instead of the 5 we currently have!

I suffer from the "not being able to throw anything away" syndrome. I think I got it from Lois. Charli doesn't though so it's a good thing I don't know what she tosses.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

h-man - You should thank Charli. If it weren't for her, you'd be up to your eyes in crap. Er . . . junk.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous jess said...

I remember the junk drawers in Duluth and Pond Creek, too. For some reason it seems like when we move, we just put the junk from the drawers into a box and then put it back in new drawers when we reach our new home. Am I wrong here? Maybe that's just me.. But about the Barf Pan, I actually made one of those at Stuart's house last weekend. Of course, his roommate wasn't nearly as understanding as he was when I went to clean it. It went something like this: "Ooh, what'd you make??" "It's filled with vomit, Jake." "EWWWW OH MY GOD GROSS GET IT AWAY FROM ME!!!" (Keep in mind please that Jake is 20 years old.) So maybe the Barf Pan only works without embarrassment at home with my Mommy.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Mom Thumb said...

jess - You're right, the contents of the junk drawer seem to get packed together and unpacked into a drawer in the new house. And yes, the barf pan prevents cleanups on carpets, sheets, etc., which is good, but you pretty much have to keep it away from people.

8:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home