Gone, Baby, Gone

First, make sure to check out Natalie’s story over at Project:Purse and Boots. Learn wow shiny sequins can enhance your fantasy life.

Second, a loving thank you to Mama P over at Keeper of the Penguins for bestowing upon me The Versatile Blogger Award. I am so happy that she chose to pass this honor on to me that I am not going to deduct any points for the fact that this week she set her vacuum on fire.

The same, however, cannot be said for me. (About the points, not the setting on fire of vacuums.)

You may recall that I have been sitting for the past two weeks on a robust +48 Martha Points for all my work on Himself’s 50th birthday party. That’s a pretty comfy buffer between me and negative numbers.

Or so I thought.

Warning: The following post is not for the faint of heart nor the meek of spirit. Consult your physician before reading. This installment of In Pursuit of Martha Points is not recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant, men who are considering careers in animal husbandry or people who think it’s wrong to kick puppies. Please consult your own attorney or legal representative before reading. In Pursuit of Martha Points is not responsible for any nausea, vomiting, oogies, willies, or creepy-crawly sensations as a result of reading. In Pursuit of Martha Points is not a licensed distributor of medical advice, housekeeping advice, parenting advice, which sibling you should invite to Thanksgiving after one totals the other’s car advice, or any advice that might influence the way you think, reason, breathe or sort socks.

I’m going to tell you a story. A story of domestic turpitude so bad, so vile, that it matters not one whit that I spent the weekend cleaning, doing laundry, making pot-luck dishes, photographing a friend’s birthday party, or hemming 18 feet of taffeta on Child A’s choir dress. By hand.

No. None of those things can dig me out of this hole.

You’ll believe me in a moment.

It started with a toy. A little ball bearing magnet toy that we got for Child A when we went to Carmel. Interestingly, the boy children got t-shirts, while the girl child got a science toy. That’s how things sometimes go in our house. The ball bearing magnet toy has 216 ball bearings. Yes, 216. Now, they’re pretty powerfully magnetized and so they stick together, but two of them got lost and we were hunting around the kitchen and family room looking for them. Cause hunting for two 5mm ball bearings in 220 square feet of living space is a fun thing to do on a Saturday night.

We found one ball bearing stuck to the fridge. Child A said, “Oh, I was swinging the chain and they must have been attracted to the fridge!”


So, hypothesizing that where there was one there might be the second, we started hunting around the fridge. Himself, thinking – not irrationally – that one might have rolled UNDER the fridge, pulled the fridge away from the wall to look.

I was prepared for dust. I was prepared for grime. I was not prepared for what we found.

Himself knelt down and stared at the brown, rough lumps under the fridge. Perplexed he said, “What is that?”

Warning: This is where you should if, at all possible, stop reading. Unless you are OCD like me and CAN’T stop once you’ve started, in which case I suggest you have a phone with 911 on speed dial handy. And if you CAN stop now, go right ahead. Click over to something that is less likely to disturb you. Like LiveSurgeryWhileYouWatch.com.

I couldn’t quite make out what was on the floor. It looked like shredded cardboard. My first thought was, “Crap, there’s a mouse getting under the refrigerator.”

Oh no, not a mouse. I would have been happy with a mouse. THRILLED.

I got down on the floor and peered at the fuzz.

No, not fuzz…not shredded cardboard.


Wee little squirmy bugs.


We then did the traditional Dance of Wigging Out in Disgust.

Then we vacuumed. And sterilized. And emptied the vacuum. And sterilized again. And sprayed vinegar all over EVERYTHING (which made us all vaguely hungry for fish and chips) and wiped and scrubbed and cleaned and wiped and scrubbed.

Then we all bathed in turpentine.

I’m thinking that that’s probably a -50 point hit right there.  No explanations. No rationalizations. If you end up with bugs breeding unbeknownst to you under your refrigerator, you take your lumps.

Or in this case, you lose your points.

I now sit in humiliated (but bug-free) disgrace at -2 Martha Points.



Filed under Domestic Disgrace, Point Assignment

45 Responses to Gone, Baby, Gone

  1. oh ugh!

    We were supposed to clean behind our fridge this weekend but for one reason or another never got around to it. Those would be different than the reasons that came up the previous weekend, or the weekend before that or the past 6 years of weekends..

    Now I really am going to have to insist we clean behind the fridge this coming weekend

    • In a past life (the one that existed before Saturday) I would have said, “For heaven’s sake – no one looks under there, forget under the fridge!”

      I will never ever say that now.

  2. KLZ

    See this? This is why I will always be a crappy housewife?

    Moving the fridge to clean under it? Would never occur to me. Now I am afraid of my entire house. Hold me?

  3. Pop

    Wife and I once forgot about onions we left in the pantry. We kept adding new stuff in front of the onions so they were forgotten. I began to notice a foul odor whenever we entered our house – right by the pantry. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from but it was faint, so we shrugged it off/ We went on vacation for a week in the summer and when we got home, the foyer smelled like the biggest stank ass you’ve ever smelt in your life.

    I HAD to find the source and when I did, I nearly vomited. The onions went beyond moldy and turned brown and began to drop stank ass juice all under the baseboards.

    So in your estimation, how many points would that be? I mean, it was so bad, bugs wouldn’t even eat it.

    • Hmmm…yuck so bad even the bugs wouldn’t eat is tempting, but…it’s really the presence of the bugs that makes this so horribly, devastatingly, disgustingly bad.

      So I think that’s a -30 point hit at best.

      Try harder next time.

  4. Oh, sweet god, sister woman. That’s so disgusting.

    I’m doing the squicky chair dance right now.

  5. liz

    Whoa. I can’t believe you shared this, being OCD and all.

    What does turpentine do for your complexion?

  6. I am now terrified about what lurks behind my stove.
    Winter will do all the crawlies in right? RIGHT??

  7. Ehem… Those magnet balls… are these the same ones that the geek and Kaefer play with all the time? That you could pronounce as “buggy balls”… From now on, they are no longer allowed to play with them in the kitchen.
    That’s not the appropriate approach?

  8. Urge to bathe in kerosene rising…

  9. i just threw up in my mouth. partly from this post and party from wondering what is under our appliances. oops…just typing that made me gag again.

    • I cannot TELL you how madly I had a case of the oogies after all that.

      It was….ugh…ergh…blech..

      I need new letters to adequately write the necessary words.

      The sounds we made cannot be duplicated with standard English graphical representation.

  10. Have you checked under the stove? Just saying.

  11. At our house?

    The refrigerator is on roller skates or something, because the girls regularly end up pulling it out into the room as they search through the shelves for a snack.

    And then I push it back.

    But not too far.

    Anything that lives under the fridge?

    Needs to stay hidden.


    • Ours is on wheels, but…I – apparently – have not made use of them since we moved into the house.

      And frankly, I’m thinking my life would be better if I just never looked under there again.

  12. the disclaimers are killing me!

    Really? bugs over mice? that is a close call. all gross and wigging out is definately necessary. *shiver* Ok, yes bugs under fridge…ewwww!

    • I can deal with a mouse better than I can deal with creepy crawlies.

      I mean, I can deal with anything if I have to (as long as it is not a flying, stinging thing), but yes, I can actually do the furry creepy crawlies better than the squirmy (or many legged) creepy crawlies.

  13. Ha! I’m like Kristin. The first thing I thought was, “Crap. What’s under/behind MY refrigerator?” I don’t want to know.

    Turpentine’s gotta be bad for your skin, and if I can’t blog it, I don’t want to do it.

    I do think you deserve +1/2 point, though, for taking care of it. You could’ve just moved the fridge back and pretended like it never happened. That’s gotta be worth SOMETHING.

    • I considered it, but…I just couldn’t give myself points for forcing myself to deal with the disaster I LET HAPPEN in the first place.

      Although, to be fair, I believe it was something that the kids spilled (it looked like cocoa or Quick) that attracted the buggies in the first place.

      So I at least have that.

  14. What kind of stupid bugs breed under a refrigerator? Geez. If I were a bug, that’s so not where I’d hang!

    • I think they were a moth (in squirmy state), and I only think that because I’d noticed a few around and gone…what the heck? Who’s leaving the screen door open?

      I now don’t think that’s where the problem came from….

      But, no…if you were a bug there’d be LOTS better places to be.



  15. So, totally excited I didn’t lose any points.

    but then I read about the buggies. that is yuck as my 3 yr old likes to say. I’d be screaming right out of my house. I too, am very OCD. At least when I’m not setting the vacuum on fire.

    • I actually laughed when I wrote that into the post.

      I have never managed to set a vacuum on fire.

      And I’m typically pretty talented that way.

      • I’m not totally sure how I managed to do it either. I guess it was just part of a bad week, the washer also broke, and the coffee table, and a few other crap-tastic things.

  16. Lizzie

    But what kind of bug?. I mean we get the ant attacks on a regular basis. (I swear there’s an ant hill in the wall) Because I wouldn’t take away points for that. I mean there are just some pests you can’t control until you know they are there

    I’m just proud of you for taking care of it!

    • Not ants. Ants attack the house on a regular basis. I am emotionally prepared to deal with ants.

      These were disgusting little squirmy things that I THINK are turning into moths.

      And we did take care of it…wigging out and making disgusted noises the whole time, but still…

  17. I completely understand your wigging out. Once, I had a bug infestation behind a dishwasher where all the crumbs would fall. Just about went stark raving mad over it.

    In fact I’m getting hives over the memory.

    The fish and chips sounded good though. Did you ever have some?


    • I can do ants. I can totally do ants. But squirmy bugs?? UGGHHH!!!

      And no on the fish and chips. It was late, and by the next day the aroma of vinegar had dissipated and we weren’t hungry for them any more.

    • There was too much freaking-outage for anyone to get the camera.

      Plus..ICK. I would like to wipe the entire experience from my memory and you’re bemoaning the lack of a record for posterity!

  18. Under the refrigerator?

    Under it?

    Oh no. I haven’t seen under my refrigerator since I got it-two years ago.


    Do I dare look?

    How can I dare NOT to look?

    Do you have any spare turpentine?

    Maybe we can have some fish and chips together afterward (so I have something to look forward too).

    *looking for my Hazmat suite* and *heading toward the refrigerator*

  19. Ok, that was pretty disgusting! The one advantage of having my refrigerator keep breaking is that I am constantly cleaning out from underneath it. So there have been no big surprises recently.

  20. I have a hideous – HIDEOUS – story about bugs that will leave you scratching your skin off. It’s so bad, I can’t share it here. I think will be a forthcoming post. You’ve inspired two of those in one day, so I think that could be worth one point each, and then you’d be even again?

  21. Oh man….I did almost call 911, but then curiosity got the best of me and I soldiered on through your post. A mouse would have been just fine, maybe even a wee bit cute. But bugs?! Oh, hate them. You have to get some awesome points for all of the clever ways you came up with to sterilize and get rid of them, don’t you think?

    And thanks for not finding the camera.

    Oh, and the once yearly that I seem to remember to pull out my fridge? Disgusting. Many, many points are deducted.

  22. Pingback: Pitiful Points « In Pursuit of Martha Points

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