Guess I should start with an apology to my husband who is finding out this information at the same time as the rest of the world. Honey, it’s not as bad as it looks, and I promise to have it fixed to the best of my ability by the time you get home tonight. Sadly, it may take me about that long.
It all started with a rat. Eeew. Which my husband caught last night (double eeew) while the dogs slept soundly in their memory foam beds and I hid underneath the covers. This morning I walked into the kitchen ready to contend with the harsh reality that a hairy, disease ridden rodent had been cavorting with my fruit bowl under the light of the moon. Every countertop, every baseboard, every visible surface was potentially harboring rat cooties, and before I could even start making the kiddos breakfast I knew I would have to slap on some dish gloves and dip the kitchen in bleach.
Now here’s the thing about that. I’m not a germophobe. I know all about good and bad bacteria, about the over-use of hand sanitizer, about what harsh chemicals can do to our bodies and environments. But rats? That’s BAD bacteria, no matter how you slice it. So I cleared away the cobwebs from the back of the kitchen cabinet and dug out the big guns. Lemon scented Lysol, folks. That old familiar headache-inducing stand-by which I avoid using at all costs, but fell prey to in my moment of weakness.
Before I go any further, I have to tell you the other half of the story. I’m not defending my actions, just squelching any rumors about my natural hair color or IQ from the get go…
Last week hubby was sick and he gave it to our little guy, who then sneezed on me. Apparently I coughed on my other kiddo because now he’s got it too, and there we all were last night, sniffling, sneezing and coughing our way into the wee hours of the morning. Sometime around midnight I realized I was caught in that horrible half-sleep where you know that coughing sucks but aren’t awake enough to get the heck up and do something about it. The thing that finally got me up and over to the medicine cabinet was the awareness that I was probably scaring the rat away with my hacking, and doggone it, I needed that rat trapped and trashed by morning. So I stumbled to the medicine cabinet and reached in, past the Advil, past the homeopathic remedies, into the cobwebs (sensing a theme here?), and victoriously pulled out a box of Nyquil.
For the record, I hate Nyquil. I avoid it like the plague. It makes me shaky and dizzy and drowsy and kind of a bitch. But last night I either forgot about all that or didn’t give a damn. I popped two emerald green beauties and drifted off to sleep.
Fast forward six hours to the kitchen scene, rat germs invisibly taking over my butcher block and all. I’d had a really tough time rolling out of bed, and found myself stumbling into the kitchen, so I knew I was still under the influence. I also knew that there was no way in hell I’d be making my kids lunch on an infested countertop, so I bucked up and got to work. I sprayed down the first counter with Lysol, let it sit for 30 seconds per the label’s instructions, wiped it clean with a wet rag, and dried with a dry rag. I did this for the remaining 3 countertops, and was about to move on to the island when the kitchen table caught my eye.
Now granted, there was no evidence to suggest that our rat friend ever hung out up there, but the chances were good, and I’d be damned if my kids ended up with a rat hair on the their morning bagel. So I sprayed the kitchen table down, followed procedure, and feeling like supermom, walked over to the fridge to get breakfast started. A few minutes later I walked back to the table, plates in hand, and was greeted with this horrifying display:
Honey, if you are having a panic attack right now I assure you it is nothing compared to the one I had when I realized I would have to tell you what I did. Like I said, it’s pretty much fixable, see:
That black(ish) spot in the bottom right corner is where I scrubbed with a super tough dish brush, and voila, just like new(ish)! I am currently going to deny the possibility that my vigorous scrubbing may also remove any lacquer or varnish along with it. I’m still high on Nyquil and not ready to face reality.
The kicker is that I know full well that Lysol is only for non-porous surfaces. It says right on the label not to use it on wood. But I never hesitated for a second, just happily sprayed a fine mist of wood destroyer onto our black kitchen table. Which now appears to be growing a fine layer of mold.
But can I really be held responsible under circumstances like these? (Anyone willing to agree with me in the comments section will be rewarded with the knowledge that you are helping to sustain my marriage. Thanks in advance.) Sorry hubby. Sometimes that whole “reasoning and logic” thing is lost on me. Especially when I’m under the influence.
I’m off to start scrubbing now. Wish me luck, and somebody please tell me I’m not the only one?!