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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

If I Ever Stop Posting, You’ll Know Where to Find Me

I don’t think of myself as a paranoid person, really. I don’t think people are ‘out to get me’, or that there’s ‘danger around every corner’. And I only barely ever hear disembodied voices. No, really. What? Stop looking at me that way.

Anyway, I don’t do a lot of worrying. But something occurred to me yesterday, as I was trudging down to the basement with a load of dirty towels:

I’ve only got so many trips down those stairs without slipping all the damned way down.

That’s a bit unsettling, I’ve got to tell you. But I took a long, objective look at it, and it’s true — sooner or later, I’m taking a header down the basement stairs. I considered the relative slippiness of the stairs, and the fact that I often have laundry in my arms blocking my view when I climb down. And finally, I came to terms with the fact that I’m a generally off-balance, often dizzy klutz. And that was the kicker — one day, I’m gonna miss a step and *bippity-boppity-bumpity-boopity-splat* to the bottom. It’s inevitable, really.

And the thing is, I’ll forget all about this revelation. See, as long as I remember that I might kill myself on the stairs one day, then I’ll be careful. But I’m also easily distractable — so I can see what’s going to happen. One day, I’ll careen through the door to the stairs, rushing to grab some laundry or retrieve a screwdriver or hit the secret liquor stash I keep down there, and I’ll forget how narrow and steep and slickery the stairs are, and that’ll be it. When I wake up, I’ll be sprawled at the bottom, covered in cobwebs and dust and dirty towels. If I wake up at all. Yow.

Now, immediately, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable excuse for never, ever doing laundry ever again. Not that I wouldn’t want to do laundry, you understand — you reading this, honey? It’s just that I might die doing laundry some day, and I just can’t picture myself going out like that. In a fiery car crash, sure. Or pushed out of a window at work — that’s just a matter of time, too, really. I’ve even worked out one rather complicated scenario where I die under a pile of rotting kangaroo carcasses. But doing the frigging laundry?! Nah. That shit don’t get you into Valhalla. I’m not having it.

My wife, of course, isn’t buying it. She doesn’t see the imminent danger I’m in — and anyway, she’s none too happy that I’d put her life at risk by making her wash all the clothes.

(To which I say: ‘claptrap‘! Because she isn’t the clumsy drooling douchebag that I am. There’s way less chance that she’s ever going to fall down those stairs, no matter what happens. She could do the damned limbo down there, one stair at a time, and be just damned peachy. I could breathe wrong, and bam — I’m at the bottom, and making sure all my limbs are still screwed on the right way. It’s not frigging fair, dammit!)

So, anyway, I’m still on the hook for traipsing down there a couple of times every week or so — it’s my job to get the laundry started, and then the wifey will swoop in later to finish the drying and carry the clothes upstairs for folding. It’s a fine system, with plenty of sharing and equality and shit — except for the damned deathtrap gauntlet I’ve got to run to do my fricking job. Where’s the ‘fair’ in that, I ask you? And are dislocated limbs really worth fluffy soft towels and a couple of pairs of clean jeans? I think not. I’m perfectly happy living in filthy squalor, if it’s gonna save my life. Hey, call me crazy. I’m just saying.

Permalink  |  4 Comments

4 Responses to “If I Ever Stop Posting, You’ll Know Where to Find Me”

  1. Dawn says:

    I think there’s a good chance of me dying that way as well!! If my clumsiness doesn’t do it, my cats doing figure 8s around my ankles while I’m going down the steps will.

  2. SilverBubble says:

    My basement stairs are trying to kill me. They slope downward and to the left and are very slippery. Plus they aren’t exactly… stable. Someday I’m either going to fall on my ass and roll down the stairs or send my foot through a board, tip over, and break something.

    And why would you want to go to Valhalla, anyway?

  3. zoot says:

    I’m as clumsy as they come Charlie. Take this advice from a girl who has fallen down the stairs (and more often up them) than I’d like to admit. Your arms are very important in stopping your fall. Sacrafice the towels.. throw THEM down the stairs if you start to fall, and grab on to the nearest banister you can find (the wall works too).

    You know, you could also save yourself the trip (and fall) and throw the laundry to the bottom of the stairs and then walk down empty handed so that you can watch the stairs as you descend. You could even play games like.. which article of clothing will fall the farthest?.. let people place bets, etc… grin

  4. #Debi says:

    Two words–laundry chute.

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