I was going to call this one ‘Waterworld,’ because, much like that film, this incident involved water and sucked … but at least ‘Waterworld’ had Jeanne Triplehorn in it, which makes it way better than the colossal screw-up I pulled this weekend

Subtitle: That one time Bossy almost ruined my house even though she’s never been to my house and was actually about 2,000 miles away when this incident occurred, but still…

“Daddy, I took my socks off,” Jayna announced as I exited my office and saw her at the other end of the hallway. (I’m big on making the kids wear socks around the house when it’s cold out, because, as everyone knows, the single greatest factor in determining whether or not a child falls prey to illness is whether or not that child keeps his or her feet covered with 2 millimeters of cotton, am I right? Which is why I feel it’s totally worthwhile to fight with my children about it every morning, day in, day out, each time seemingly the first that I’ve ever expressed to them this cumbersome demand.)

“Why did you take your socks off, honey?” I asked while looking at the little pink-and-white clumps on the floor near her feet.

“Because they were wet,” she answered.

“They were wet?” I asked, taking a couple more steps toward her. “How did they get —”

And then I saw it. And then I remembered.

OH. FUCK. (And I promise you, that is not a gratuitous use of profanity. In fact, it’s rather subdued, given the situation — as you’ll soon learn.)


I was only going to be in my office for a moment. A second, really. Just long enough to, you know, check for that potentially life-changing email or tweet that I apparently believe is going to arrive any minute now, surely it is, because why else would I suffer from a compulsion that forces me to return to my office and check my email and Twitter every other minute?

And thank goodness I did check, because, had I not spent several minutes scrolling through all of the latest tweets and clicking on the various links contained therein, I might have missed this crucially important communication from Bossy

… and its equally important accompanying photo …

… which, clearly, called for my immediate attention:

Phew. Good thing I got right on that. Now, what was I doing before I came in here? Because I distinctly recall doing something. Hmmm …

“Daddy, I took my socks off” …



The wet thing Jayna stepped in? That would be Lake Scratches, a manmade body of water that had formed on the kitchen floor while I was in my office doing Important Business. And for those of you who aren’t geography buffs: Lake Scratches is fed from the north by Scratches Falls … which, on this particular morning, was cascading in grand sheets over the edge of the kitchen counter and down the cabinets thanks to the douchetastic moron who had placed in the drain of the kitchen sink a stopper and then left the water running so that the baking sheet upon which his wife had cooked last night’s chicken could soak for a bit … and we all know who that douchetastic moron is, right?

You know what I can’t stand? I can’t stand when people do Really Stupid Shit.

But you know what I really, really can’t stand? I really, really can’t stand when the person doing the Really Stupid Shit is me.

“Oh no!” I said, barely suppressing the far more fitting profanity-laden tirade that the situation practically demanded … because I am nothing if not a bastion of parental self-control, as I’ve demonstrated so clearly time and again in the pages of this blog.

“Whatsamatter, Daddy?” asked Zan from the other room.

“Daddy blew it, buddy,” I answered. “Daddy totally blew it.”

Somehow, I managed to split my body in two, one half of which turned off the faucet, and the other half of which ran to the linen closet, grabbed a slew of bath towels and tossed them into the disconcertingly deep and wide Lake Scratches, whose boundaries extended all the way underneath the stove, behind which exists a large gap between the baseboard and the floor tile, through which …


I grabbed a couple more towels, dashed down the basement stairs, turned the corner and was greeted by a natural wonder even more breathtaking than Scratches Falls and Lake Scratches: I had discovered the rare Tropical Rain Forest Basement.

Yes, it was raining. In my basement. A lot.

And as I shoved the towels up into one of the primary openings through which the rain was falling, I remembered that this opening existed because my electrician had rewired the kitchen for us after we bought the house, and it was through this opening that he ran a bunch of new electrical lines, which currently were covered in water, and in the midst of which were my hands … and it was then that I realized I was so totally going to win the 2010 Darwin Award, because I was going to be the guy who flooded his kitchen until it showered down into the basement, and who then electrocuted himself to death before falling on the ground in a heap while the rest of Lake Scratches rained down upon his lifeless, idiotic head.

Fortunately, my electrician used the Won’t Kill You When You Flood Your Kitchen & Basement kind of wires, so I avoided death … which, for a few brief minutes, seemed more of a curse than a blessing, given that the water had gone everywhere and required a positively gargantuan cleanup effort that lasted the rest of the morning.

Did I mention that all of this occurred while Wonder Woman was at the gym? Yes, and she returned home to find me standing in the kitchen, pants rolled up to my knees, sopping wet towels everywhere, and the entire contents of the cabinets beneath the kitchen sink strewn all over the floor so I could dry both them and their saturated home.

“What happened??” she asked.

“Daddy blew it, Mommy,” Zan answered.

That about summed it up.

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  1. Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    –>I remember seeing both tweets actually but was too hungover to really decide if her sandwich looked AWESOME or would have made me puke.
    .-= WebSavvyMom´s last blog ..Flashback Friday (Part 53) – Flying Saucers =-.

  2. Christina
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. The thing that makes it for me is Zan’s comment at the end. Because that is exactly what my 4 year old would have repeated had this happened at my house. As with every post, thanks for the laugh!

  3. Posted April 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jon, did I ever tell you about the time I put Palmolive dish soap in my dishwasher because I thought – hmmm, I have three funerals to attend this week, and no time to shop for Cascade, what could be the harm? We all have our Lucy Ricardo moments, and you did it with much hilarity for the Scratches audience. Glad you are all safe and sound!
    .-= Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog ..No Really, We Can Do Better! =-.

  4. Posted April 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh no! Just wow. On the bright side, your kitchen floor is now really clean?
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Rat Pics! =-.

  5. Posted April 19, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Oh, shit! At least your kids made it out alive. That’s on the plus side, right?
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..Yeasayer! =-.

  6. Posted April 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t have anything to say. I’m just sitting here being glad it wasn’t me.

  7. Cheeky Muffy
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    wow. really wow. so sorry.

  8. Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Best line of the week: ‘and it was then that I realized I was so totally going to win the 2010 Darwin Award,’ LMAO!

    But hey, you were looking for something to write about, right? Sorry it turned out to be your flooded kitchen. But it was hella good fodder. 🙂

    Watch out for mold…
    .-= Kernut´s last blog ..The Anniversary of my 27th Birthday, Council Chambers in the Toilet, and More Pigeon Porn =-.

  9. Posted April 19, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Gee. I was home when I saw it and I thought the sandwich looked pretty good.
    .-= Tina´s last blog ..Good things from bad movies =-.

  10. Catherine
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    1) sandwich…nasty
    2) so happy you didn’t electrocute yourself~I hate it when people I know win the Darwin awards.
    3)Gve Jayna a hug for comng in to tell you she took her socks off…

  11. Marisa
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the laugh, I really needed it! Just sorry that it had to be at the expense of you and your kitchen! But hey, that’s what your here for right, to keep your readers entertained! Glad you’re all okay!

  12. Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I am so glad that you have a sense of humor about plumbing issues, because that were FUNNY. (I lost my sense of humor about plumbing after the fifth drainage back-up into the basement.)

  13. Posted April 20, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Oh we’ve all been there. Kidding. Just you. And you should have called Kevin Costner for assistance, because really, what else has he got going on?
    .-= Chris Illuminati´s last blog ..Why a baby makes an excellent wingman =-.

  14. Deeters
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I love that the boy narc’d you out. That’s what my kid would do too.
    =) and I like the thought that now it’s REALLY clean – cuz who doesn’t need to clean the basement?

  15. Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about your nightmare… that could totally have been a day in my life, although instead of just taking off his socks, my child would have taken off every stitch of clothing, because he loves being naked.
    .-= Jeff Brown´s last blog ..How to take a photo of you and your son, without the aid of another person =-.

  16. Posted April 20, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Reading this post, all I can think that it must be fate punishing you for the terrible constant sock wearing you force upon your children. And if the house has to flood for them to be able to remove their socks, well, the sock gods are not lenient.
    .-= Megan (Best of Fates)´s last blog ..New York City =-.

  17. Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Yes, I second Catherine:

    Thank goodness for Jayna coming and telling you about her socks. In fact, it’s a good thing you’re the Sock Nazi in the first place, or she wouldn’t have come to tell you that she took them off – she just would have done it and walked away.

    So, if it weren’t for her and her fear of your Nazi-wrath, we would all be able to Google “underwater lost cities” and find “Casa Scratches” listed just below “Atlantis”.
    .-= dw´s last blog ..Welcome to my cult. =-.

  18. Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    My husband walks away from the sink with the water running all the time. It makes me CRAZY because a) wasting water and b) stupid shit like this can happen. You have officially provided the cautionary tale we will use from now on to reinforce why one should NOT walk away from a sink filling with water. http://despair.com/mis24x30prin.html And you deserve this poster…
    .-= MidLifeMama´s last blog ..Princesses, they are not just for girls anymore… =-.

  19. Laurie
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Started with giggling which evolved into snorting while reading about Lake Scratches and the other local bodies of water! We too enjoy the novelty of indoor precipitation. It’s been the shower showering the kitchen and then there’s the roof…WTF…does our roof not understand about keeping the water on one side? In fact, roof repair is on the short list of home repairs…since we live in Florida…and the rainy season…also known as monsoon season is about to start.


  20. Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Forgive me for laughing at your misfortune. It’s only I can so perfectly see myself wearing the same shoes!
    .-= Just Me´s last blog ..How Does Your Garden Grow? =-.

  21. Posted April 20, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Piss Poor, Daddy. Piss Poor.

    I’d have blamed Bossy, too.

  22. Melissa
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    When i saw your post I totally guessed you put dish liquid in the dishwasher. Which I have done. Nothing like thinking, hmmm, something sounds strange in the kitchen to walk in there and have soap bubbles cabinet high!

  23. Posted April 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    You make flooding the kitchen sound fun! It almost ranks up there on the electrical scare my son pulled when he put a pair of scissors in the TV and blew up the TV and popped the breaker. I won’t repeat the language I said, but his dad and everyone else was really really happy he was fine. The new flatscreen is nice.
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..Fishing Trip at Grandpa’s =-.

  24. Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    oh.mah.god. I think I just pee’d my pants. The one and only time I turned my back on my son who was 18 months at the time — he smeared poo on the bedroom wall. I only turned my back for a moment.
    .-= jwoap´s last blog ..What I Wanted To Say… =-.

  25. Gail K.
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I am over here LMAO and my son says “Mom, there’s a pig in the house – I can hear it squeal”

    So there you go – you made me squeal.

    Yup, the old soaking the pan routine gets everyone in trouble – glad no one was hurt and your floors are clean too.

  26. Catherine McP
    Posted April 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Damn I hate when that happens..I mean ANY kind of water wet crap on the floor! To me it just means you have to wash all those towels!

  27. Posted April 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    But you know what? This will all sound much less…horrifying once you’re five shots of tequila into a vacation. Nothing says “never happened! I imagined it all!” like free resort food and a sunburn.
    .-= Kate@And Then I Was a Mom´s last blog ..I’d like to thank the Academy. Of Bad Parenting. =-.

  28. Posted April 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m very sorry for laughing at your misfortune. I’m only laughing because I know it could have been me. Probably will be one day. Darwin Awards save another life, can’t beat that.

  29. Dorice
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. Sorry for your misfortune but it makes a HELL of a good story!

    …my floor could use a good cleaning. Come by anytime. I’ll get the towels ready.

  30. Posted April 25, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Hilarous! I can only imagine how bad it sucked to have to clean up such a giant mess but as always, your messes make for our entertainment! Thanks for the laugh!

  31. Posted April 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    1. Great visuals.

    2. Late to the comments, but hey… (there should be something here but I can’t think of what right now, so I’m going to trail off and hope that I typed with the right amount of jaded disinterest to pull it off.)

    3. My husband and I have different opinions about what our garbage disposal can handle. I think: soft-ish, easily grindable foods. I stop at eggshells. Himself thinks: pretty well anything. Chicken bones, metal shavings, you know. Once he was merrily running cantaloupe rinds through the disposal, complete with looking up at me with an idiot grin (normally I find his grin charming, not this time). And I thought, “I can tell him the disposal can’t handle that, but I’ll let him plunge it and then maybe next time he’ll remember.” But then, it didn’t plug, so he thought he was in the clear. Until we heard, “Drip, drip,” then “Gush, GUSH.” And then there was a lovely waterfall cascading out from under this sink. The force of the vibration of the grinding of the cantaloupe rind shook the pipes loose. And much, much water (and much much cantaloupe rind) came raining out onto the kitchen floor. Which, to make this story better, is hardwood.

    4. I get distracted by anything shiny or chocolate. So, I hear ya.
    .-= Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points´s last blog ..This is Only a Test. There may or may not be Awesome here. =-.

  32. Julie
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Very funny! This is running a close second to your Baby Alive story.
    Glad you’re back, Scratches. You were missed.

  33. Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Followed the link from your Pioneer Woman comment. Is it a good thing that I found your flooding incident more entertaining? Does that make me a sick twisted soul? Or are you a better writer? Things to contemplate as we carefully turn off our faucets.
    eden´s most recent blog post: Taking a short cut.My Profile

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