Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm a writer, not a chemist

Man will gut a deer he’s shot.

Man will watch a guy’s knee hyperextend on a rough hit during a football game. Then watch the replay.
Then again. In slow motion. And then backwards.
Man will even drink expired milk just to see if it “tastes funny.”
But I’ve discovered one thing that will bring a grown man to his knees. And not in a good way.

“The dog threw up again,” my husband stated bluntly.
I looked up to find him standing in the doorway of the office. Hands on hips. Look of disgust planted across his face.
I shrugged and said, “So?”
He snorted, “So? What are you gonna do about it?”
My fingers stilled on the computer keys as the question filtered through that part of my brain that decides just how mad I am going to get.
Synapses fired. Neurons whirred. Little gray cells digested the response.

And decided it wasn’t time to get huffy. Yet.

I shrugged and answered, “I’m busy. You do it. You know the rules.” I added in a sing-song voice, “He who finds it first has to clean it up.”

He squawked in response, acting like I’d just turned down giving him a healthy kidney. Again.

“But I don’t know what to do,” he whined, “and it’s disgusting.” He paused and spoke slowly, “It’s dog v-o-m-i-t.” As if saying the word slower was going to get me moving any faster.

Oh, silly man.

“What do I do?” said silly man queried.

Sigh. The man has two college degrees, and a little dog vomit makes his IQ drop 50 points.

“Pick up what you can. Then pour baking soda on the spot. That’ll soak up some of the...uh...ickiness...before you vacuum.”

And then our conversation dropped even further down the evolutionary scale and went something like this:

“Pour what on it?” he asked.

“Baking soda,” I replied.

“Baking what?” he asked.

“Baking SODA,” I repeated.

He disappeared into the kitchen. I heard the opening and closing of kitchen cabinets. A minute later he poked his head around the door, held up a box and said, “This it?”

I glanced at the box. Contemplated murder. Then answered, “No. That’s baking powder. You need baking soda.”

He looked at the label and said, “What’s the difference?”

Zing! Suddenly a huge red spot appeared in my right eye and the vein on my forehead popped out about a mile.

“What do I look like? A friggin’ chemist?!” I hollered in frustration. “There IS a difference. I don’t have any clue WHAT exactly. And I don’t care. You put baking SODA on dog vomit. You put baking POWDER on....”

I stopped for a second before fizzling out with, “Well, I’m not sure what you use baking powder for.”

“So why do we have it?” he asked.

And that’s when the red spot blew up to rival that thing on Jupiter.

“It’s just one of those things you’re supposed to have!” I yelled. “People must use it for something. So I bought it! The same reason we have 16 cans of cream of mushroom soup, three jars of pickle relish and a 10-year-old box of bread crumbs!”

He digested that bit of knowledge, turned and headed back to the kitchen. I didn’t hear another peep outta him. I thought the problem was solved.

And it still says “Weight: 120” on my driver’s license. Apparently I have a problem with reality.

The next morning, I walked through the dining room and caught a whiff of something not-so-pleasant. And it had nothing to do with my cooking. This time.

I looked over at the snoring Golden Retriever who had apparently just passed a bit of noxious gas my way.

I thought, They’re so cute when they do that, and wandered along.

But later, I noticed the smell was only getting worse. I meandered back into the dining room, peeked under the table and noticed a small pile of too-gross-to-believe-that-it’s-still-on-the-floor dog vomit.

Covered in baking soda.
OK. I admit. I fell over and passed out. The smell was obnoxious. Combined with my boiling blood pressure and the need to commit murder, my body short-circuited, landing me in the fetal position on the floor.
I woke up to find my husband standing over me, holding a jug of milk and asking, “Hey, does this taste funny to you?”


  1. Kelley, I do not know how I discovered your writing, but I did. And, I couldn't be happier. While we have similar Golden Retriever loving spirits, I definitely do not have the comedic edge that you possess.

    I recently linked to your I'm a writer, not a chemist article ( ) and then went on to discover some of your other gems, your blog (which I just subscribed to), and then your twitter account (I am now a proud follower).

    I also adore the following articles and would love to reproduce them in future issues of my foundation's new newsletter (you can check out my issues here: ), where I have a resident veterinarian who is just as funny.

    For the love of Wonder Mutt, sew me the bunny


    I'm a writer, not a chemist (of course)

    Rochelle Lesser, Nationally Certified School Psychologist
    Founder & President, Land of PureGold Foundation, Inc.
    We are an educational and charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing cancer treatment grants for working dogs,
    funding comparative oncology research, and helping folks strengthen and proactively lengthen The Bond.
    Visit us on the web at

  2. Too, too funny...and boy can I relate!!!!!