Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chucky, My Washer, and Sam Champion

Something strange happened this morning. I mean r - e - a - l - l - y strange.

I overslept. No, that's not the strange thing but I have to start there and go back to last night for the story to make sense.

Exhaustion apparently got the best of me after my workout last night. Intense, sweaty: it was a great workout and I left the gym about 7:30pm with all my muscles quivering like the last leaf on an oak tree as Winter gives Autumn the cold shoulder.

From there, my endorphins and I happily drove to my local library and I picked up a few writing reference books and some new romances (my eye candy).

Last stop before heading home…the grocery store. Still feeling the natural high from my workout, I asked the deli lady for a quarter pound of turkey breast (for today’s lunch) then quickly added some wheat tortillas, red globe grapes, apples and celery to my cart. It was a record for me: in and out of the grocery store in less than 10 minutes!

On very shaky legs - sadly, my endorphins and I were starting to part ways - I slowly, painfully, lugged my purse, gym bag with my clothes and heels from work, library books and groceries up the three flights of stairs to my apartment.

Once safely inside, I made a quick chicken salad. This isn't important to my story but it really came out well. I chopped up the ¾ of a roasted chicken I had left over from the day before then rough chopped an apple and three ribs of celery (yes, I really like celery). I have some fresh pecans in my freezer so I grabbed half a handful and threw them in the bowl. My Jello underarm wingy-thingys are flapping like crazy as I rush to get dinner done because using these muscles now really hurts LOL. I hate mayo, plus it’s incredibly unhealthy, so I mixed up a dab of horseradish, a pinch of celery seed and a small blop of mustard in a dollop of fat free sour cream. I stirred everything together and put some of the mixture in a cabbage leaf with a lemon slice for garnish ~ I’m trying to control my portion size and I find that really dressing up my food presentation helps. Besides, just because I live alone doesn't mean I don't deserve to eat 'pretty food.' Right? Anyway.....

After I ate, it was almost 9:00pm so I gingerly sat down: oohing and ouching because of my sore hamstrings as I lowered myself on my couch to watch the second hour of the premier of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’

At this point, everything is fine. Everything is normal. I’m tired, but it’s the ‘good’ tired that comes from a successful workout. As I wiggle and burrow into the most comfortable position I can find on my squishy couch, I make a plan to watch the rest of DWTS and then work on some of my writing pieces for an hour or so before I go to bed. When my endorphins depart, they always leave me feeling virtuous and tonight was no exception. I had worked out and eaten a healthy dinner. I was happy with myself for the moment.

BURR-ACK BURR-ACK BURR-ACK! My head jerks up from its unnatural position centered somewhere between my left shoulder and the back of the couch. Daylight streams in my eyes, forcing me to squint. I'm really confused as to where I am. I fell asleep and stayed asleep sitting up on the couch. My first thought as I snapped my cotton-mouth closed: Is that my heater coming on? I thought I turned it off last Thursday when the weather changed.

I force my stiff neck muscles to turn so I can glance at my grandmother clock on the wall behind me. Holy crap!!!! It’s 7:35am. The initial fear from that alien sound is immediately replaced by the gut churning OMG-I-overslept adrenaline rush.

As I leapt to my feet - oh dear Lord did that ever hurt everything everywhere on my body! - I heard it again: BURR-ACK BURR-ACK BURR-ACK! Loud, rapid fire rat-a-tat-tat noise is coming fast and furious now and I’m terrified that my heater is going to explode at any moment.

Wait! That’s not my heater. That’s my washing machine!

The darn thing came on by itself!

“Right hand to God” (to quote the Kardashian clan) - it just came on by itself.

I tripped over the shoes I had kicked off the night before, knocked my shins on my coffee table and cursing like the U.S. Navy Sailor I used to be, stumbled the few steps to the cubby that houses my washer and dryer. One of the doors was moving! I yanked it open and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! The washer was roaring its unhappiness with being off balance and was literally 'walking' itself out of the closet.

It was the strangest thing.…I mean, how does this happen? My heart is racing, bosom is heaving (I told you I read romances) and I can feel the fear coursing through my body. I pushed the knob forward to the Off position and took a step back. Nothing happened.

It still kept running. BURR-ACK BURR-ACK BURR-ACK! Now my fear is compounded by concern that my downstairs neighbor, a 'screamer' who is sleeping with the apartment manager by the way, would hear this god-awful clunking and thunking and report me for a noise violation. I pulled the knob back out and this time used the new muscles in my arm to SMACK that sucker back in to Off.

Silence. Beautiful, wonderful silence except for the galloping of my heartbeat in my ears and Sam Champion's happy voice - I adore Sam Champion - doing the weather on Good Morning, America.

Good Morning, America? Good Morning to me! What the heck just happened here?

My coffee-deprived-aching-body couldn’t quite take in the events of the last minute and half that felt like an eternity so I just stood there, looking at my washing machine.

Not quite knowing what to do next, I slowly raised the lid and looked inside.

I did the “I coulda had a V-8” head slap.

Usually, I throw in a load of clothes in the morning as I’m leaving for the office and pray that I remember to transfer them to the dryer at day’s end. Following my normal pattern, I had thrown in a bunch of towels at 7:30 yesterday morning then, yeah - you guessed it - promptly forgot about them.

Apparently, the towels had become unbalanced during the spin cycle and the belt or drum mechanism thingy froze in place. My guess is that my evil possessed washer, now named "Chucky" for obvious reasons, picked 7:35am today – 24 hours after I had put the load of towels in – to swing back into action.

What a way to start my day.

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