Washing up

The endless battle of man against his own filth.


Probably the weirdest you’re ever going to see me is if you have the misfortune to find me washing the dishes. I’m someone with pretensions of cleanliness, but am all too deterred by strange sociological issues like ‘It’s a tuesday’ or ‘or there are too many cups’. So I tend to let things get dramatic before I finally snap and clean the shit out of everything. Part of the problem is that just before things get excessive, I tend to have a flip to the other part of my personality. After days (weeks) of silently despairing at the state of things, I suddenly decide to embrace the mess. It’s a feeling of punk type liberation, where I decide that not only am I OK with the mess, I’m going to wallow in it.

That’s right, that’s Keith Richard’s high-fiving me for causing domestic mess.

Then I flip right back in when there’s maggots in the tupperware and mould climbing the forks. I don’t mind the actual act of washing up too much, because I usually listen to music and come up with ideas for writing and things. It’s pretty great, but it does mean I sing a lot and mumble to myself and chuckle at little ideas. Also, because I hate getting my fringe in my eyes, I wear a sailors hat of Bridget’s.


Well, today something hilarious happened. Huge washing job, weeks of excess. Unfortunately, one of the pink rubber gloves has a giant hole in most of the fingers. I wear them anyway, because I hate touching old food. Somewhere about 3/4 of the way through the three hour job, there’s a knock on the door. I kinda assume it’s my girlfriend, cause I haven’t see her all day. (Where are ye?) So I just run to the door and open it. Instead it’s some lady doing door knocks about the proposed St Peter’s gas mine. She looks me up and down, noticing all of these things in her shrewd profiling.

1. Shirtless
2. Wearing a sailors hat
3. Wearing ONE pink rubber glove
4. Big wet stain at my crotch, because I’m way taller than our kitchen sink.

However, she pushes through this and extends her hand. I shake it, and notice only from the sudden limpness of hers, that my hand, after three hours of submersion, is pink and wrinkly and moist. Now, after the debacle at the swimming hole last week, I’ve been fairly wary of my stupid face and the stupid things it says, but at this point my brain is saying ‘go with good natured explanation, surely lots of people wear nautical head gear while washing up.’
So I say, “Ahoy!” and chuckle a little. She decides to come back later.

A gas mine, ye say? I knew a man with half a face who fought with a gas mine for two days
and three nights in the South Pacific. They ended up married and live on a submarine,

Once I worked as a dish-washer at a retirement village in North Sydney. The job was fairly easy, as I just had to rinse the dishes and then load them into this giant robots brain type industrial washer which blasted them with super powered steam until they gave up and washed themselves. However because this is the elderly, and they can only eat food which has been reduced to a fine paste, the dishes always looked like Tarantino gore. For some reason, they always made me a little queasy, but I didn’t want to be pathetic so I moved on. Anyway, one day I came in, and because i’d gotten up at four in the morning, I didn’t really notice that my vast nausea was perhaps a symptom of more than simple tiredness. All I remember is rinsing a splattered zombie off one plate, and then this vast ringing noise began in my ears. I must have looked like death, because people asked if I were feeling all right. Then some of the geriatric nurses started looking at what I thought was a particularly virulent pimple on my neck. Turns out it was a spider bite from a White Back, which had gone necrotic, which means the skin had actually started to die around it. When I asked if they were sure, they all rolled their eyes and said ‘If there’s one thing we can recognise instantly after working in this place, it’s necrotic flesh.”

Also, there was a lady who made me sneak flowers into her tea, and claimed to be a Polish princess. I always humoured her, just in case she was and then she put me into her will.

Anyway, I’m fairly sure that when I die, I’ll be made to wash up for an eternity. I just hate the pointlessness of it all, the Sisyphean repetition. My most hated thing in the world is when you finish a big load of dishes and someone comes in and starts cooking immediately with them. For gods sake, give me some time to rejoice.


3/5 stars


5 thoughts on “Washing up

  1. Amen. Dishes are the worst.And you should have just told the mine woman after you had shaken her hand, that you had just been fisting. Her facial would be worth 1000 hours of maid service, for seriously.

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