(This made more sense when I still had a preschooler.)

RIP DJ SpinCycle

DJ Spin Cycle, at rest

DJ SpinCycle, finally at rest

Have you ever known someone who always knows where the party’s at?  Or how about someone who just made their own party wherever they went and people just joined in?

Ahhh… that’s DJ SpinCycle.  Master of all beats, fantasizer of reckless bubbles, always creating the party you never knew you wanted.  You thought you were just washing the tomato sauce stains off your kids’ clothes, and you started up the washer, and you went about your morning routine.  It was a low-key party until you were upstairs dressing your preschooler for her day, or brushing your toddler’s teeth, and then…..wait for it…..you heard just one bass drum beat.  BOOM.  A few seconds passed.  BOOM.  Now just 2 seconds passed.  BA-BOOM.  And pretty soon, like any good techno song, you had crazy beats as loud and fast and confident as a Paul Oakenfold song coming from your laundry room.  It was such a crazy party you HAD to just drop that kid’s brush, run downstairs, and let the beats take you over.  You waited for DJ SpinCycle to add the suds like any good DJ in a club but fortunately that didn’t happen.  By the time you joined the party, DJ SpinCycle couldn’t help rocking itself, usually about 2 feet out from the wall.

And that’s when the party ended.  You pressed the stop button on the washing machine, looked inside at the clothes having the foam party, and re-balanced that load.  Pressed start and closed the lid, and hoped that DJ got the hint that now, at 8:40 am, was just not the time and place to re-live your twenties.

Sometimes the party started when we were gone and we’d return to find a shivering Dogchild in a kennel about a foot away from where DJ SpinCycle had traveled.  But that mad MC just never got the hint that we’re over techno.  And we just want clean clothes.

DJ SpinCycle would throw a party with mad beats even if you just tried to wash a normal load of clothes.  No heavy towels or sheets.  Nothing unusual.  It became more and more prone to dancing and wanting parties.  Like some kind of party addict.

And then last week, that crazy mixmaster did something completely uncalled for.  Something inexcusable even at the best and wildest of parties.

Girlchild was eating breakfast and it was her first day of preschool for this year.  Everything was going according to schedule, I was pretty content with the progress we’d made on readying food, using the bathroom, getting dressed, and other portions of the morning routine.

“Mama, what is that SMELL?  Ugh, Dogchild’s breath is terrible!”  No lie here, she really did blame the dog for the awful smell.

I thought I’d smelled something….chemical?….but thought my nose was playing tricks on me or it was something outside.  I had started washing clothes and had noticed that I thought I heard the cycle stop at a point I don’t remember it normally stopping, but I was busy and hadn’t entered the laundry room.  And then I did.  It smelled terrible in there….I can’t quite describe it maybe other than a very very strong scent of permanent marker, mixed with some other noxious smell.  AND, more importantly, DJ SpinCycle had skipped the beats in this party and had led in with SMOKE effects.  EVERYWHERE.  The whole bottom floor of the house was starting to get hazy.  In a panic I called my husband at work.

Side note here:  I am not good with fire.  In other crises, I feel like I’m confident and abled.  I react fairly calmly, thinking of the next course of action.  In a smoke or fire situation, I am a deer in headlights.  One time, many years ago in our old house, I tried to bake two Papa Murphy pizzas simultaneously on two different oven racks, which I do not believe is recommended.  Smoke was coming out of the oven, our former and more intelligent dog was barking her “danger bark” at me and running in circles, and do you know what I did?  Closed the kitchen door and turned on the ceiling fan.  Luckily our friends showed up for dinner (ha!) and when I opened the back door, off the kitchen, for them, our dog made a run for it (“Screw you guys, I’m smart enough to run!”) into the backyard.  Our friends, laughing, asked me, “What the hell is going on in here?  Are you making a smoke tornado??”  Meanwhile Manchild was showering, oblivious.  Girlchild and Boychild were not in existence at this time.

Anyway, the phone call during the more recent Smoke Party went like this, after Manchild answered his line.

Me, panting:  Smoke!  The laundry machine!  It finally died!

Manchild:  The….laundry machine?

Me:  What?  Is that what I said?  I mean the washer.  What do I do?  Okay, I’m unplugging the plug now, can’t figure out which one is washer and which one is dryer so I’ll unplug them both….now what?  Oh God, it stinks in here, it’s SO bad!  Smoke everywhere!

Manchild:  Honey, if there is smoke everywhere you need to call 911.

Me:  No!  I mean, I can’t find a fire, I think it’s just….smoking.  UGH!  Ok…help me, now what do I do?  Fans on, open all windows….

[I’m running around doing all this, panting; Girlchild is at the table pinching her nose and Boychild is still in bed….]

Manchild:  Find the fire extinguisher just in case.  Find the car keys just in case. [More sound advice followed.]

So long story short…we were late for preschool that day and the laundry room STILL reeks, 5 days later, of DJ SpinCycle’s last hurrah despite all the windows being open for a full day.

The new washer arrives today.  I have dirty clothes all over the place.  When the functioning washer arrives, I’m putting that shiny thang immediately to work.  I hope it realizes that techno and smoke are SO ten years ago.  Because I’m ready for the new party.  The quiet one where none of my family sports stains, or goes to preschool smelling like chemical smoke.


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