Saturday, October 6, 2007

Out, out, darn spots!

I was taking Watson out for one last time when I reached into my pocket with my leash-free hand and felt something sticky coating my cell phone and inhaler. I initially assumed I had neglectfully stuffed some half-eaten now-melted confection into my pocket; top on my list of suspects was a caramel Reese’s peanut butter cup (though I rarely leave such a treat half-eaten).

When I pulled the cell phone from my pocket, I could see by the dim glow of our neighbor’s porch light what had happened.

“Hurry up, Watson. We have to get inside.” He sniffed interminably until he found the perfect spot. Finally, he did his business and we returned to the house.

I emptied the contents of my pocket onto the kitchen counter. My fear had been confirmed. While I appreciate and recommend their water filtration systems, I cannot in good faith vouch for the (gratis) writing implements proffered by Millipore. The free pen I had received from the bioscience supplies vendor had exploded (or at least leaked vigorously) in my pocket.

“Honey, there’s been an incident,” I reported to my wife.

“Well, at least you’ll have something to blog about," she quipped when I showed her my cell phone.

“Ha ha,” I replied sarcastically, a little offended by her presumption. "Not every mishap is a blog opportunity for me," I paused. " I am not going to blog this." She turned to talk to her mother; I darted for the camera just in case I had a change of heart.

Here are the unabridged contents of my pocket:

The keen observer will note ink-stained coins, doggy waste pickup bag, inhaler, Chick Fil A coupon, and cell phone.

My mother-in-law scoped out the mess and suggested I use a pocket protector. Thank you, pocket protection expert mother-in-law, but pocket protectors are for nerds, and I am decidedly not a-- er, nevermind. Point taken. Thanks for the recommendation.

I commenced the cleanup effort with my cell phone.

I scrubbed vigorously and have this to show for it.

I even tried a little bit of this stuff, which does a bang-up job with spaghetti sauce stains on dress trousers but is not so effective, as it turns out, with massive ink stains on cell phones.

When I commenced the cell phone cleaning effort, my phone looked like this. The teeth marks, if you can see them, are from an earlier encounter with Watson (he had attacked the phone after he'd gotten to the remote controls but before he devoured our W2's--a blog for another day).

After 20 minutes of concerted phone-scrubbing effort ("If you keep rubbing it, will a genie come out?" my mother-in-law queried), my cell phone looked like this.

My heroic efforts were to no avail. "Now you won't have to buy a colored faceplate for your phone," one of my two observers/hecklers noted.

Fortunately (I guess), my phone is still in working order, so a new phone purchase is not on the horizon.

This phone will not die.

I next turned my attention to my inhaler. After the minimal progress with the phone, I wiped the excess globs of ink from the medication canister and left it at that.

The coinage could be salvaged.

As for the doggy waste pickup bags and Chick Fil A coupon, I decided to leave well enough alone. These items had lived long, full lives, and it was time for them to retire with dignity.

My pants are another story. This is my pocket. The free Millipore pen (or my fidgeting with it) may have caused irreparable damage.

I concede: my wife was correct in her insinuation of perceived blogworthiness. When an "incident" befalls me, my initial thought is not, "Gee, how can I resolve this incident," but rather, "Gee, how can I blog this incident."

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