Ever since I had my devastating wrist injury caused by an act of God and in no way caused by the fact that I fully embrace my stubbornness and make poor life choices, people with injured wrists and those who pretend they have them in order to join the “One Good Wrist Club,” have been harassing me by asking the same question: How do you wash dishes with only one good wrist?
Now, days into my recovery and after washing dishes on three separate occasions, I have decided to present a guide to one good wrist dishwashing. This is to assuage my guilt after running away from anyone who asked how to, even that wee child who ,was only asking for her old-school pirate grandmother, who had been eaten by a whale, fought her way out against tiny whale minions that lived inside the whale’s body, only to hurt her wrist saving a family of four by pulling their boat out of that same whale’s mouth.
Anyway, here’s the guide. My apologies to that little girl, her grandmother Old-School Pirate Bertha Red Baron, and all the millions of others who sought guidance.
A Guide to Washing Dishes with One Good Wrist
1. Have a dish washer.
No, not hire a dish washer. The going rate on those is ridiculous. Trust me. I mean, seriously, it’s 2017 and you should have a dish washer. And yes, cabin, I know you are a “cabin in the woods,” but it doesn’t mean you must act like one.
2. Uses the paper plates and Solo cups your wife bought you before she and the kids left for their trip.
Wait, she didn’t even pay for those. They were in my shopping cart. So I paid for them. Dammit. Very diabolical, Claire. If that’s even your real name.
3. Cite your love for the environment as the reason you have failed to use neither the paper plates nor Solo cups in the entire four days they’ve been gone.
And not the fact that you simply forgot to use them despite the fact that they have been sitting on the counter where you have filled up your real plates and cups.
4. Change your objective.
It’s not about “cleaning” the dishes. It’s about making the dishes have the “appearance of” being clean. Wait, you say appearances can be deceiving. Exactly. Use that to your advantage.
5. Use really hot water.
Because hot water kills germs. Like, most of them. And if some germs survive, it’s okay. Those were the ones that would have survived even if you had two working hands.
6. Use lots of good smelling dish detergent.
Unscented is not your friend here. If the dishes can’t be clean, at least they can smell like a tropical rain forest. But rinse them out super well. Bubbles are a dead giveaway for poor dish washing.
Don’t stress about the cups. Soap them, rinse them, and they’re done. Wait, you do need to smell them. If they still smell like milk, you didn’t use enough soap.
8. Plates and Bowls
A breeze. Set them up where they are flat and go town with you dish towel. Quick rinse and they are done.
9. What about caked-on food that’s tough to get off?
We don’t have time for a battle with caked-on food. So “accidentally” break those dishes. Then get rid of the evidence. But what if it’s my wife’s favorite coffee cup, you ask? First, why does your wife’s favorite coffee cup have food caked in it? Gross. It’s a coffee cup, not a feed bin. Geeze. Still, “accidentally” break it. When she comes back and asks where it is, say that one of your kids (or a neighbor, or pastor, or pet) must have done something with it. Order her a new one and when it arrives, tell her that you couldn’t bear her not having her favorite cup so your searched yours and everyone else’s house from top to bottom until you found it. Perfect.
10. What if you have guests and they point out that the dishes only “appear” clean?
What kind of guests point out to someone with only one good wrist that their dishes only “appear” clean? Bastards. Guilt trip them into rewashing your dishes (this time not just for “appearances”) and then make them use the paper plates and Solo cups. Somebody has to use them before your wife comes back home so you can tell her you used them. Even though she didn’t pay for them.
There you go. Hope the guide helps. If it doesn’t? You’re clearly doing it wrong. Now don’t ask me anymore about how to wash dishes one-handed. Well, except for you, Old-school Pirate Bertha Red Baron. You can ask me anything.
The "Appearance" of Clean
Note: This was a monologue I wrote, based on an almost completely true story, that was performed recently by immensely talented actor Carter Coon at Forte Studios in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. It is a tragically beautiful tale of a love that was never meant to be. Between me and an apple.
Have you ever loved an apple? I mean really loved an apple? Doesn’t even matter the variety because there are a lot. This is about loving an apple. A single solitary apple that had fallen into your hand, perhaps from divine intervention. Or perhaps . . . from a tree, an apple tree no less, because you two were meant to be together. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? It shouldn’t. Because it’s a fairy tale. A fairy tale without a happily ever after. You know how I know? Because I lived it just a few short months ago when an apple fell into my hands. A Gravenstein apple, my favorite. It brought back memories of my best childhood memory. Of eating a Gravenstein apple at an abandoned park when I was but a wee child. And now, even though it was winter and there shouldn’t be any apples in trees, I was holding one. It had to be a sign. A sign that I was to recreate that cherished childhood memory. I wrapped my apple in fresh linen and got into my car and drove to that park, the same abandoned park of that treasured memory so many years ago.
The roads were snow, mud, and road salt covered. I parked my car on top of the hill, grabbed my apple, and headed down the hill to the park. Everything was going well as I walked, with a giddiness in my step. And perhaps it was that giddiness that made me slip a little on the ice. In my haste not to fall, I loosened the grip on my fresh linen sack containing my apple and it fell from my hands. The apple hit the ground and start rolling down the hill. I screamed out “No, apple! Stop rolling!” But it didn’t listen. Because apples don’t have the ability to hear. I watched it roll under a car. I thought all was lost then but it wasn’t. It cleared that car and continued rolling down the hill, bouncing up and down along the way. I thought of running after it but I didn’t want to be seen chasing an apple. Again. So, I walked casually, though there was nothing casual about the way I felt on the inside. I watched and walked as the apple rolled and rolled and rolled down the road, through the ice, salt, mud, and perhaps a small carcass of some animal, until it finally stopped right at the spot where I had that great apple eating experience as a wee child. I was elated. Fate had decided that nothing would stop me. I merrily skipped to the spot, reached down and picked up the apple and smiled. I thought of washing the apple off but I couldn’t. Because there was nothing to wash it off with. I gently rubbed it off on my pants with a smile so wide that it almost wrapped around my entire head.
I sat down on the bench. It was cold. A side effect of being snow and ice covered. But it didn’t matter. Because my heart was warm. I looked the apple with a love that I hadn’t known for so many years and took a huge bite. One that if an old lady walked by she would “My laddie, what a huge bite.” I expected my mouth to be filled with the goodness of that Gravenstein but it wasn’t. Instead, it was filled with the taste of old apple, salt, mud, a little carcass perhaps, and other things that I couldn’t quite identify. I tried to chew through, hoping that the next bite would rectify everything. It didn’t because I bit into two giant pebbles. That’s when I knew it was over. I screamed out and threw the apple deep into the woods. I collapsed onto the ground, my tears forming a torrent stream that tried to carry my sadness away but my sadness was a boat that was too broken to sail.
My mother found me the next morning, curled up in a fetal position, almost in the shape of a twice bitten dream crushing Gravenstein. She offered me a ham sandwich. There were three slices of ham, two slices of cheddar cheese, a little mustard on a delightfully toasted sourdough bread. It was good. It really was.
My mom then picked me, threw me over her shoulder, and carried me home. She’s a really strong woman.
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.