Ily and I don’t watch much TV. It’s not that we are major anti-TV people, it’s more like, a fear of commitment. Are there any good shows on these days that don’t require you to watch religiously week after week in order to keep track of the plot? I start to sweat just thinking about all the possible obligations.

It turns out that there is at least one show that is very entertaining and makes no demands of long-term devotion. Every episode stands alone. It’s Dirty Jobs, with your host, Mike Rowe.

I was in Corvallis, Oregon this week for a work conference. I spent a full day listening to technical presentations given by electrical engineers and when I crashed in the hotel afterwards my brain needed a rest. On came Dirty Jobs. I told Ily about this when I got home, and for some reason we were talking about it again while out on a date Saturday night. The show often deals with cleaning up smelly messes and wrangling unwilling animals, and Ily mentioned that Mike Rowe really should come shadow her for a day, seeing as how being a mother often fit that bill perfectly. We both had a laugh at that, but tonight, while Ily was at stake choir practice, I couldn’t help but think about it some more as I cleaned up the kitchen.

The boys were in bed and it was just me and the mess. As I dumped the contents of Reece’s high chair onto the floor to join the leftovers of Isaac’s and Micah’s dinner I could almost hear Mike Rowe at my side, “Is that a piece of hot dog? How long has that been there?” I could envision him remarking about just how much gunk was on the floor, “That’s a huge pile we are sweeping up here, Bryan, when was the last time you did this?”

“About 24 hours ago.” I would reply.

“All this food debris mixed with dirt tracked-in-on-shoes and who-knows-what-else all accumulates in a single day?” Mike would ponder in astonished and reverent tones. He would then bang his head on the table while trying to sweep under it, comically mutter under his breath, and then appear appropriately grossed out as he fished out a binky with his bare hands from the large pile of dust, dirt, hair, sausage bits, and bread crumbs that he had just laboriously swept up.

While visualizing this episode I also thought back to what should have been a mundane chore yesterday. Before embarking on most of his tasks, Mike often foreshadows the events to come by sarcastically stating, “I don’t see what could possibly go wrong.” About an hour before we were to leave for the temple, I set out to hang a giant wood ruler that Ily had made at Super Saturday on our bathroom wall. Drill a few holes in the sheet rock, put in your anchors, screw in the screws, easy, I thought. “I don’t see what could possibly go wrong,” is what I should have said.

After carefully getting the proper height measured, painstakingly making sure it was all level and square, and marking the holes, I began to drill. I used a small bit first, to see if I would hit any studs. I hit one with a couple of the holes, no anchors needed there. The rest of the holes felt like they were wide open empty space behind sheet rock. I got out the bigger, drywall-anchor-sized drill bit and drilled into my first hole again and where it felt like empty space with the small bit, the big bit hit some resistance. I had enough time to think, “that’s weird,” before water came shooting out me like a kid was aiming a super soaker right at my face.

I screamed in surprise (a manly scream, of course).

Ily ran in and began to scream too.

Reece heard his parents screaming and started crying his head off.

After pausing in bewildered shock for a few seconds I opened the door to the little cabinet located conveniently right next to where I was drilling and shut off the water. It’s the cabinet that has all the water valves for our house, you see. Right there in the bathroom. All those pipes … (can you hear Mike Rowe saying this?) in a cabinet … right next to where I was drilling … I should have seen that coming.


Melinda November 19, 2007 at 11:01 a.m.

Oh Bryan... I say this again for the second should write a book! :-) So funny. So you need a plumber eh?

I have to agree with you though. I only have 1 wild boy and I feel like it is a crazy dirty job.

shannon November 19, 2007 at 12:23 p.m.

oh no, what a mess! I once tried to hang a picture on the wall above our toilet and met some resistance with the nail. It made me all nervous that I maybe I was hitting some kind of pipe, or who knows what. So I abandoned that idea and found a different spot.
Another good TLC show (that doesn't require commitment and will make you feel like your day-to-day is a cake-walk) is "Jon and Kate plus 8".

Kate November 19, 2007 at 10:16 p.m.

Bryan- I wish you would post more stories like this one because you have such a way with words! I still love reading "Mousecapades" when I need a good laugh. That's awesome!

Ily December 4, 2007 at 11:26 p.m.

I wish we didn't keep experiencing stories like this! Or maybe I do... it does make for a real good laugh after the fact. And I do need the laughter.