Yesterday, while working in the yard, I had an incident that demonstrates my own fault and folly with immaturity, and my relationship with my wife. She had done some pruning in one of her gardens, and loaded the refuse into a laundry basket. The laundry basket, overflowing with dead vegetation, was left at the side of the garage, presumably for someone other than herself to take it to our mulch pile in the backyard.
I could have been the person to do that, for I walked past that laundry basket everyday for a month making the exact route prescribed, from the garage to the backyard. It would have only taken a moment of thought to complete the transaction. But I have a fault in that I don’t like cleaning up messes created by someone else. It’s childish, I realize, but it’s no sillier than other childish belief systems, such as the Unitarianism, Dewey Decimal, or Social Security.
I finally broke down yesterday and decided to take the laundry basket to the mulch pile. Of course, the laundry basket is a story in itself because it had fallen into disuse, I threw it away, and my wife retrieved it out of the trash. So I had plenty of resentment against this laundry basket before we even started.
On one of my many trips around the house while raking leaves, I bent over and grabbed the laundry basket. I noticed a foul, fetid odor. It reminded me of the mice nests whose stench I often find in our shed, so I held the basket away from me with some trepidation that a mouse (EEK!) might still be nested within. I felt something wet on my pants leg, and heard water pouring. At least I thought it was water, and in my mind imagined that basket sitting through rain storms and water gathering in the bottom. All that changed in an instant.
The foul, fetid stench gained strength. I looked at the water spilling from the basket in my hands, and noticed it was not clear like rain water, but tinged with yellow. The dogs had been urinating on the basket for weeks, and their pungent pee had been gathered there, and was now soaked into my pants and shoes.
When my anger subsided and the chore was done, I went inside the house. My daughter reeled at the smell. It turns out that massive amounts of dog urine is an effective family repellent.