When I was courting my wife 18 years ago, I brought some flowers to her house. In the process of trying to find a vase, I apparently left every kitchen cabinet door open in my quest. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Sixth Sense, the haunted, youthful character, Cole, leaves the undisturbed kitchen with his mother, and when she returns all the drawers and cupboards are open. He “sees dead people,” while my future wife saw “Messy Mikey” for the first time. Unfortunately, I haven’t changed much through the years.

I try to keep things in order, but like Pig-Pen, dirt seems to be attracted to me. My worst enemy is mustard that always seems to find me, especially if I’m wearing a white shirt. I can’t seem to leave a baseball game without getting it on me, regardless of any precautions that I take. I like mustard but I don’t like its magnetic properties. Every time I step into our kitchen, Mr. Clean wears a frown, and my working wife is faced with extra work. I’m supposed to by using my free time in retirement to save her time, but “Messy Mike” is a lot like the “Bathroom Beast” in the poem below. 

For years, I wore a suit and tie to work, that I carefully steam-pressed the night before. Being a “sharp dressed man” did not come easy for me. My first years in business, I was known for my shirt-tail hanging out and un-shined shoes. Fortunately, before I met my current wife, I had a boss who taught me how to dress. I’m sure this was an attractive quality during the courting process. However, it could never mask my true identity as “Messy Mikey.” As you may recall, “Mikey liked nothing.” Mikey was John Gilchrist, who starred in the memorable Life cereal “Mikey Likes It,” and eventually went on to become an ad salesman like me. I’m the antithesis of that “Mikey” because I like most everything. It’s my wife that’s the picky eater, and she’s just as picky about her kitchen, not to mention the rest of the house. “Messy Mikey” managed to stay hidden, with the exception of the cabinet incident, until he became exposed in marriage.

She probably knew what she was getting into, after I built a poorly-leveled patio in her back yard, and could only paint the bottom two-thirds of the house because of my fear of heights. Paint to me was also a lot like mustard, hard to avoid making a mess. I remember coming home from work one night and spotting a small area on the garage wall that needed to be touched up. I got out the ladder and opened the can of paint, carefully setting the lid on top of our trash can. I was still in my suit but this was just going to take a minute. Instead, as I was stepping down, I put my foot on the edge of the open can, spilling thick green paint on the garage floor. In the process, I got it on my shoes and on my pant leg. Next, I stripped, putting my clothes in the washer, and used paper toweling to clean up the spill. As I went to throw the used paper towels in the trash can, the lid that I had so carefully placed on top to keep out of the way flipped up and stuck to the wall, slowly sliding down to the floor, as I stared in disbelief. There I was, half-naked, with a streak of green paint on the wall, after it was just a small touch-up job that initially drew my eye. Without getting into further detail, DIY was never my forte. I can easily turn any project into a huge mess. (See Post #107)

“Messy Mikey” was in the kitchen last night (See Post #451) and in the entry hall this morning. I bought some Lock Ease a few weeks ago at the advice of the hardware store guy. He also gave me the wrong-sized washer to supposedly fix our bath room sink leak. That was my most recently attempted DIY project that ended with a call to a plumber instead. Cha-Ching! The Lock Ease comes in a spray can and contains graphite that supposedly won’t gum up your key locks like WD-40. What I didn’t realize was that the oily, black mixture would temporarily stain our white doors, while the errant spray got on the windows and new shutters. What took fifteen minutes to “fix,” ended up taking another hour to properly clean-up. Fortunately, “Messy Mikey” didn’t have to call in a professional. I already paid for one to fix the garage door control panel yesterday, another project that I couldn’t quite master myself. Cha-Ching! In my last three months of retirement, we’ve had to hire an electrician, Maytag man, plumber, water heater specialist, carpet/tile cleaner, and garage door expert. Total cost was more than a single Social Security check. Plus, we helped pay for a water heater at my son’s house. It’s too bad that I’m not known as “Handy Mikey” or “Tidy Mikey.”

Bathroom Beast 

Pigs are messy,
Smelly and crude.
Happy in slop,
Rooting for food.

Whales are slimy,
Giant and wet.
Splish, Splash,
Have you got a net?

Pigs live in sties,
Whales in the sea.
Where did they meet?
How could this be?

Somehow it happened,
That two became one.
This mythical creature,
Weighs more than a ton.

Is it a whale?
With a pig’s snout.
It lives in our bathroom,
And I want it out.

It’s there every morning,
Don’t know where it hides?
Perhaps in the drain,
It boldly resides.

Snout or Spout?
Pink or Blue?
I’ve never seen it.
Have you?

Moby Swine?
Works just fine.

Water on the floor,
A ring around the sink.
Towels everywhere,
Don’t know what to think.

Clogged drain,
Counter all wet.
Help me get rid,
Of this unwelcome pet.

Puddles all around,
Not a dry spot in sight.
Little rubber ducky,
Are you all right?

Cap off the toothpaste,
Bottles askew.
Pigwhalea was here,
There’s clue after clue.

I’m very neat,
Each thing has its place.
I look in the mirror,
And see your face.

Brush out of place,
Cosmetics askew.
You’ve done all this,
Pigwhalea is Y-O-U.

Copyright 2010 johnstonwrites.com