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Eric: It's like playing kitchen, only... you know, with a real kitchen.

There is a certain point, as a man gets older, that his toys change.

Which is not to say I don't own Micronauts. I do. I'm just depressed the line failed and Palisades stopped producing remakes. I was holding out for a Hydrocopter and a full sized Biotron.

But, instead of games or puzzles or action figures or transformers, a guy buys an Xbox or a PS2 (and soon all new consoles await purchase, just as soon as Soulcalibur IV come out for one of them. But, as PS2 Soulcalibur III is in just a few weeks, there's no hurry for a next generation console in my life. But that's another essay). And then a computer, and a car. And a nicer television. And a tivo.

And yeah, I have lots of guy toys.

But today, I have a dishwasher. I have bought a major kitchen appliance.

I first flirted with a dishwasher at the beginning of the year -- one of the 18" portables. For one reason and another, it didn't work out, though, and it had to go back to Best Buy. To their credit, they took it right back, no questions asked.

But that left... well, dishes.

I hate doing dishes.

I hate doing dishes.

I hate the dishrack. I hate the scrubbing. I hate pruned fingers. I hate trying to judge if all the scum's off the dish. I hate trying to judge if all the soap is off the dish. I hate distrusting my clean dishes because I was there when I washed them, and I don't know, man. I hate taking that kind of time out of my day.

I've tried all the bachelor tricks, too. I've done the "pretend I have only one dish, and wash it after every meal" trick, which works great until it doesn't. I've done the "well, I'll just go with plastic silverware and cups and the like and save real dishes for when I need them," which ultimately results in a ton of dirty dishes you let sit even longer because hey -- you have plastic forks and cups and the like, right?

I had maid service for years, once a week. And yeah, vacuuming and mopping floors is a great reason why (and when I was in congestive heart failure, it was the only chance any of this would get done, mind), but the real reason I laid out significant portions of my salary to pay a domestic was I hate doing the dishes.

Well. I did some looking at things. I talking things over with people in the know. I figured out what the problem was with the last portable I got. I did a lot of research.

And finally, I called Sears. And I ordered a dishwasher.

A General Electric "Nautilus," to be exact. Which means I fully expect to discover it's nuclear powered with a stern Hindu commanding officer living under the washer arms.

Today, the installers came. They installed it. It is white with butcher board. Installation was literally "take the aerator off the faucet, put the new aerator on it, clip the unit to the aerator, turn the water on, and load the dishwasher." It took three minutes.

It's a portable. Technically, it's a convertible -- had I the counter space, I could have had them install it. As it is, I can take it anywhere I want and it will just work.

And I loaded it. (Yes, I saved dishes to put into my new dishwasher. I knew this was coming two weeks ago. While I didn't save two weeks of dishes, I knew I'd want to try it right away and besides, I hate doing the dishes.) As it worked out, I had (technically) two loads worth. They could have been combined, but I wanted to put pots and pans into their own load with some carryover, and try the pots and pans setting.

And I turned it on.

The sound it makes is comforting -- whirling water in a regular cycle, alternating a high sound with a lower one. "Fush-WEESH fush-WEASH! Fush-WEESH fush-WEASH!" I'm reminded of the noise the air refresher was supposed to make in David and Chuck's spaceship, designed by Mister Bass, when they would fly to Basidium. When a new ship was built, Mister Bass's cousin Mister Theo built an air refresher that worked silently -- but he knew that wouldn't be so comforting, so he tinkered until it made the same noise....

Look, if you didn't get a chance to read Eleanor Cameron's Mushroom Planet books as a child, I'm sorry that your world was a little less magical. In any case, I now have my own comforting noise.

The first load, using the sample detergent that came with the thing, sudsed a little. The second, I had gel for, and it worked vastly better. And it cleans things wonderfully, leaving the plates hot and sterile, the cups ready for tea, the silverware shining bright. It worked exactly as it was supposed to.

It works.

I have a dishwasher.

I own a dishwasher.

And now essentially every dish I own is clean. Every dish I own. And all I had to do was load it and listen to the cool sounds, and push some buttons and twist a dial. It was fun.

But that's over now. I mean, every dish I own is clean, now.

...every dish....

You know, I hand washed a bunch of dishes over the last several days, and you know I'm nervous about those. I said so up above. Besides, I was very ill -- I'm still sick, in fact -- and so how germ free could those be? And you know, a bunch of my pots have been sitting in my cupboard unused for months. And I couldn't tell you the last time I disassembled the blender and gave it a thorough washing. You know, in the interests of good dish hygiene, I think we'd better plan a complete sweep....

When you get older, your toys change.

And if you're smart, you learn how to make anything into a toy.

Excuse me. Got to play with the dishwasher.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at October 18, 2005 6:17 PM

Comments

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at October 18, 2005 6:26 PM

So, when do I get to play with it?

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at October 18, 2005 6:29 PM

('Cause, I mean, that brush with the rotating bristles was cool? But.)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 18, 2005 6:34 PM

When's your next trip over again?

(Dude! It has buttons. Preheat mode. Hot air dry mode. Pots and Pans Wash Mode)

Comment from: kirabug posted at October 18, 2005 6:44 PM

And if you've ever wondered how someone can pay $1000 for a dishwasher, well, now you know ;)

Comment from: Lyndon W posted at October 18, 2005 6:50 PM

Fear my manual dishwashing skills...

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 18, 2005 6:51 PM

I didn't get the thousand dollar one.

But I understand why someone would, now.

Comment from: Sparky posted at October 18, 2005 6:53 PM

I know what you mean. I once lived for a year and a half without a dishwasher, and it was a horrible experience for bachelor that loves to cook but HATES dishes. The first thing I did when I moved into my new apartment was a happy jig around my brand spankin' new dishwasher. And of course wash my dishes, because of course they got dirty in the move across town.

Comment from: Chris Anthony posted at October 18, 2005 6:53 PM

Eric, your sheer zest for household appliances (I still want one of those magic coffeemakers you mentioned way back when) makes me wish I had money so that I could spend it on kitchen stuff.

Which is to say, nicely written, and I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at October 18, 2005 6:57 PM

My apartment comes with a dishwasher. I have never turned it on. I've never had enough dirty dishes to *justify* turning it on. I don't even really own enough to let dirty dishes accumulate. Such a non-chef bachelor am I....

(I do use the dishwasher as a drying rack sometimes, especially if I'm washing model kit sprues to remove mold release oil.)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 18, 2005 6:57 PM

Chris -- for the record, I still have, use and love my magic coffeemaker. ;)

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at October 18, 2005 7:10 PM

Oh, and on Micronauts: I found the Palisades line disappointingly fragile. I wouldn't have minded a Hydrocopter myself, though...it was my only "big toy" Micronauts thing as a kid. Predictably, it ended up in pieces, with the motor gear being used mainly to strip paint off my Tootsietoy cars. :)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 18, 2005 7:12 PM

Acroyear disputes his fragility... with his energy blade!

Comment from: Snowspinner posted at October 18, 2005 7:18 PM

I warn you... there will come a point where you grow too lazy to put dishes in the dishwasher.

At this point, your only option is suicide.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at October 18, 2005 7:19 PM

My last apartment was a great place. Cool staff in the office, cool neighbors, conveint location traffic wise, everything; except for two things.

1) It was in Northern VA and as somone raised in Maryland, I have been taught from an early age to distrust anyone from Northern VA.

2) Lack of proper appliances; specifically, no dishwasher or W/D.

I lived there for two years before enough was enough, and I moved back to Maryland. Now I won't even look at an apartment unless it has a dishwasher and W/D.

Of course, this doesn't mean there isn't a pile of dishes in my kitchen.

Comment from: JoeFF85 posted at October 18, 2005 7:49 PM

My on-campus apartment here in Frostburg State U (in waaay western MD) has a washer, a dryer, microwave, 'fridge, dishwasher stove, oven and central air. Essentially it has appliances my parents didn't have untill their third place.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at October 18, 2005 8:10 PM

My Acroyear's arm, that broke in removing the toy from the packaging, would dispute your Acroyear, but can't as his arm is broken. Unfixably.

Meanwhile, my Japanese import Acroyers (no second a) dance around on their 30 or so points of articulation and fire their own insanity as a weapon. :)

Comment from: quiller posted at October 18, 2005 8:11 PM

Of course, now you get the joy of "How much should I rinse the dish before putting it in the dishwasher?" Too little and you will get crud baked on to your dishes, too much and you wonder why you have a dishwasher when you are doing all this work.

Strangely, to me the real joy of a dishwasher is the idea of sterilizing brewing equipment without having to deal with bleach. As a daily contact lens wearer I officially don't like dealing with bleach.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at October 18, 2005 8:18 PM

I think the last time I got like this was when I learned the tables code for HTML.

Comment from: Aulayan posted at October 18, 2005 8:37 PM

First you make me want to play City of Heroes in a way that my friends who play it have yet to. And because of this entry, the following conversation is playing in my head:

"You know, your dishwasher is old."
"Yes, true."
"And the springs on the door have broken recently, making opening it an annoyance."
"Hmmm...yes."
"And yours doesn't have any neat features."
"I want a new dishwasher."
"Excellent."

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at October 18, 2005 9:37 PM

I had a feeling like this when I washed my own clothes for the first time. I had never faced up to the realities of laundry before, resting comfortably on my mother's efforts. When I had to do it myself, I felt nervous, and then I discovered how easy it was, and I felt empowered. I do not fear the darks.

Comment from: John Bankert posted at October 18, 2005 9:43 PM

I totally grok appliance lust. I lust for the tan colored front loading kenmore washer and dryer set that Sears has. The deluxe model that would set me back two weeks of salary (were I actually working and not collecting the public dole) to purchase. Oh yes, I know the appliance lust.

Of course, we'll gloss over the fact that I'd also need another 25 grand or so to put an addition on the back of the house to extend the kitchen and upstairs bathroom to provide a second floor laundry area for my beautiful new washer and dryer.

Comment from: miyaa posted at October 18, 2005 9:46 PM

I love doing the dishes. I love doing laundry. I love even vacuuming the floors and cleaning the rooms (if I ever make time to do it). And my father thinks I'm weird because I love doing these kind of things but not "manly" kind of things (fixing fence, equipment, cars---absolutely hate driving---, etc.). In fact, I'm sure my preferences have caused my parents to question what did they do wrong to raise me so anti-manly.

I prefer the hand-washing over dishwasher in my pad, mostly because I love the feel of the hot water scalding my hands and killing any remaining bacteria from two weeks ago. And the lemon scent. Nothing says clean like lemony clean.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at October 18, 2005 9:48 PM

BTW, the trick to cleaning dishes with out a dishwasher is to get the water as hot as you can stand it, then make it a little hotter and do your best not to touch it.

The water should be hot enough to cause pain when it touches your skin, but not hot enough to cause burn damage.

This has the added bonus of increasing your pain threshold, since your skin will, invariably, come into contact with the hot water.

And of course, when soaking dishes, the water should produce a nice head of steam as it sits in the sink. This has the added bonus of providing a good timer. When you can safely put your hand in the water with out disfiguring your hand, it is time to pull the plug and drain the water out.

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 18, 2005 10:28 PM

I went without a dishwasher in the first 3 years my hub and I were together. I sterilized nursing supplies, and bottles, and later, homemade baby food jars, by hand, with boiling water, all old-fashioned-like. Occasionally, I would gripe about how, if I had a dishwasher, I wouldn't have to do all that.

When we first moved back to Houston, our house had a dishwasher. Ooooh we danced, we cheered, we said "huzzah! It's a dishwasher!" And oh, the sound of the swish swish was indeed quite comforting. But you know what happened? Dishes piled in the sink anyway, for one reason or another, since we ended up "saving" dishes until the thing was full enough to run. And, of course, there were the inevitable arguments of "it's your turn to put away, I loaded!"

New house, no dishwasher. Aye, it would be nice to not have the nightly ritual of wash, drying rack. Of course, it would be nice to not have guilt and "oh no it's Houston we have to do dishes or cockroaches will come!" moments on the rare occasion that we decide to make whoopie before all the chores are done.

But... for me, there's something satisfying about standing in my kitchen, water running over my hands, purifying my utensils, and putting my home back in order, just a little bit, one fork at a time. Approached correctly, this mundane chore becomes almost a meditation, one I don't have to sneak time for, which doesn't generally get interrupted (nobody wants me to say "hey, come dry, willya?" - so they stay the heck away, even the little), allowing me to clear away the crud off the dishes, and from my mind.

I'm glad you're happy to have the dishwasher. Obviously, you're concerned for germs and the like. My family's not had any food-related illnesses, so I figure we're washing okay in that superhot water. And I get 10-15 minutes of a moving meditation, and the confidence of knowing that one piece of my home, at least, is as it should be. That said, a dishwasher would be handy when we have company over, and instead of 10 minutes' worth of dishes, it's 30...

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 18, 2005 10:42 PM

I can also understand the hatred of doing dishes. This is actually part of my logic behind learning to cook. I figured at a young age that one of the advantages of learning to cook is that I could handle that in exchange for roommates/significant other doing the dishes.

This plan worked out extremely fortuitously when I managed to get a relationship and we moved in with each other after both of us finished college (all 4 years of which were on the dining plan).

Oddly enough, though, I don't get too much appliance lust. I like doing my chores by hand, mostly because I'm invariably dissatisfied with how they turn out when done by machine (the fact that I can dip my hand into boiling water without immediately yelping in pain probably affects this). I find myself procrastinating just as much either way, so I figure I might as well be satisfied with the work I do.

That, and doing things by hand allows me to save my money for the dozens of video games, Lego sets, and the like lying around my house.

Comment from: W. I. Shane M. posted at October 18, 2005 11:25 PM

I think, if you can't enjoy it as a toy, a dishwasher is simply unjustifiable. I worked as a dishwasher for a while and it's not so bad, I've never had a dishwasher at home and I don't desire one.

Even if it's not fun washing dishes has the same sort of satisfaction as any other manual labor. It's a doable task, honest and easy to evaluate. It can be done and done well with little effort, but there's an evident and functionally useful result.

Maybe it's the influence of academia, but I take pride and pleasure in occasionally producing tangible results for my efforts.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at October 18, 2005 11:35 PM

I get panic attacks around food filth, and have never been able to clean dishes by hand to the point where they're acceptable for reuse (particularly glasses, which I can rinse and rerinse about a half dozen times and they'll always have *film all over them*). "Little effort" nothing; dishwashing is a massive undertaking for more than three or four of the things, worse if they've been there for longer than a few hours and haven't been properly rinsed ahead of time so as to avoid *waterbloated* *food* *touching* *the* *hands*.

I have a dishwasher so that I don't have panic attacks when I go into my kitchen. *shudder*

Comment from: Maritza Campos posted at October 19, 2005 12:12 AM

I have never seen a dishwasher.

No, seriously. At least at my economy level, here in Mexico dishwashers, dryers, and answering machines are a *rarity*.

Maritza
CRFH.net

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 19, 2005 12:18 AM

Ladies and gentlemen? Perspective.

Comment from: Alexis Christoforides posted at October 19, 2005 1:17 AM

Glad you're enjoying your new toy. Personally, my toys are usually SDKs (neeeerd).

And I'd like to have a talk with the people who decided that Soul Calibur III should not be released for the Gamecube. I mean, I'm not and emoticon person, but dude.

:-(

Comment from: Steve Mollmann posted at October 19, 2005 2:19 AM

Forget all of this appliance stuff... he mentioned Mushroom Planet. Gads, I must have been a wee young lad when I read those, and I can never remember what they're called when I think of them, but that was some excellent stuff.

Comment from: Archosaur posted at October 19, 2005 3:44 AM

"And if you're smart, you learn how to make anything into a toy."

Most quotable line ever.

(Micronauts: was holding out for a Mobile Exploration Lab myself.)

Comment from: TeleriB posted at October 19, 2005 6:53 AM

avoid *waterbloated* *food* *touching* *the* *hands*.

My parents teased me about the Monster in the Sink when I was a kid; I also hate the icky food bits, lurking under the soap bubbles where you cannot see them...

But I was OK once we got some rubber gloves.

Comment from: Merus posted at October 19, 2005 7:14 AM

Is anyone thinking that we should all buy Maritza a dishwasher?

Yeah, I didn't think so either. But it'd be amusing.

Comment from: tem2 posted at October 19, 2005 8:28 AM

I remember my first dishwasher. It's not the dishwasher I have now. It was the dishwasher I purchased when I renovated the ancient kitchen in the tiny condo I sold last year. At great expense, I might add. I never even used the thing--it was just a show dishwasher, to show what a great modern kitchen I had and could somebody please, please, please put an offer on it so I can move the hell out.

The woman who bought the place took one look at it and said, "A dishwasher? Don't think I'll be needing one of those. It'll have to go."

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at October 19, 2005 8:46 AM

For many years, my husband and I were dishwasherless, and one day we moved into a place that, astonishingly, had one.

It was like bliss. My dishwashing skills are a lot like yours, Eric. I can no longer contemplate an apartment without one. I'm holding off on the washer/dryer because I suspect that, too, will ruin me forever.

The first appliance I ever bought was years ago, and it was a window-mounted air conditioner unit. I don't need it any more, since the last few places had central air, but at the time it felt a lot like playing house. I kept expecting people to stop me and say "Dude. You're not old enough to purchase appliances yet."

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 19, 2005 9:49 AM

I'm sure there are things we could by Maritza that she'd appreciate much more. Diapers are the thing that pops immediately to mind.

And Alexis? Trust me, Namco isn't answering that one to me either, and I asked them directly. My suspicion is that the PS2 version of SoulCalibur II sold the best, thus it was the console of choice for SC3. This is mostly due to sales in Japan, as in North America, the GC version actually sold the best (which is interesting, given that it had the least penetration of the three current-gen consoles).

But if it makes people feel better, SC3 does not look like it will be anything all that different than SC2, just a few new characters and a few modes you'll probably never play.

Comment from: Daerv posted at October 19, 2005 10:01 AM

Honestly SC2 wasn't a patch on the original. I've still got my Dreamcast set up in the living for those times I feel the urge. SC2 just... I dunno... felt worse, regardless of the system you played it on. I'll never forgive them for putting a Todd McFarlane character in there either... I mean really... Do they want their customers to cry?

I wasn't aware anyone played actual games on the Gamecube any more. I thought Nintendo products were solely reserved for transcendental thought experiments... and waving your arms wildly in the air.

Comment from: Merus posted at October 19, 2005 10:10 AM

Well, it's a step up from kiddie.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 19, 2005 10:37 AM

You clearly underestimate the seductive power of create a fighter.

On the other hand, who put the RTS in my fighter?

Comment from: Kirath posted at October 19, 2005 10:44 AM

Wednesday, I am right there with you on the icky food bits thing. ~Shudder~

Larksilver, I lived most of my adult life in Galveston. 'The cocroaches will come' is a concept I know well... you can't escape the damn things. You guys have no idea.

I miss having a dishwasher... we don't have the room for one in our current apartment.. and I'm not a wuss, but for some reason beyond my own understanding, I just can't stand having my hands in hot water. It hurts, more than it should, at far lower temperatures than the average person seems to be able to easily cope with. So, while I tend to do most of the dishwashing, I do perhaps put it off longer than I should. Thankfully, New Hampshire doesn't have the roach problems that the Texas Gulf coast does.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at October 19, 2005 10:47 AM

That said, a dishwasher would be handy when we have company over, and instead of 10 minutes' worth of dishes, it's 30...

On holidays my parent's would break out the good dishes. These did not go into the dishwasher and were instead washed and dried by hand. It would fall on me, my dad, and my little brother to do the dishes in these situations.

My mom got a couple of comments over the years about how surprised people were to see the three of us (my brother and I esspecially) just suddenly start doing the dishes after dinner was done. And even more surprise when offers of help were flatly turned down. We had our system and new blood just screwed everything up.

I'll also second the meditation qualities of doing the dishes. in my above comment, the washer and dryer was more important then the dishwasher.

Comment from: Adrean posted at October 19, 2005 11:29 AM

Maritsa has the internet and not a dishwasher?

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 19, 2005 11:56 AM

"You clearly underestimate the seductive power of create a fighter."

You mean like in Guilty Gear Isuka? Or you mean like in Fighter Maker (and the upcoming Fighter Maker 2)? Or you mean like in Tekken 5?

Eric, with all due respect - I'm a video game critic, and I know exactly how much to estimate the seductiveness of "create a fighter" options in a fighting game. The short answer is, they're usually mediocre and require alot of work to become worthwhile.

And if you really wanted to build a custom fighter, you could have already done so in three different games - one of which made by Namco, just the same as SC3.

As for the GC... as much as I'd just love to get into my monthly Console Wars debate, I'll spare everyone and save it for Netjak, where it would at least make sense for me to referee one. Suffice to say that it, like the other two, has plenty of games worth playing.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 19, 2005 12:07 PM

Well, no, 32. I mean in Soulcalibur.

Those other games don't interest me. This does. Create a Fighter excites me. So, the contention the other modes won't get played doesn't work for me, because I'm excited about being able to make a Soulcalibur fighter.

Someday, I'll write the Soul Edge/Fire/Calibur essay, and you'll understand. But for the moment, just accept that I don't care how much better another game might be at X or Y, or who else might have done Z first. In my world, there is Soulcalibur, and there is all other fighters, and everything else isn't Soulcalibur, so I can take or leave it.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at October 19, 2005 12:09 PM

(Which, by the way, is not to take away from your credentials. You're a good video game critic, and your critiques are perfectly applicable to the general public. It's just, on this topic, I'm insane.)

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 19, 2005 12:50 PM

Well, so long as you admit to full fanboy mode about fighting games (particularly SoulCalibur), I can at least understand it.

Mind you, though, I still have perfectly estimated the appeal of Create a Fighter mode. Sure, it's going to appeal to the die-hard SC fans who want something new to the series. However, to most people it's not going to matter at all, as it's a feature for a small niche.

Granted, it's your niche, but I still have the proper estimation all around for the feature.

And I'll be waiting for that essay. Just as I'm sure you'll anticipate my response, featuring plenty of discussion of Tekken, Street Fighter, Samurai Shodown, and Guilty Gear (oh my, will I cite Guilty Gear).

Finally, the only honest response I can make about any praise about my work is that I can give you the URLs of several forums that would quickly and vociferously disagree with you, Eric.

Comment from: Mephron posted at October 19, 2005 1:59 PM

Dude. MUSHROOM PLANET.

I'd forgotten them until you made that comment and it popped up out of my head and said "hello, do you remember us?"

Dammit, now I want them. Must abuse Amazon now.

Comment from: policyvote posted at October 19, 2005 2:38 PM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!

Eric, you have seriously made me cry at work. I have been racking my brain for fifteen years trying to remember the titles, author, or ANYTHING from these books that would let me find them again. My third grade teacher read them aloud to my class, and even though I never owned them I loved the stories. As soon as I read your description of the dishwasher sounding like the air cleaner on the ship, something clicked inside me and I KNEW. From the bottom of my heart, and speaking for my children who will surely love these stories like I did, THANK YOU!

Peace
policy

Comment from: quiller posted at October 19, 2005 3:02 PM

I'm thinking to myself that the tolerability of hand washing is related to outside factors to me. Specifically the presence of music and other people. I seem to recall there was a dishwashing scene in "The Big Chill" set to music (though I could be misremembering, "Ain't too proud to beg" is going through my head). In my own case, it is washing dishes while my girlfriend of the time dried listening to "The Pirates of Penzance", and thinking that the line "unbridled domesticity" is perhaps not as oxymoronic as it was intended to be.

Washing your own dishes, by yourself, in silence or with some TV program on in the other room is a total downer, though.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 19, 2005 3:18 PM

I know all about that, Quiller. My wife and I set up a CD player right by the sink because we adamantly refuse to wash dishes in silence. The only time we don't listen to music while washing is when the other is futzing around in the kitchen for some reason. And sometimes even then, music is playing.

Comment from: Matt Sweeney posted at October 19, 2005 3:19 PM

I seem to recall there was a dishwashing scene in "The Big Chill" set to music (though I could be misremembering, "Ain't too proud to beg" is going through my head).

Nope, you're remembering correctly. The track was a Motown song, but I can't remember which right now.

Comment from: imtroubl posted at October 19, 2005 3:26 PM

Dishwashers.... I can't believe I am reading about dishwashers. Dishwashers are useful donĚt get me wrong but there are more important things in life. We have Brent, who after finding out he may have knocked up Jade, getting a glass of water for his adolescent daughter in a potential fatherhood storyline over at PVP. And in other revelations we have AJ getting humped by Miranda over at Userfriendly and we get dishwashers. This makes me wonder if Eric stops reading comics when he gets sick or if these two storylines are so lackluster that they donĚt deserve a decent snarking. Personally I think they are a lot of fun and the fact they are happening at the same time make for enjoyable reading as well. Well I am enjoying them, so I get a biscuit, a tasty, tasty biscuit.

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 19, 2005 3:29 PM

Well, see, I tend to supply my own music when doing domestic chores. I sing. My sig other says he can tell just how I feel about my chores by my choice of music. When I'm really in the "aaaaah! Clean is good!" mode, it's showtunes. I know, I know.. weird, but there it is.

Mind, when I'm cranky about it, that's when I put a CD in the player, usually Godsmack or Metallica, and turn it up. Loud. by the end of a cd or two, I turn it off, and by then, am ready for showtunes. Hooray for catharsis.

Comment from: kirabug posted at October 19, 2005 3:36 PM

Now that baseball's almost over, it'll be easier to do the dishes. Otherwise we both run back and forth between the dishwasher and the TV.

Well, except that hockey's started. Ah well.

Comment from: bartles69 posted at October 19, 2005 4:01 PM

imtroubl - It's not that those storylines aren't interesting, but that Eric writes about what captures his attention. His infectious enthusiasm about what some might consider a basic chore-saver and his brilliant ability to convey this joy allows the simple dishwasher to overcome the mundane and become extraordinary.

Comment from: Lilamrta posted at October 19, 2005 4:16 PM

We had a dishwasher put in when our house was built but, now get this, we didn't use it for almost a year. My dad and I were away for a month in the summer a few summers ago and my mom decided to start using the dishwasher, so she went out and bought more dishes, because at the time we had about 6 plates, 6 bowls, 8 cups... just enough for the four of us if we always washed our dishes after each meal. Which we did, and had been doing for probably about 7 years. She bought a set of dishes and just started using the dishwasher. When my dad and I got back, it was a whole new world of "eat, stick the dirty plate in the dishwasher, and just walk away" that amazed me. Now I don't know how we ever lived without it. We still wash pots and pans by hand; generally whoever didn't cook that night has to do the dishes. And if someone uses a pot or a pan during a not-mealtime, they wash it when they're done. Usually. And that's the system here at the Sadkin residence. Not that anyone cares.

Comment from: Dire posted at October 19, 2005 4:41 PM

Growing up, my house had a dishwasher so that all I ever had to worry about was my parents making me help load or unload it. However, during the holidays we would visit my Grandad who did not have one. We inevitably would have huge dinners with my large family and afterwords the dishes would need to be cleaned. We would get three or four people to help; me being the youngest of my siblings, I almost always would be one of them. It was exactly like dinner time was extended with everyone talking loudly, teasing each other, and generaly having a good time. Except, you know, everyone is stuffed and moving slowly.

Also, I went to a private school for kindergarten through my senior year of high school. Yes, it was all the same school. They had a system where every week a different class level would help with cleaning the dinning hall after lunch. Looking back it seems a bit strange, but I didn't think much of it at the time other than, "Man, I already pay to go here, why do I have to do this?" Anyways, around midschool my friends and I decided that dishwashing was the best job: it got done fast, was one of the easiest jobs, and we all got to hang out together. We would pass the time by singing songs as loud as we could like What a Wonderful World or Wild Thing. This of course would get strange glances from people bringing back trays and we even got the caffeteria lady to yell at us about not singing. It was great times.

Comment from: Bo Lindbergh posted at October 19, 2005 5:30 PM

Fortunately, I managed to suppress the impulse to write a Zelazny spoof.

Life is a thing—if you'll excuse a quick dab of philosophy before you know what kind of picture I'm painting—that reminds me quite a bit of a dishwasher.

Comment from: WaveLine posted at October 19, 2005 6:18 PM

Well damnit...every shred of glee I was able to vicariously experience through your essay Eric has been instantly ripped away by the knowledge that I still need to go home and wash a sink full of dishes.

I will never make stew again...

Long live the paper plate!

Comment from: quiller posted at October 19, 2005 9:36 PM

Hmm, well it looks like it was definitely The Temptations for the Big Chill Soundtrack, anyways.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at October 19, 2005 9:40 PM

I first encountered the Mushroom Planet books on a PBS show, I forget the name, where chapters from a children's book would be read while the screen showed the artist illustrating the chapters being read.

I love those stories. I should probably put them on my Amazon wishlist myself...

Comment from: A.G. Hopkins posted at October 20, 2005 12:49 PM

Not only did I read Mushroom Planet as a child, I think I still own it.

Eggs have sulfur in their yolks!

Comment from: larksilver posted at October 20, 2005 8:52 PM

hrm. Mushroom Planet. not ringing any bells, but darnit, apparently, it should be. Now, I've got to go find these books!

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