Basket Case

This actually happened and no names have been changed in order to shame the

I was in my third year of billeting hockey players…and for the most part it was amazing, and lots of fun. Our current billets were both called Matt. Since the first Matt had been with us a year already we called him “Matt”. We called the new Matt “the other Matt”.

In those days we used to spend a couple of weeks in February, around Valentines Day, in Mexico. Before we went away, I said to the boys “No Parties! You got it?” and then, because they’re plonkers and don’t listen to a word I say, I asked them to repeat it back to me: “What did I just say???”“No Parties!” they replied in unison.

My neighbor called me and asked if there was anything she could do or take care of while I was gone.“No parties!” I said. “You’re to text me if they have a party! I told the boys already and they’ve promised” I went away very confident that all would be well, particularly since I made a huge point of telling them that I had enlisted a spy.

I loaded the freezer with all their favorite dinners and pre-game meals. Pet-sitting duties and rosters were negotiated and agreed.

On the last day of my vacation I was totally dreading the mess that I knew the house was going to be in:I imagined dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds – the accumulation of 2 weeks of neglect.

I imagined the washrooms and how gross they were going to be and I couldn’t imagine when I was going to get all of the housework done.

When I walked in the door I immediately knew something was wrong.

The house smelled….GOOD. Fresh. Clean even. I use one of those Swiffer doo-dahs and the house smelled of that yummy “Clean Linen” scent.

The floors were clean and polished. Big clue: POLISHED…

The kitchen was pristine. The stainless steel glistened welcomingly as we walked in the door – the dishwasher was emptied and there wasn’t a single dirty dish in the sink.

The washroom was glistening. “No toilet paper” I noticed. “And no hand towels”

Down to the basement/Man Pit. Again, no dirty dishes. Fridge empty apart from beer. Beds unmade but that’s normal. Nothing amiss.

Upstairs – AH HAH! The Laundry is a clusterfuck. Clothes rotting in the dryer. The stench is vile. Clothes piled ceiling high. Towels EVERY-frikken-WHERE.

I noticed a lot of sheets and bed linen in the laundry too. Strange. They never change their damn sheets…NEVER.

I peeked into the other Matt’s bedroom. WTF! It almost looked like he had moved out. His quilt and a couple of pillows were GONE. I was perplexed.

So I went to unpack. I had a whole suitcase of laundry, so I sorted it into whites, lights and coloreds, and went to put the first load through.

“Hmmmmm. No laundry basket” I growled
“What does it look like” asked Jim

“It’s a plastic thing. White. About this big” I said “You’ve probably never seen it because it lives in the fucking laundry room”

Chastened, he went on a laundry basket hunt. He came back looking triumphant.

“Where’s my laundry basket” I demanded
“Oh I couldn’t find it” he said, “But….”

[pause for effect]

“One of our recycling containers is missing too! AND there’s vomit on the downstairs toilet!”

FFS! The little brats had a frikken party! And I specifically told them not to. And they promised!

Matt was first home. We hugged and did the whole how much we missed each other stuff. And then I proceeded to explore my line of questioning. Gently and subtly. In order not to spook the suspect….

“Matt” I said. “We seem to have lost a recycling container”

“Oh no – we, kind of… hid it” he said

“You kind of HID it? Why?” I asked. [this wasn’t going very well]

“Yeah it was full of cans and bottles and shit and we didn’t want you guys to think we’d had a big party” he replied

“But if it was full of cans and bottles and shit it means you DID have a big party Matthew”

“No – it wasn’t a big one, honest… A few of the older guys came over to watch the Superbowl. And they were so depressed they drank shitloads. And, errrrr, so we hid the recycling bin”

“Ahhh. I see. You didn’t have a BIG party. You had a LITTLE party. For the SUPERBOWL. And depression. Where’s my laundry basket then?”

“What does it look like?” he asked
“It’s a plastic thing. White. About this big” I grrrrr-answered, “Not that you’d know because you always leave your stinking clothes in the frikken DRYER”

Give. Me. Strength

The other Matt came home about that time toting the recycling container.
“I got nearly 20 bucks for those cans and bottles” he told us cheerily

“The Other Matt” I said, “Where’s your bedding?”
“Oh. My bedding…yeah. Well…that’s kind of a long story. Um. Do we have any spare quilts, I’m exhausted”

“WHERE. IS. YOUR. QUILT” I demanded
“Being Cleaned” he said sheepishly
“Where’s my laundry basket???” I demanded
“What does it look like?” he asked