I will never wait this long before doing the dishes again.

First, let me say that I have all of the self-discipline of a two-year-old Labrador alone in the house with a 55-gallon trash can full of feminine hygeine products and baby diapers.

That’s why I bought a fine book called A Man’s Life: The Complete Instructions. Well, actually I stole it. It was one of my self-prescribed fringe benefits at my old job–you Haft bastards, are you listening? I used to carry it religiously on my long-distance flights because it contains detailed instructions about how to land a 747. Until someone stole it from me, that is.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. That book also gives fine instructions about how to wash dishes. Briefly described (and no doubt horribly recounted), it goes like this:

Wait until Sunday. Before the game, throw all the dishes into the sink. Fill the sink with hot water and a good glob of liquid soap.

Watch football. Wait until halftime, and let the Universal Solvent work its magic.

Run in at halftime and kick some ass. You should be done rinsing before kickoff.

Well, I tried that. Unfortunately, I was called away on some no doubt important mission and failed to return to the dishes at halftime. So I had to let them sit.

That was when Washington still had a chance to make the playoffs.

Other dishes joined the original set over the months. Some didn’t make it to the sink, but instead became their own Junior Science Projects where they lay: the bathroom, the coffee table, beside the bed. After a time, the mold stopped growing, and I was left with an army of crustacean-like kitchen sentries, zealously guarding their complete takeover of my apartment. Here a fragile pilsner-fungiform hybrid would recon the computer, there a chitinous salsa dish would dutifully observe the television. All’s quiet on the home front, they silently reported weekly to the fungal nerve center in my sink.

Then I got word that my parents were coming to visit. Only a week in advance. It was dirty dish Gotterdammerung, with the entire lot being swept into the sink to soak.

It didn’t work.

Upon draining the sink after five days, the beseiged kitchenware set in motion its counterattack: Operation Drano. It caught me completely unawares, as I discovered for the first time that I do not have a–what do you call them? The whizzy things that eat all your sink muck and don’t like forks and bottle caps. Those things. I was forced to divert my parents to other venues. Afterward, I plotted my revenge.

Attrition. The dishes soaked for two weeks, with occasional draining once I felt that the Red Devil and the bleach was wearing thin. They steadfastly ignored my demands for unconditional surrender. Tonight was their demise. The dishes, sorely pressed, vomited forth gelatinous bottle-caps, cigarette butts, spare change, and septic cellophane. A last ditch attempt on the part of one anonymous piece failed when I successfully prevented a prophylactic from getting sucked down the drain, but they all fought like the Hitler Jugend at the gates of Berlin. The kitchen still reeks with the aroma of fermented orange juice and kitchen-cleaner. A few die-hards soak still, but the battle is won.

The horror. The horror.

Let the lessons of tonight resound through the ages: I will never wait this long before washing the dishes again. Never forget!

Man, that was just too funny. When I still lived alone my secret was paper plates and plastic utensils & cups.


I sometimes resort to eating out of cans to avoid doing my dishes. Often my meal choices are based on which utensils are clean-- no spoons? No soup for me!

Love the Labrador comparison :slight_smile:

I’m partial to eating off paper towels, myself. But I’ve found that if you wash the dishes immediately after each meal, it takes less than 2 minutes each time. So I can take a leak, wash the dishes, and grab a beer, all during one commercial break. And if I’m watching network television, I can also slip a quick smoke in there somewhere.

I just do NOT understand this concept.

My brother solved this problem in his bachelor days by owning: One pot, one bowl, one spoon, and one glass. His position was that anything he would put on a plate would work on a paper towel just as well - or if it was too wet to work on a paper towel, he could always put it in the bowl. Only having one of everything meant that he HAD to wash the dishes before he could cook again.

Of course there was an 18-month period in his life when the only thing he put in his refrigerator was beer. The man ate out, or ordered in, every single meal for a year and a half.

He was, like, Super-Bachelor.

I can relate. My first appartment. We moved out instead of tackling the dishes. I’m serious. I lived with these guys (7 punks in a 1 bedroom) for 8 months. Never once saw the bottom of the sink. Never knew how deep it was. Never wondered.

Then in college, I shared a house with 5 other guys. It was worse. Once, I got drunk, stoned and innoculated and gave it a thorough cleaning. It was, and still is, the most absolutely filthy, disgusting thing you ever say. Chicken carcasses, months old, abandoned on the counter. The garbage can itself was buried in a slimy mess almost 4 feet high.

The bulk of the kitchen I just shoveled into large contracter bags. I filled 6 bags to brimming. These are very big bags. Even after nearly killing myself and half the neighbourhood with a delicate blend of bleach and ammonia there were still things wriggling in the corners and the counter I’m sure will forever have the nubbly texture of unidentified food particles that have somehow permanently melded to the cheap counter.

God, I just had to open this thread… didn’t I?

I’d almost forgotten.

:: shivers ::

Oh yeah, I forgot… the point to my post…

In all this mess, there were only 3 plates.

(plus the one I kept hidden in my room)

Yep, “One of what you need” is the rule that works. A friend of mine figured that out when he first moved out on his own. His parents, friends, acquaintances, etc. all gave him stuff to fill his kitchen. A dozen glasses quickly turned into a dozen dirty ones, and from that point he would only wash what he needed to use. Eventually got rid of 90% of the stuff. I actually have two forks, though. Them things pile up. One of everything else.

To the OP, AMEN!

I’ve been through that myself, and now that I’ve actually taken up cooking, I find even more need to clean them right away, and I feel so much better about it too. I might be getting addicted to washing dishes now though, as I’m finding myself washing dishes three or four times a day now, and that my fellow bachelorhood friends, is simply unheard of!
I need help…

I have two words for you: Dishwasher.

Okay, that was only one word. But it was like, two words stuck together, get it?

Now, you don’t have to ever RUN the dishwasher. You can simply throw your unrinsed, parasite-infested dinnerware into it at random.

When you feel like throwing some soap in and pushing the go button on the dishwasher, never fear. You don’t have to empty it and put things away. You can use your utensils directly out of the dishwasher.

Stuff building up in the sink again? Just put the dirty things in on top of the clean things and run the whole mess again. Who cares if you wash the same greasy pan 97 times? If you’re not using it, it may as well remain in the dishwasher.


Yeah, what the hell, eh? Maybe the damn thing might actually get cleaned… :slight_smile:


I’ve never really had this problem, because the kitchen is my favorite room of the house and I get a bit obsessive.

Not that I’m a neat person, mind you. But who cares if there’s a pile of smelly laundry higher than my head, and you can’t walk on the bedroom floor for all the clutter, and the dust bunnies have evolved into a herd of dust elephants under the bed? Dammit, the kitchen’s clean! Priorities…

Plus, washing dishes is what I do when I’m avoiding doing something else I should be doing. Which is most of the time, really.

who puts dishes in the sink? everyone knows you put them in the bathtub and when it is full you give them a shower.

Oh. My. God. That is probably one of the more disgusting things I’ve read in a while.

However, I did enjoy your use of adjectives, particulary “chitinous”, “pilsner-fungiform”, and “army of crustacean-like kitchen sentries”. Nicely done.

I must ask, did stuff start moving on its own? My dad has a habit of forgetting stuff in the back of the fridge that eventually acquire sentience. He calls them “lurks”. It usually takes 2 men and boy, all with strong constitutions, to clean out the fridge. The cat kills the stuff that makes a break for the underside of the fridge.