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What About Mary, part six

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here we go again. If you're new you really need to catch up. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. You'll love me for it.

Several days after the sandwich bag incident we were back at the house. We had to complete the cleaning so subs could begin work. We were on a deadline; we needed to finish before Mary was released.

Jeff and our boys went down to the dark cave of a basement to clean the makeshift kitchen. They bagged up and threw away whatever they came across. By that time trying to save anything was futile.

I was upstairs with the girls cleaning the master bedroom. I heard the boys yelling, I heard Jeff yelling. Then I heard kids running like wild horses up the stairs.

“What happened now?”

“Dad opened the refrigerator! It’s black in there. The smell is awful, Dad’s gagging!”

That was significant. Jeff doesn’t gag. He’s the guy that has caught, in his bare hands, vomit spewing from the mouths of kids. They weren’t even our kids. He’s the guy that cleaned up after a dog that had eaten an entire turkey. He’s the guy that would have no trouble eating lunch in a Porta-Potty. If he was gagging it was bad. If he was gagging I was hiding.

I heard Jeff yell out for me.

“TERI, come down here!”

He was evil, pure evil. The only reason he wanted me down there was to torture me, to watch me lose it. He liked to laugh at my involuntary retching. He would be wiping tears from his eyes while I was puking my feet up. I wasn’t about to give him that satisfaction.

Kids were laughing, Jeff was yelling and I was making myself scarce.

“Teri, come on. Please.”

“Jeff, I’m in the middle of something. I will NOT come down there. Savor the mess by yourself.”

Jeff’s laughter was radiating up the stairwell. He could damn well laugh himself silly. I wasn’t about to join in the fun of marveling at a filthy, mold growing, toxic waste site.

He gave up and I went back to bagging dirty clothes. The piles of clothes were up to my waist around much of the room. My intention was to have the girls take them to a laundromat, wash and fold them. It would be nice for Mary to have clean clothes, probably for the first  time in years.

Under the clothes were prescription bottles from the eighties, ten year old newspapers, and over a dozen dead rats. There were even more rat skeletons. We were used to the rats by then. We scooped them up and dropped them out of the window into the 40 yard dumpster.

We were on our third 40 yard dumpster and the house was only 1000 sq ft. When the third dumpster was delivered the delivery guy shouted, “Where in the hell are you getting all this shit?” We told him it was all from inside the house. He just shook his head and drove away.

The girls and I continued cleaning. Finally all of the clothes were bagged and the floor was clear. I noticed the dresser. It was next. I stood there with my arms crossed staring down the piece of furniture. I was wondering what I was going to encounter in its belly.

I pulled open the first heavy, wooden drawer and was surprised. The drawer was filled with Beanie Babies sealed in plastic eggs. I closed that drawer and opened the next. Dozens of beady little Beanie Baby eyes blankly stared back at me. I was feeling pretty confident then. No dirt, no dead rats, no odor.

I opened the bottom drawer. There were more Beanie Babies. Those Beanie Babies were in shock. They’d been traumatized. They were innocent toys for children. Neatly stacked beside the wide-eyed, pellet filled playthings were several stacks of lesbian porn.

The Beanie Babies were confiscated to be sold. The magazines were left where they were found, left for an old lady with cases of batteries.

The girls and I switched modes. We needed some fresh air. We began lugging the bags of clothes down to my daughter’s car. My son came walking out of the house eating a chocolate bar.

Not knowing if I wanted to know the answer I hesitantly asked, “Cole, where did you get that?”

“I found it under some boxes downstairs. Do you want some? There’s gum too.”

I puked, the girls gagged and chocolate eating Cole was sent on his way. I didn’t have the strength to fight him.

That afternoon the girls took 17 black garbage bags of dirty clothes to the laundromat. They drug each bag into the front of the establishment pretending not to notice the inquisitive stares of other patrons.

They opened one bag and started filling the first washer when a woman from the back hurried toward them. She had a disgusted look on her face and a can of air freshener in her hand. She saturated the air with the miracle spray while informing the girls that they needed to take the remainder of the clothes to the back room, the enclosed back room, the back room of death.

The girls respectfully agreed. They began the chore of pulling the heavy bags into the room reserved for the worst of the worst. With every step they noticed wrinkled noses, faces covered by magazines, and mothers protecting their children from the putrid breeze that followed them and their bags.

They worked into the night washing and folding the aged clothes. As the garments were folded they were packed neatly into boxes and loaded into the car.

Meanwhile back at the house Jeff and I were moving furniture off of the carpeted areas. It had been determined that the carpets could be saved. First they had to be pulled up and the underlayment sealed. We rolled the sealant over decades of pet urine so it wouldn’t soak up into the carpets after they had been steam cleaned and sterilized.

We went through two gallons of sealant and I went to get a third. We kept all of the extra supplies in the spare room down the hall from the main area of the house. I started down the dark hallway.  It had been cleaned so the path was clear. Half way to the room I tripped on something.

I backed up and turned on the light. I saw what had tripped me and called out to my husband.

“Jeff, how much worse do you think this will get?”

“We’re nearly finished cleaning. It’s all downhill from here.”

“Uh, Jeff?”


“I think Scooter the dog is dead.”


Miley November 18, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

holy shit woman!
I missed part 5 when it was posted so just got through that, and now THIS?

By the way, this is like a drug for me now... so keep on writing! :D

Gucci Mama November 18, 2010 at 11:38 PM  

I just caught up on the story; I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Also, I'm very, very nauseous.

Rob-bear November 19, 2010 at 4:31 AM  

Uh-oh! All the changes you have been making to Mary's house have killed the dog! I hope they don't kill Mary.

Or have I missed something here? (Being Bear-brained, I often miss details in passing.)

Unknown November 19, 2010 at 6:45 AM  


Don't. Wanna. Read.

Can't. Stop. Reading!

Furry Bottoms November 19, 2010 at 6:57 AM  

Oh dear God! For some reason I thought all along that Scooter was just a pair of slippers Mary had!

Your kids are the bravest kids I've ever heard of!

I'm kind of worried about the ending of this saga. All that hard work to be met with... what? I cannot imagine!

Unknown November 19, 2010 at 7:56 AM  

I'm loving this story. It's always been a dream of mine to be able to clean a house like that.
But, twat have you forgotten about?

Mrs. Indecisive November 19, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

How nice of you to do the clothes...I'm enjoying this story! I can't wait to hear what Mary's reaction will be!

Monkey Man November 19, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

I know I am getting way ahead on this story, but what flows through my mind is - How will this house stay clean after Mary's return. Sounds like an impossibility.

Christy November 19, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

I'm confused. Does Mary own this house and who is paying you to "fix" it? Did I miss something? I must have.

Poor Scooter, may he rest in peace.

The Reckmonster November 19, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

This is great! It's like reading an episode of "Hoarders" but BETTER!! You get to throw everything out and tell us about all of the "goods" you're finding!!

Dazee Dreamer November 19, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

I'm sorry, but you guys are huge hero's right now, because I would have just called in a wrecking ball company, a big scooper truck thingy and everything would be gone. If I had seen one dead or alive rat, no going back.

Oh, and thanks for the visual. I almost lost my dinner. :)

Classic NYer November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

Your kids are the bravest kids I've ever heard of!

I second that.

I kind of want to know what was in the fridge though...

Brenda Susan November 20, 2010 at 4:10 PM  

I gotta say that my admiration for you and your family is so huge! What great kids you have. This will stay with them a long time, in a good way. Will probably have the cleanest rooms in town!
Kudos to you Mom!

Unknown November 20, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

I read all six episodes and, wow, that is one ripping good story,and you tell it well. Your kids learned lessons from this project that will serve them well.

Sarahf November 21, 2010 at 12:36 AM  

Beanie Babies and lesbian porn, there's two things I never thought I'd hear together.

Diva (in Demand) November 22, 2010 at 12:21 AM  

You know I hate you right now right? This shit can't possibly go just can't!

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