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The Saga of the Cleaning of the Area Rug

by Jan Hasselius

This is the saga of the Cleaning of the Area Rug after our poor old dog had died. This is a funny tale! So enjoy it at my expense. Only this type of thing happens to ME.

I took the area rug out of the living room, which was an experience in itself. I am not a fuss-with type of person. When we first put his rug down, it seemed to 'move' whenever we walked on it. It would take a month and we would notice that it had moved at least two/three inches towards the TV. I know rugs don't watch TV, and I know we keep the sound up loud enough for the 'rug' to hear, as I understand rugs have a hearing deficiency. And being a practical minded, non-fussy type, I solved the problem by ...in each corner of the rug...I nailed it to the floor. That carpet wasn't going anywhere! And so right I AM!

Now when I wanted to remove the rug, I faced a challenge! I was able to remove it after all, in the process of struggling and uttering a few choice words at myself. Just a year earlier I was praising myself for the same thing that I am now cursing! To move it alone, I roll it up but it would not stay rolled up. So I go get duct tape and tape it! Another minor victory in the cesspool of life!

Now I have won half the battle of moving it to the basement alone. I wrestle with it and it bumps, bumps bumps downstairs, only knocking off two or three things along the way, and breaking only one vase, one doll. Sweating like a trooper, I wrestle it into the work area of the basement and flop it down! TA DAH!

I remove the tape and lay the rug flat on the basement floor
I troop back upstairs and get the old, but terrific, carpet cleaner and the hoses and tubes it entails and wrestle them downstairs.

The battle may be won, but the war is not over. I now take the hose end and try to attach it to my laundry room faucet. Doesn't fit. Oh. Now what?

I take the hose end and try to attach it to my bathroom faucet. Doesn't work, both ends have female adaptors. Oh. Now what?

Should I tote that THING back up the stairs, tote the machine, hoses, tubes and bells back upstairs? No. That is no solution.

Think, Janice, Think!

Oh, I know. I will put the rug in the large basement walk in shower and hose it down, pour in some cleaner and hose it down again and rinse it down good and leave it there to dry! All the mess will be in one area, with a floor drain! Ohhh so smart. Could it be that I have yet another victory coming to me?

The battle isn't over on this step. The strategy looks good, but the RUG out maneuvers it. I think it misses the TV! It won't cooperate.

I have to rewrap it and re duct tape it and force it into the shower. Then untape it, unwrap it and 'Voila", it doesn't fit right. So now.... think, Janice, think.

I will duct tape the rug to the shower wall and that is an even better idea! All the water will now run down and into the drain and the rug will also dry faster in an upright position. I am so smart! Oft times in wars, you have to regroup and replan the strategy!

I tape it up securely, using a lot of duct tape.

I turn on the water and hose it down with the hand held showerhead. Hey! This is Great! This is just wonderful! But what is that odor?

I splash carpet cleaner and Mr. Clean liberally onto the standing rug and watch as the refreshing cleaners spill on the rug and soaks in deeply, giving a cleaner smell to the shower stall.

I take my scrub brush and start working the cleaner into the rug. By this time I am getting pretty wet, and I think what I smell isn't just cleaner. My! I continue using elbow grease and....wait ! Some of the duct tape is slipping off the rug. II looked up and see it is holding onto the ceramic tile, but not onto the wet rug! I am standing in this large reeking shower, wet, with my pant legs rolled up and in bare feet! Hurry! It looks like London Bridge Might Fall! Hurry!

I grabbed the shower handle and spray the monster all over. The more I can get rinsed while it is still standing up, the sooner I will be done. But, but, but...the weight of the extra water is making the rug heavier and heavier and I watch in despair as the whole rug slowly crumbles down on top of me! Heeellllpppp!

But I am not licked yet! I fight out from under the suffocating, reeking, rug and attack it with the showerhead. It is not going to WIN! It is going to get cleaned whether it likes it or not.

"No TV for YOU tonight!" I yell victoriously as I brazenly back out of the shower stall and slam the door behind me! I leaned against the shower door, panting and pushing away the wet hair!

Tomorrow! Yes, tomorrow I will remove that rug and lay it out to dry. Today I am going to count myself Victorious and go up stairs for a long hot bath and shampoo.

I am soo good! I smile to myself as I climb up the stairs. I know I am good. That was such a wonderful brainstorm to use that large shower stall. heheheh, I laugh to myself as I think about the rug sulking in the shower! heheheh


Today I get up and kiss my husband off to work and head downstairs to the computer room to enjoy my high-tech side of life. As I am typing away...the war begins again.

Tap tap tap goes the keyboard. The sound is so soothing and I love the screen and all the toys I have on it. I take a sip of the amaretto coffee I had brought down with me. My eyes, my taste buds, the feeling of the keys, all these senses working like an orchestra in my well being, but it cannot compete with...that smell. What is that smell? It isn't strong, but it is definitely there. I go on with the keyboarding...tap tap tapping. After a while the coffee has hit 'bottom' and I go into the downstairs bathroom. As soon as the bathroom door is opened I am ASSULTED! The Rug! It is still in there! It is marinating! The Smell! Disgusting! Disgusting Disgusting! The cleaner lost! The Mr. Clean Lost

Ohh! I hold my nose and open the shower door and look at the limp, fermenting, decomposing, once proud rug lying on the shower floor with a trail of liquid dripping out of its folds. Totally dead!

Sometimes when you win, and you find afterwards that you really lost.

I have to get that dead rug body out of the house. It is permeating the whole house! That is why my husband kept spraying the air with air freshener this morning!

But How?

I have won this war and I intend to keep this victory. All battlefields have corpuses.

I find a handkerchief and dose it with perfume and wrap it around my head. Battle stations Ready! I put on my boots, roll up my pant legs and wrestle the dead rug into a comedic suggestion of a roll. Then I physically grab it by its shoulders and heave it outside the shower stall on to a dry sheet I had laid on the floor in preparation. Pausing to say a quick prayer, thanking the good Lord for a walkout basement, I grabbed the sheet by the corners and pulled the dead weight out of the bathroom, across the basement and out of the basement door. With our January thaw, the ground was icy with snowmelt and slush. Slipping and sliding and falling and carrying the rug by the sheet, I struggled with it until it was completely outside. Then in reverence to the many years of service the rug had given us...I respectfully laid it out.

And walked back into the house.

It could freeze out there the rest of the winter! It was still January and there was a long time left until it could expect a decent interment. By that time the smell should be gone.

How could I know the smell would attract all the dogs in the neighborhood and they would come over to pay their last respects to my old dog that marked his territory permanently on the rug? By spring, the rug would have turned color; it will then be a yellow ocher.

But that part of the battle would have to wait until spring.

The warrior woman would return!

Is that trumpets we hear?

Copyright 2005  jan@hasselius.com
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