We all have them. We all have to clean them. Dishes. You know, the things you put food on to eat off of and drink in to drink out of? Well, once you’re done, they are “dirty” and need to be cleaned. I’m saying this only because I know not everyone catches on as fast as me.
Here in the Riley household, we go through a lot of dishes. This wasn’t always the case. We once made enough money to go out and eat somewhere else, leaving dirty dishes for someone else to worry about. But times change, and now we eat at home (unless you are buying). There is nothing wrong with this, and if fact, seems almost normal. But once we get to the dirty dishes part, things take an ugly turn.
We have a dishwasher (and no I don’t mean my wife). It’s a very good dishwasher, one we purchased years ago when we could afford things like appliances. As a result, when we have dirty dishes, we load up the dishwasher and let it cheerfully spray water and soap and spin and whirl and make noise and as a finale, turn on some heat to dry what is inside.
The problem is, there is a startlingly huge difference between how I prepare dirty dishes and how my wife and daughter prepare dirty dishes. I’m talking huge like the pacific ocean, or my vast intellect and witty charm.
I am a firm believer that the advertisements made by dishwasher manufacturers are propaganda designed to lure you into buying their model. Claims like no prior rinsing, spotless finish, etc. etc.. I am not one to fall for such obvious ploys. My wife and daughter? Naive. Hook, line, and sinker folks. When I feel a wild hair and decide to load up the dishwasher (or because I can’t find any clean spoons), I go into the kitchen only to discover what should be dishes that need to be cleaned, but in fact are dishes that have globs of dried food pasted on like cement. My daughter’s specialty is leaving milk in a glass. Do you know how hard it is to clean out dried milk from a glass? Acid couldn’t take that crap off.
You see, while I believe that you take your dirty dishes into the kitchen, rinse them off so they can be properly sprayed and soaped by the dishwasher, my two girls believe that you leave extra food on the plates, grind it in with your foot, microwave the particles to cement them in place, and as a finale, take sandpaper to the dish in question. Of course, this means when you unload the supposedly clean dishes, they are anything but clean.
I’ve complained. I’ve explained, I’ve restrained (from throwing tantrums like a two year old). Nothing seems to get through to the girls so I pulled out the yellow pages and looked for some help. I came upon The Ministry of Funny Dishwasher Preparation (yes, a shameless parody of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks) and decided to give them a call. The conversation went a little something like this:
Ministry: “Hello, Ministry of Silly Dishwasher Preparation, how can we help you today?”
Me: “Yes, hello! I’m calling because I need help with a dishwasher problem.”
Ministry: “of course, and does your problem involve dishwasher preparation?”
Me: “Err, yes it does.”
Ministry: “Very well, and your problem is dishwasher preparation?”
Me: “Umm, yes, I just said it was.”
Ministry: “Don’t be snide Sir! We are here to help you! What is the nature of your problem?
Me: “Well, my wife and daughter don’t properly prepare the dishes to go into the dishwasher and I can’t get them to understand this.”
Ministry: “A common problem. Did you try explaining to them that dishes must be properly prepared before going into the dishwasher?”
Me: “I have, on numerous occasions.”
Ministry: “Well, let’s try this, what do you think proper dishwasher preparation is?”
Me: “Well, you need to rinse all the food and stuff off your dishes first, or the dishwasher won’t get them clean.”
Ministry: “Utter nonsense. Dishwashers are designed to get your dishes clean. Do you even know how to use a dishwasher?”
Me: “Of course I do! But sometimes, the dishes don’t come out clean!”
Ministry: “Do you use dishwashing detergent?”
Me: *sighs* “Yes I do.”
Ministry: “Oh, well then you need to rinse the food and stuff off your dishes first.”
Me: “I just said that.”
Ministry: “No you didn’t. I’m the expert here and I would remember if you did.”
Me: “Well, you’re mistaken, I did,”
Ministry: “Well we are going round and round here sir, and this will get you no where with your problem.”
Me: “Fine. What do you suggest?”
Ministry: “Oh! That’s easy! Simply explain the situation to them. Show them how the dishes don’t come clean.”
Me: “I’ve done that.”
Ministry: “Are you sure? Because if you did, I’m sure they would properly prepare the dishes for the dishwasher.”
Me: “Yes, yes, I’m quite sure.”
Ministry: “I see, well have you done something to piss them off?”
Me: “No, and what does that have to do with anything?”
Ministry: “If you pissed them off, then they are doing it get back at you.”
Me: “That doesn’t make sense, they are only making matters worse for themselves.”
Ministry: “You might have a point. Tell me sir, when was the last time you bought your wife flowers?”
Ministry: “Yes, often, when you give your wife flowers, she will do nice things for you.”
Me: “Are you on drugs?”
Ministry: “Of course not! I only do drugs on the weekends.”
As you can tell, that got me absolutely nothing. Much like explaining to my girls about proper dishwashing preparation. I guess I’m doomed to rewash dishes, huh?