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Of tornadoes, ink, and drano
cap, captain miss america

Today, as I was exiting the subway station to come home from work, it began to rain, lightly at first, as the traffic light changed to red just before I was close enough to cross. I was standing past the underpass, in the open air, and the rain wasn’t hard– but I looked a few dozen meters into the distance and saw the rain, in tiny, mistlike drops, moving sideways across the road.

The wind whipped up, and thunder crashed, and the other people waiting to cross the street went back under the underpass. I figured I was going to get wet sooner or later, why hide from inevitability? So I stayed at the intersection, the wind blowing so hard it lifted my purse into the air and tossed my hair around my head. Then, a nearby sign was literally picked up by the wind and flew past me, just about two feet away.

I decided that was it, and went back into the stairway to wait for the light to change.

The light changed, and a few moments later, the rain started to come down in sheets. I ran the block and a half home, entirely soaked through to the core by the time I got there. It was a bit thrilling– and then I signed onto Twitter and saw everyone else’s reactions. Crap! I only heard later that it was the result of a tornado not far off.

So I went upstairs and got changed into dry clothes, and ate some dinner, and got all my drawing stuff out…and promptly spilled ink all over my new rug. My new lime-green rug. And not just a little ink. We’re talking like at least a half-ounce of ink, in a footprint-shaped double-blotch on the rug.

I dumped some dish detergent and water on it immediately to keep it from drying while I wiped up the ink that had soaked through onto the hardwood floor. This made the foot-sized blotch into a head-sized blotch. Great, I thought, here we go. I hauled the rug into the bathroom and tried to put the soiled part into the bathtub, but it kept touching other bits of itself and spreading the ink around like poison oak. I started adding laundry detergent and hot water, turning the inky portions of the rug into a grey-frothy mess.

And that’s when I noticed that the tub wasn’t draining. So now, in addition to a rug with a grey spot the size of a large baby and a few other little grey spots, I had a tub full of black water. I mean, yes, I suppose if I’d wanted, I would never had had to mix grey wash again in my life, but did I really want? Not so much. To make matters worse, since the tub wasn’t draining, now MORE clean bits of the rug were accidentally getting dipped into the water. I abandoned the tub and moved to the sink. Which involved taking pretty much everything in my bathroom and removing it to a safe location. It also involved rinsing out tiny patches of the rug at a time, one by one, very awkwardly.

After a good forty minutes of this scrubbing-and-rinsing, in which I also enlisted the help of a pot, which I could fill up with water and dump over a bigger area of rug all at once, most of it was back to mostly-green, with a few splotches of dull grey.

I bundled up the rug and took it down to the laundry room, figuring whatever hadn’t some out might be assisted by a couple of rinse cycles…which is when I discovered that my rug did not fit in the washing machine.

So we (meaning I) hauled that baby back up the stairs (well, elevator) and this time, cleared out the kitchen. This involved moving all the dishes sitting in the drying rack.

You know how some kitchens have awkward cabinet placements which allow small objects to fall down into dark and narrow crevices?

Yeah. I lost my blender ring. It just rolled down there like the meatball that was on top of spaghetti until someone sneezed.

Torn between trying to get more of the ink out and rescuing my blender ring, I realized that the blender ring wasn’t going anywhere, and the ink was drying, so I started ringing the rug out, again, under the kitchen sink, which was a lot better because the faucet had a longer neck and swiveled. And I added more dish detergent, but by now, the foam was foaming up in pale grey and not Diesel Tailpipe Exhaust Color.

A few more rinses, and I am pretty sure my rug is in as good condition as it could be in. An hour and a half after I spilled the ink.

Now I ran to the drugstore, got some Drano, and did a pretty respectable job of getting my tub unclogged, then went to work on the blender ring. As much as the scrubbing probably took the most endurance, my blender-ring-retrieval, which involved making a giant makeshift pair of tweezers out of the handles of my broom and my Swiffer, and extracting the blender-ring Operation-style, was possibly the most ingenious thing I’ve done in a long time.

Two hours after the ink was spilled, I managed to settle back down to discover that my parents had called me several times, worried, because they hadn’t heard from me post-tornado. So here I am, still covered in big ink-splotches since I managed to clean the rug but neglected to clean myself, hands tasting of Drano, behind one comic, out some ink and some detergent, and skeptical about whether my rug is going to show dull ink-stained spots once it dries. I hope not.

At least I can blend things.

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Oh, I -do- hope your rug comes out clean.

After all that, you deserve a clean rug.

I think it's pretty clean. It was still drying this morning.

Thank goodness! I'd be super-bummed if it was totally stained forever.

I'm sorry to hear about your accident and hope it doesn't put you off ink. Part and parcel, I'm afraid. My drawing table still has a spill down one of its legs that I managed years ago. And there's not a period I ink that I don't end up with at least smudges on fingers and arms. Ink is still wonderful stuff. Here's hoping for your rug.

And wow. Tornadoes in NYC? Or even close? That's pretty frightening! Glad you're ok!

What? OF course not! The ink isn't to blame; my carelessness and cavalier attitude toward working with it is, and since years of messing stuff up through carelessness haven't cured me of that, I think it will go on for many more.

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I agree. This was very funny to read but, I can imagine, very annoying to experience!

I hope the rug comes clean:)

I was pretty impressed with myself after that.

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I did see a lady flying through the air on a bicycle.

random reply is random for the sake of the icon. ♥

Sounds like a most trying day, but I laughed at your narrative till tears squirted. I hope today isn't quite so exciting for you!

Aw! Then someone was entertained.

I hope not, too. My hands can only take so much exposure to Drano.

Glad you were ok from the tornado! It completely destroyed the fire escape garden one of my Brooklyn friends was cultivating. It destroyed all the herbs, and even the tomatoes, with the 50-60lb planters knocked over. It's sadness, but at least the people in the apartment were ok.

Oh no! Poor planties. My coworker's mom had a tree fall on her car. Thankfully, she was not in it.

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It's exactly the same as in reference to vehicles-- the train is elevated; I was waiting below the train tracks.

And thank you!

Good heavens, what an evening!! At least you weren't trying to get to a Mets game during the tornado, like my sister? D:

I'm impressed with your industry and sorry you had so many things go awry!!

Oh geez! Yeah, I just got to run through the crazy wet!

It was pretty okay. I forgot to write about the part where I almost broke down and threw out the rug.

I'm pretty sure that's what I would have done from the start. Or maybe dumped the ink all over the whole thing and just lived with an awkwardly dyed rug?

But yeah, the 7 wasn't running so after loads of delays they ended up on a bus, which took maybe 2 hours because of traffic and downed trees and who knows what else! They were both really upset but they got there for the 5th inning and actually enjoyed the rest of the game! XD

In contrast, I was so lucky! I went out to get a bit of food and got back inside just 10 minutes before the rain started! And by the time I needed to go outside again it had more or less stopped!

Wow! I must have gotten the last 7 out!

I'm not laughing at you. Really. *snorts*

Oh, honey... *snugs tight*

Edited at 2010-09-17 04:51 pm (UTC)

This is like an epic adventure of apartment dangers!

I'm sorry for laughing but this was the most fantastic read I've had in ages! It's like an episode of a sitcom, and I know how horribly unsympathetic that sounds and if it had happened to me I'd be all GRAAARRR... but tee-hee *hides*! What an epic adventure. You can't make that shit up for sure! XD

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