Rushville Republican


March 7, 2013

Stuart: What’s with the clothes, I Axe you?

RUSHVILLE — With two teenagers and an almost 12-year-old under my roof, I believe my kids’ bedrooms could easily make the top five in any competition for “Best-Dressed Floors on the Planet.”

Readers with teenagers, or readers who ever were teenagers, probably know what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t, here’s a genuinely factual fact illustrating what I mean: No. 4 son (age 15) has scads of drawer and shelf space in his bedroom. All of it, every square micrometer, is completely, utterly empty. Every garment he owns rests on his bedroom floor.

Or how about this: No. 3 son (age 17) is responsible for doing his own laundry: washing, drying, folding and storing. Here’s his typical approach to that task:

Step 1: Realizes “I don’t have any clean clothes!”

Step 2: Drag a monstrously overstuffed laundry basket to the laundry room.

Step 3: Wash and dry the clothes. The “dry” step is usually preceded by seven or eight substeps in which my wife or I remind him, “You have clothes in the washer, put them in the dryer!”

Step 4: Monstrously overstuff the laundry basket and drag it back to his room.

If you count the steps outlined in the first sentence of the paragraph above, they total four. And the number of steps in No. 3’s laundry “routine,” also four. So hey, the lists match, mathematically at least, and as far as he’s concerned, the laundry’s done, and he’s good!

The thing is, most of the stuff he routinely wears would fill probably three monstrously overstuffed laundry baskets, so when he needs to repeat his Steps 1 through 4 above, the “clean” stuff that’s stuffed into the basket gets dumped on his bedroom floor.

No. 5 son (age 11) actually gets his dirty clothes into a laundry hamper in his room. Except for the clothes that don’t make it. Stuff that he leaves on the bathroom floor when he takes a shower, for example. Or stuff that gets near the hamper but not in it, a result of him playing “basketball” with his clothes when he sheds them; he likes to attempt long-range jump shots with each piece, from the distant corners of his bedroom toward his hamper. Unfortunately, he makes only about nine percent of those shots.

(And a special note to No 5: Yes, son, I get it; a balled up sock IS easier to shoot toward a laundry hamper, but if you don’t eventually unroll them, I’m going to wash them in their balled-up state, and they AIN’T gonna dry very well in that state, so if you want to complain about putting on damp socks as you rush to get ready for school, COMPLAIN TO THE MIRROR!)

As loving but firm parents, my wife and I have taken the following approach to managing this situation: we close their bedroom doors. This has multiple benefits.

We can’t see the mess.

Our little cat can’t go in and take naps in the piles of clothing, which could result in Nos. 3 or 4 tossing him unknowingly in the washing machine with their dirty clothes.

Our big at can’t go in and, confused by the aroma of the festering textiles, mistake a pile of garments for her litter box and relieve herself. Which she’s done.

All this mistreatment of clothing doesn’t even touch on behaviors like that of No. 3 son, who drives one of our cars to and from school each morning, and has managed to fill it with jackets, sweatshirts, spare pairs of sneakers, baseball caps, etc. He’s essentially driving a diesel-powered closet.

No. 4 son likes to wear flannel shirts and hoodies over his daily T-shirts, and when he gets home from school, thinks nothing of casting those “over-garments” on the garage floor, at the entrance to the house.

Soccer jerseys, socks, cleats, shin guards etc., from practices and games played by Nos. 4 and 5, form their own fermenting clump in another corner of the garage.

Sometimes, the mechanical, thermal and chemical energy of the washing machine are just not enough to improve upon either the appearance or the, uh, scent, of these woefully mistreated clothes. Which, according to my kids, is precisely why the scientists at Unilever invented Axe body spray.



Text Only
  • We are still the United States It seems to me that America has in the past had an idea of destiny, one that started at Concord and continues to today. A great experiment was begun with the shot heard around the world. It continued on through the remainder of the Revolution and spa

    April 22, 2014

  • Mail Tales: Of postcards and wishing where you were This week we're going to explore the exciting world of Deltiology. I know that "Deltiology" sounds vaguely scientific, which means some of you are probably worrying that this is another one of my sneaky attempts to foist upon you a poorly researched,

    April 22, 2014

  • An important election this year I wonder if anyone has to be reminded that we're in another election year. The current election season is often referred to as an "off-year" election because it's not a year in which we vote for a president. This will be, nevertheless, one of the mos

    April 22, 2014

  • In a perpetual comma I misplace a lot of things: keys wallet gloves the dog's leash. Recently I misplaced something that may not seem very important unless you read that last sentence carefully. Then you will realize that believe it or not I can't find my comma. Yes it's

    April 22, 2014

  • Crate art Paper labels from 1880-1930, collectively referred to as "Crate Art", are a unique form of American Folk Art. Originally designed to be glued to the ends of wooden crates to identify produce during shipping, the graphically attractive labels are stil

    April 22, 2014

  • This column will self-destruct in 5 seconds I've become completely infatuated over the past few weeks with a gift I received a few Christmases ago. It was a completely unexpected gift from one of my big brothers: a set of "Mission: Impossible" DVDs. No, not home videos of me begging my kids to

    April 15, 2014

  • Don't sweat the small things There are a few things in life that really get under my skin, one of which is complaining. Yes, I complain sometimes, but it doesn't last too long at all before I put myself in check. There was a story this week that really touched my heart and like

    April 15, 2014

  • The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 15, 2014

  • Self deposit box I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 15, 2014

  • Change can be done here In previous columns I've suggested that one of the factors holding this community back is the relatively poor image many of us have of our town. The point, as some may recall, was made by several people who live in other communities who said Rushvill

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.