Dastardly schemes that upset your week

Dastardly schemes of the evil cat

Some people are evil. I share the dastardly schemes of three such people in the areas of iron design, soy milk packaging, and pizza toppings.

I believe that on the whole people are good. They’re trying to protect you from killer pigeons, not steal your ice cream, teach you about the world, not make themselves big by making you feel small.

They feed wheat to mice and mice to kittens, and never get up when the cat is sleeping on their lap.

On the other hand, some people are bastards.

They deliberately speed through the puddle beside you just to splash you with dirty water, and take the last muffin that you were eyeing up solely to stop you getting it. And they weren’t even hungry.

These are the stories of three such people.

Iron man

I might have mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of ironing. I avoid buying myself clothes that need to be ironed (except by mistake), but hubby wear business shirts Monday to Thursday, so four mornings a week I get out the iron and do the deed.

Yes, it would probably be more efficient to iron them all in one go on the weekend, which would also give me more time in the mornings.

However, I’ve discovered through experimentation that one shirt is the maximum amount of ironing I can get through in one go without seriously contemplating turning the iron on myself.

So one shirt each morning it is.

My iron has two settings: not hot enough to get rid of the wrinkles, and so hot it partially melts the material and leaves strange pale lines in the colour.

There is no middle ground.

I quickly discovered the only way to have a chance at getting a flat shirt with more shape than a smear on the ironing board was to use a great deal of steam.

My iron dislikes this idea.

It demonstrates its unhappiness in several ways.

First is when I try to fill it up with water. The iron has a little hole on the top where you’re supposed to pour the water in. I’ve requisitioned a measuring jug for the purpose because we never cook anything that requires measuring and the jug creates a narrow stream of water that has a chance of going in the hole.

Unfortunately, the chance is never big enough.

Whichever clever bastard designed the iron came up with the dastardly plan of making a hole you can’t actually pour water into.

Oh, it starts out seeming fine, but after the first trickle a bubble or backwash always forms in the entrance and the water comes pouring out of the iron and goes everywhere.

I know irons are run by electricity, and water plus electricity equals much unhappiness, so I find this reverse water decidedly alarming.

Eventually I get enough water into the iron to attack the shirt. I turn the steam on full blast, put the iron face-down… and nothing.

No steam, no hiss. The iron refuses to play.

It might be pumping out enough heat to turn a royal blue shirt pasty, but no steam means no wrinkle-fighting power.

Maybe I haven’t said the right prayers to the Great Cat.

Eventually, and entirely randomly, the iron decides to steam.

Quick! Use the flattening power while it lasts!

I iron like a madman, but eventually I have to leave the iron sitting up on its butt.

The steam continues to flow.

In great clouds it belches forth like dragon breath, hissing and fogging up the windows. I swear it would run until it ran out of water, given half a chance.

At times the iron is steaming when down and stopping when up, and then, inevitably on a white shirt, it resorts to its most evil trick of all.

It gobs lumps of brown goo across the shirt.

And before you get all upset and tell me this is my fault for not using distilled water in the iron let me say this. I know using tap water causes a bulid-up of minerals inside the iron that have to go somewhere.

(I’m really hoping this is what the goo is, and not some alien infestation.)

But for freak’s sake, it’s an iron. Like you shouldn’t coddle kids, you shouldn’t coddle irons. Do it and soon they’ll be refusing to work unless you feed them the $80-a-bottle tequila.

No matter what I feed it, that’s no excuse for gobbing swamp water on hubby’s shirts.

So the first prize in jerkiness goes to the person who designed my iron.

Soy milk carton guy

I take my coffee with soy milk.

It comes in a cartony box kind of thing with a plastic screw top and it makes my coffee taste a bit like custard.

I like custard. It makes coffee feel homey.

The carton of soy milk is well equipped with helpful instructions. Twist to open, refrigerate after opening, and all that.

And there’s this one: shake well before use.

I see the logic behind this instruction. Soy milk separates when it sits for too long. (At least, I assume this is the reason. It could be that the soy milk company thinks we all need more exercise, and shaking cartons is the way to get it.)

Before I open the carton for the first time I give it a good shake, and when I pour creamy goodness streams out.

But I come back the next day, set the jug boiling, put instant coffee in my cup, and get the soy milk from the fridge.

Shake well before use.

I shake the carton.

Soy milk splashes everywhere.

If you’re going to insist I shake the soy milk every time you should darn well put it in a carton with a lid that doesn’t leak.

Soy milk guy is jerk number two.

Pizza guy

Anchovies on pizza are the devil. They taste like excrement, and you can’t even pull them off and eat the pizza because they leave their horrible taste behind.

Hubby, on the other hand, thinks anchovies enhance a pizza. Years ago, we agreed to disagree. (We also disagree on how to cook bacon.)

Fortunately, pizza places have come up with the wonderful concept of putting different toppings on the two halves of one pizza.

Usually this works. We can have half a pizza with gross things like pineapple, olives (which can plausibly be removed from pizza) and anchovies, and half a pizza with real food toppings only.

Until recently when the pizza guy turned dastardly. Sure, he gave us the toppings we asked for and anchovies on half the pizza only.

Under the cheese.

In case you’re wondering, you can’t identify anchovies under a slathering of cheese. You can’t tell which half of the pizza is safe and which might yield a mouthful of excrement.

No way except to bite and hope you don’t get a mouthful of salty fish.

Jerk number three: the dastardly pizza guy who hides the anchovies under the cheese.

Dastardly schemes involving anchovies
No dead fish on my pizza, thank you very much.

What dastardly schemes have people pulled on you?

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Author: A.S. Akkalon

By day, A.S. Akkalon works in an office where the computers outnumber the suits of armour more than two-to-one. By night, she puts dreams of medieval castles, swords, and dragons onto paper.

12 thoughts on “Dastardly schemes that upset your week”

  1. Decant the soya milk into a glass bottle with a proper screw top. Unless your husband has no hands make him iron his own shirts. Can’t think of a solution to the anchovies problem other than getting a mathematical genius to tell you how to slice it up in such a way that you’ll know exactly where the little horrors have been placed.

    1. Your solution for the soy milk is far too sensible. I don’t mind ironing for hubby – he does things for me too, like keeping me stocked up on tea as I write.

      So far my solution for the anchovies has been to get hubby to eat until he locates a slice with anchovies, and then take the slice opposite, which technically should be safe. However, real life tends to not be as neat as mathematics.

  2. I’m with TOS on hubs ironing his own shirts, he’s an adult who’s made a grown-up wardrobe choice. Let him live with the consequences. 🙂 Maybe even get him a new iron to make his life a little easier.

    1. I could do that, but he does lots of things that I hate so I don’t have to, such as vacuuming. It seems like a fair exchange. Though your idea of getting a new iron is not bad at all.

  3. I think we have the same iron, Alecia, thus we don’t iron over here. It’s either remove the garment from the dryer the moment the thing stops, or wear whatever it is wrinkled. (For emergencies, I have a little spritz bottle that I fill with water and squirt on the clothes before applying a dry iron – no goop).

  4. Ironing shirts for my husband was once a weekly ritual, for all the reasons you mention. Since he wore short-sleeved shirts mostly, I was able to get through five of them in one go. But everything you say about the designers of irons is pure and inarguable truth. I once tried introducing water into the reservoir of my iron by using a turkey baster and nearly parboiled my hand in the attempt. Eventually I discovered that the dry cleaners near us would wash and iron shirts for a fee that I decided was well worth it, considering my time, sanity, and the safety of my hands.

    1. Ouch! Parboiled hands do not sound pleasant!

      I confess I’ve considered the dry cleaning route, but it seems like such a lot of money for something I can do so easily myself. Except when it’s not easy…

  5. Perhaps try this to eliminate problem number 1:

    1. Buy a bunch of raspberries and mash them up in a big bowl.
    2. Get out the iron and de-wrinkle half a shirt.
    3. Set the iron on its butt while it is steaming profusely into the air.
    4. Dip your hands in the raspberries and scrub them with the juice for a minute until your hands stain red.
    5. Wash your hands gently with soap to remove raspberry scent, but not all the pigment.
    6. Scream out in pain “The bastard iron went crazy and gave me second degree burns!”
    7. Show hubby ‘burned’ hands and let him finish ironing shirt, getting horribly frustrated in the process.
    8. Tell him you probably don’t have to go to the hospital if he either agrees to iron his own shirts from now on, or buys a proper iron on his way home from work.

    If he asks you why there is a bowl of mashed raspberries the same shade as the ‘burns’ on your hands tell him you were making a berry stew for the rabbit in the driveway. Duh!

    1. Full points for originality. The only problem I can see with this plan is that the raspberries would never make it to getting mashed up. I would have to eat one, and then another, and somehow by the time came to mash them I would have an empty bowl. Still, “eat raspberries” is also a good plan in general, so maybe you are on to something.

  6. I once wrote a story where the government went insane and started assassinating those with poor taste in pizza toppings, anchovies included. Pineapple lovers (my other halves favourite) were also hunted! Hiding anchovies under the cheese is just cruel… I like my pizza with chicken and sweetcorn. No added surprises!
    We don’t even own an iron, which is how much we hate ironing in this house!

    1. You sound like my kind of pizza person! The thing is, I like pineapple, I just firmly believe it doesn’t belong on pizza. Chicken and sweetcorn sounds about perfect. 🙂

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