Cause and Effect

A while back I decided to try out one of the WordPress Daily Post’s challenges of the week which was to pick a random fact about your day, any fact, as long as it didn’t seem that interesting, and write about that in a way that would make it interesting.

Having no idea what in the world I would write about, I sat down and did a nonstop. And ended up with two posts. The first was Me vs the Space Time Continuum and the second is the following:

 

 

Today I had to suddenly interrupt my routine to spend half an hour cleaning big yellow fish oil stains out of my light blue pants and striped shirt.

It all started last week when I pierced the end of a fish oil capsule so I could squeeze the contents onto a saucer for Quigley to lick up….

No, wait… it actually started before that when I bought the fish oil capsules, the ones that were supposed to be burpless and odorless. They were two bottles for the price of one! That’s something like 180 capsules.

So I brought them home, poked one down Quigley’s throat, half fearing I was going to choke him to death, it was so big. And hard. These are for-people capsules but there is no way this side of heaven I would ever be able to swallow one of them (and once I’m actually in heaven I’m certain there will be no fish capsules to swallow, nor any need to!)

Anyway, he didn’t protest, so I sat down to eat breakfast and read the bottle – I always read the bottles, the packaging, signs… everything in sight… And thus I got to the part where it explains why this fish oil is burpless and odorless: because the capsule holding it doesn’t fully dissolve until it hits the small intestine.

But wait a minute. These are for people. People have a longer digestive cycle than dogs. By about three hours. What if it never dissolves and ends up as a “foreign body obstruction” in Quigley’s gut? [I have this paranoia about foreign body obstructions when it comes to Quigley if you recall. (If not, see Miscellaneous Update and Cut-off Paper Clips  from my old blog.)

So I decided to do an experiment. I got out two small bowls, put vinegar in one (because our stomach fluids are acidic) and water in the other. Then I dropped a capsule in each bowl and measured how long the capsules took to dissolve: about four hours for the one in water; more like 12 for the one in vinegar. Twelve hours?!

Fortunately Quigley was still alive after the experiment concluded, no foreign body obstruction, no several-hundreds-of-dollars worth of surgery bills from the vet… but it left me thinking it might be better if I just poked the caps open and squeezed out the oil for him to lick off a plate.

So that is what I was doing last week, when the capsule somehow twisted in my fingers just as I squeezed and squirted on my clothes… light blue shorts, light blue, white and black striped shirt. I put Resolve on the grease stains right away, then tossed the clothes into the washing machine. When they came out the stain were still there – just round dark spots on the fabric, the typical grease stain, not wildly noticeable. I wore them the next day, then tossed them into the dirty clothes where they sat for a week until my next laundry day. Which was today.

But when I pulled them out this morning intending to dose the stains with Resolve again… Aack! Those not so bad “grayish” stains had turned bright yellow. And expanded in size. And were not remotely unnoticeable.

Which necessitated the immediate interruption of my morning routine for an extended period of scrubbing, soaking, spraying on more Resolve, following that with a Fels Naptha scrub, to only the slightest effect. Finally I gave it up, tossed the clothes into the wash with the rest of today’s load. Alas, when the cycle finished, they remained unchanged.

So I applied more Resolve, more Fels Naphtha, helped along this time with my cleaning toothbrush… until I decided since none of that was doing the trick, and so put some Clorox for Colors right on the spots and washed them afterward. That worked. Sort of. The stains are still there but much fainter. Faint enough I can live with them now, though I’ll have to try more Clorox next time I wash them…

And the point of all this? It’s the Cat in the Hat sequence of cause and effect. One thing leads to another leads to another and suddenly instead of getting into the office in a timely manner to work on the book, I spend all morning messing with the laundry…

This sort of thing happens to me ALL THE TIME. I don’t understand. Why can’t things just be simple? Why are there always these hidden complications??

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