Duck and Cover ~ Charmin and Starbucks Might Be Waiting to Ambush You

From my Anthology Series, 2024

Beware, there may be a dark side to some of your trusted household items

Media blackout

Oh, the joys of retirement, downsizing, and cramming everything we own into a one-bedroom apartment.

I’m sure glad there aren’t cameras in our houses—okay, my house, anyway. If there were, I think I just recorded a reality TV version of the Three Stooges—okay, well, maybe The One Stooge.

I needed a power strip this morning, so I played my own life-size game of Jenga to retrieve it. I had to take apart my entire kitchen pantry to access where it was stored. Don’t judge me. Doesn’t everyone store electrical devices in the bottom drawer in their pantry?

Critical observers might think my fancy pantry is nothing more than an entryway coat closet, but nay — they’re ill-informed.

The Twin Towers

Upon opening my closet door, one can view my masterpiece of creative DIY renovation. The left side boasts a double-stacked tower of 3-drawer Sterilite storage gingerly set in place.

The right side has a 5-foot metal shelf nestled into place to utilize every ounce of real estate for food items not needing refrigeration.

To open my bottom ‘junk’ drawer in the Sterilite Towers, I first had to remove items stuffed into the narrow 18-inch space between both sides — my rolling grocery cart, upright vacuum cleaner, and folded-up camp chair.

Doesn’t everyone store their camp chair with their groceries and cleaning supplies?

Entanglement Theory

Wouldn’t you know it? That’s about when my unruly hair and messy bun decided to join the fray — getting snagged as smaller items began falling off the top closet shelf.

I’m pretty proud of that top shelf, DIY-transformed into a creative visage of the Eiffel Tower.

I added a double row of shelving on the standard closet shelf to maximize storage space. [Okay, I took four wooden shoe racks and stacked them on one another to approximate a poor man’s built-in — now, would you stop being so critical!]

Collusion and Mayhem

By this time, the closet door took on a mind of its own and started closing.

Observing the free-for-all, my jumbo pack of Charmin toilet paper and its sidekick, my 80 pack of Starbucks coffee pods, nodded to each other and said, ‘Why not now?’

Impulsively, they, too, jumped off the shelf in gleeful abandon.

Kodak moment

There I sat, wearing a plastic hanger in my hair, Aldis bags as a cape, and a pack of toilet paper — not wanting to be left out — leaning against my lower back.

I chuckled and contemplated the ridiculousness of the moment. I decided to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy this physical comedy break.

Patiently, I started peeling things off and returning them where they were.

Back to the Job at Hand

With the power strip in hand, I returned to my desk to plug in the space heater I’d needed to keep me warm as I wrote my daily posts.

There it was in bold letters. The user manual stated, “Power strips do not have adequate current flow to support the electrical needs of a space heater, causing them to overheat and possibly lead to a fire. Never use a power strip or extension cord with this space heater. Always plug directly into the wall outlet for safety and to avoid a fire hazard.”

Slap to the forehead.

All in a day’s work

Life — it’s what you make it. Sometimes, you have to take the time to laugh.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to get cracking. I now have to rearrange my entire living room to find a direct plug-in that is not currently in use. It’s hard to tell what other household items may be waiting to ambush me there.

This could develop into another fun time. Stay tuned.


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