This morning I accidentally locked one of our cats in our bedroom. Naturally, he retaliated by leaving a massive pile of cat crap on the bed, and cleverly walking while he pooed in order to deposit a sizeable amount on my pajamas as well.
The cat and I were both disgruntled, but agreed to move past our feelings and cope with the fallout - him by stalking butterflies outside, and me by immediately stripping all linens within a 20 foot radius and washing them. Unfortunately, that's also when I realized we were out of laundry detergent.
I drove to the store and stalked down the aisles, thinking nasty thoughts about cats who elect to crap on beds instead of politely offering a civilized meow to let someone know they were trapped in a room. And then I saw it: the Super Amazing Awesome Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent, guaranteed not to harm any whales or soybeans or what have you, on sale for half price.
I try to use green methods to clean most of the house (lots of vinegar and baking soda, that sort of thing), but when it comes to laundry detergent I let my wallet get the best of me and buy a cheaper, less eco-friendly product. But today the sale price - and the warm glow accompanying my decision to be A Friend of Nature - lured me in, and I proudly marched a box down to the cashier.
When I arrived home, I sauntered to the washing machine, still aglow with warm thoughts of my environmental friendliness. Statues would doubtlessly be erected in my honor for my war on pollution. I popped open the box and shook it around a little, idly looking for the measuring cup that would help me dispense the powdered wonder I held in my hands. When it didn't seem likely to rise to the surface, I shook the box a little more vigorously until a teensy weensy phrase on the side of the packaging caught my eye, telling me that measuring cups were for wasteful, planet destroying bastards and therefore not included. I was a trifle miffed but could concede their point, and thus I scooped the correct amount of detergent into the dispenser with a tablespoon and went on my eco-friendly way.
An hour or so later, I unloaded the finished washer and popped open the dispenser to fill it up for a second load. And there it was. The Super Awesome Planet Friendly Soap. Still in the dispenser. Puzzled, I poked it with a finger, only to discover it had hardened into a soapy cement. Cursing, I spent five minutes chipping it out before reexamining the directions on the box. Aha - for front loaders, they recommended measuring the soap into the dispenser, then pouring half a cup of hot water onto it to help it dissolve. Mildly annoying, but I can live with an extra step if it means continually basking in the glow of my green powered awesomeness.
I obediently followed the directions, only to discover that the detergent took on its cement-like qualities the instant it was touched by the water, making it pointless to even start the machine. Cue round two of chipping. By this time I was thoroughly aggravated, but my resolve had hardened into a vicious determination to win against The Eco-Friendly Soap From Hell and I wasn't giving up.
For round three, I dug around in the kitchen until I found a small plastic container I didn't mind sacrificing to the cause, then measured out the detergent and poured in some boiling water, giving it a bit of a swirl to kick off the dissolving process. This mostly worked, but I noticed some of the detergent was stuck to the bottom of the cup. And then, because I am The World's Biggest Idiot in addition to being A Friend of Nature, I absentmindedly stuck my finger in the cup to swish the detergent around.
Here's a little tip for those of you playing at home: don't put your finger in a cup of recently boiled water. Not good.
Still, I had finally dissolved the detergent and was damn well going to use it, so muttering pirate-themed curses under my breath and gingerly holding out my scalded finger, I poured the goo into the dispenser. Success was mine! Almost, anyway. The detergent had started separating almost the minute I stopped swirling, and the thicker parts clung to the dispenser, inviting yet another round of chipping fun.
And this is why I will continue using Satan's Laundry Detergent of Environmental Evilness, and the planet can suck it.