The Oatmeal Incident

Due to the fact that I’ve become more and more gravitationally-challenged, Richard has begun spouting the phrase “SITUATIONAL AWARENESS! SITUATIONAL AWARENESS!” in an attempt to help me become more conscious of my surroundings.

I’ve heard Richard say it so many times it has become my unintentional mantra.

Last week I carefully walked downstairs, fed the dogs breakfast, took a few moments to make instant oatmeal, and pour myself a Cup of Jo. Coffee in my left hand; oatmeal in my right, I slowly made my way back to the bedroom and placed both mugs on my dresser.

The Situational Awareness-O-Meter of my right hand must have been off just a tad, maybe because I’m a leftie. Instead of placing the mug of Maple & Brown Sugar oatmeal on my dresser, I placed it between my dressers. There was just enough room for it to tip over and slowly feed its contents onto the clothes in every single one of my Elfa wire mesh dresser drawers.

Reconstruction of crime scene.

Why do I always try to use things in ways in which they were not intended? Why do I say things like, “Oh! Look at that toilet on the side of the road! Wouldn’t it look great with purple flowers spilling out of it in the the middle of our garden?” I‘ve only done that twice. It didn’t look as good as I’d hoped it would, so I did it again and it still looked like crap. So, why did I think Elfa wire mesh dressers would be so much groovier than normal dressers?

As my father would say, “Because you’re dumb.”

The first thing I did was stand still and watch the glacier of oatmeal meander into every single one of my stupid drawers as it carved its way through the crevasse of my two stupid dressers. It was as if a dog was claiming his territory by peeing on all of my clothes in super slo-mo.

The second thing I did was watch it globbulate into a thick puddle on the floor. One little packet of instant oatmeal sure doesn’t look like much in a mug, even after adding hot water, but that’s only when it’s horizontal.

Since the oatmeal moved at the speed of, well, oatmeal, it had only been able to deposit sediment on some of the clothes in each drawer. I quickly grabbed armfuls that had managed to escape the wrath of molten breakfast cereal and threw them onto my bed.

I ran downstairs, grabbed the entire box of kitchen garbage bags, ran back up and stuffed two of them with oated clothes until there were no clothes left behind.

I’d been meaning to clean out my drawers, anyway.

The tidy side of the room is Richard’s.

I ran back downstairs and emptied both bags into the washing machine. There was no time to separate my whites from my oatmeals.

Summoning enormous amounts of “Situational Awareness x 2” I took one drawer at a time, walked to the loo – – because skipping was simply out of the question – – and placed it in the shower. The drawers came clean, but boy, were they steamed. (Sorry. I couldn’t stop myself.)

But, I had no time to celebrate, my friends. There was still oatmeal on the frame of my dresser, and the floor. It was beginning to congeal, and not in a good way.

I used a wet towel to clean the dresser. I tried to do the same to clean the floor, but that only resulted in a thinner layer of oatmeal.

There was only one way to get the job done: I Swiffer Wet-Jetted the crap out of the floor.

When all was Swiffered and done, I ran back downstairs to see if the washing machine had been able to eat all of my oatmeal. Not so much.

In an attempt to Bounce the oatmeal fragments out of my clothes, I threw them into the dryer with a dryer sheet. Sure enough, when I opened the dryer, the lint trap was full of oats.

I thought about swapping the Elfa dresser with the normal-person dresser in my office, but moving the dressers by myself could easily create an unsafe Leslie environment.

I still like to bring my coffee and oatmeal upstairs, I’m just more “Situationally Aware!” It’s bound to spill again, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. Just like the oatmeal, I like to live on the edge.



  1. Your father was a wise man… 🙂

    • Yes, he was! He was especially wise when he spent a few years referring to you as, “What’s his name.”

  2. I’m sorry, not sorry, to be laughing at this incident, which is so carefully observed and we’ll constructed. My only question is what you didn’t get the dogs to help clean up the floor and sides of the real dresser. I was sure that was where this was going, so you surprised me with the do dad you described, with which I am not familiar.

    • I TRIED to get the dogs to eat it, Sharon!! They wanted no part of it!

  3. I lol’d multiple times! Really, I’m laughing with you, not at you, I promise.

    • I don’t care if you laugh with me or at me. I just want you to laugh! Thanks, Berts!

    • Berts, you can laugh with me AND at me!

  4. A typicall “Leslie” incident…… usual…..very funny and VERY clever! Loved it!

  5. Leslie,

    This may be your all time best. I am wiping (not using a Swiffer) away the tears resulting from the laughter.

    Situational awareness! You denied the natural progression of land development. Your house could have grown by acres. After all, like its predecessor, molten lava, molten oatmeal forms new land.

    Loved this post and love you!


    • I love you more, Jerry Scherer! I love that I can make YOU laugh since you and your family are so hilarious!

  6. As Blanca would say “Ay Ay Ay Lasli” (shaking her head side to side, with the biggest smile on her face)

    • Thanks, Rosa! You’re right! She would see that mess and smile, anyway. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

  7. I think I’d have to move if that ever happened to me. I got the willies!!!!!

    • It was pretty intimidating until I realized I’d been given the gift of a story to write!

  8. i loved this, leslie. one of those seemingly simple quick and easy choices that results in hours of work ) the worst! )

    • It’s one of my favorite bloggers! Thanks, Beth!! I really appreciate that you always take the time to read and comment. I woke up feeling great that day…it only lasted for an hour, but it was great! I was happy to get a story out of it, though.

  9. Ahh haha the dangers of oatmeal! Or a good title “why oatmeal is bad for you.” I could definitely relate to this incident as it feels like we all do stupid stuff that create an unexpected unpredictable cascade of energy and work. Well written story!


    • Thanks so much, Peta! I’m so glad you liked the story! Yeah, it’s one of those things (most of us) can relate to.

  10. I find the kitchen a good place to eat and drink. Try it. You may like it. Lol

    • Richard has suggested the same thing. I find eating in the kitchen boring, but it’s probably a better idea!

  11. So glad to be on on board…have heard about this for years without ever quite understanding what it was all about. Sounds like Richard trying to explain his bond theories to me!!
    Alll I can say is lol….it’s all we have to make us feel good and for that: a big thank you.

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