Dishwashers and Pineapples

Katiedid Langrock on

I was down in my basement, when something looked different. Hmm. What is it? Ah, yes, the ceiling is on the floor.

Though I'm no basement expert, it immediately occurred to me that the ceiling was not supposed to be on the floor. I felt the panels, which were now crumbling by my feet.

Wet. Very wet.

Perhaps a flood, I deduced, further proof of my incredible Sherlock Holmesian skills. But one can never be too sure. After all, we are living in 2020. Though a typical flood is an aggravation in any year, it felt a little light-handed for the year of the COVID murder hornets. A sinkhole consuming our entire neighborhood would seem more apropos -- especially if that sinkhole were actually caused by the neighborhood's being swallowed by one of those giant exogorth space slugs in which Han Solo unwittingly hides the Millennium Falcon in "The Empire Strikes Back."

Alas, our flood was not caused by space slug slobber. Rather, it was a boring faulty dishwasher hose. Just enough drama to drip drip drip on our plans to take a deep breath and momentarily avert our eyes from 2020.

We were supposed to leave today on an RV trip that would take us anywhere. The basement ceiling's being on the basement floor has put a stop to that plan. Well, that and the fact that we can't drive over the ocean -- and also that our neighboring countries won't allow us across the border because of our rising COVID-19 numbers.

It is a mark of privilege to be disappointed by a delayed vacation. It is a mark of privilege to have a basement that can get flooded in the first place. But man, 2020 has been exhausting.

As fans blasted air into my kitchen and basement at tornado-level speeds and at train-level volume, a friend suggested I go to Party City to buy heavily discounted graduation paper plates and cups. That way, I could avoid adding to the pile of dishes in my sink that I cannot reach without tripping over a fan and being lifted up into a cyclone like that cow in "Twister" (which I heard they are remaking because the one thing everyone on earth can relate to right now is feeling one with the heifer spinning in circles).

Party City is a weird place to visit during a pandemic. The luau decor and goofy 2020 graduation sunglasses initially made me irritated, hyper-aware of the contrast I was feeling with the implicit joyousness of this store. The only party I wanted to throw was a pity party.

Hmm, a pity party...


Instead of the delightfully tacky plastic flamingos in yards this summer, why not delightfully tacky plastic murder hornets? Rather than brightly colored "Welcome" flags outside our doors, we could all just buy white flags to signify our surrendering. I give up, 2020! You win! We can, of course, continue to buy the pineapple-shaped luau mugs -- because without question, this will be the year when there's a horrific salmonella outbreak in pineapples. It's coming. You know it's coming.

Best of all, everyone knows the greatest pity party is a pity party for one.

Social distancing, y'all.

Walking the aisles of Party City, I found myself throwing more and more items into my cart, a smile slowly growing across my face. A hamburger blowup pool to catch water from my dripping ceiling rather than a bucket. Beer hats and towels to wear by the "basement pool." And boozy string lights to hang up in the RV, because, really, we will get to our vacation eventually. This hiccup, insignificant considering the greater heartaches of the world, will get cleaned up and moved past.

My dishwasher flood pity party allowed me to feel all my devastated 2020 feelings and harness them into an incident that began out of my control but will ultimately end in my control, wherein the tangible actions I take will result in a mess that is fixed immediately and permanently. How utterly not 2020. How utterly welcome.

For those of us fortunate enough to have not experienced personal traumas of 2020 but still suffering the mundane burden of it, throw yourself a pity party for your next grievance. Allow the sad and then take solace in the solvable. But take my advice and buy those pineapple mugs soon, because once the salmonella outbreak is here, everyone will want one. And it's coming. You know it's coming.


Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at




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