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Triathlete Blog

Once Bitten Twice Clean

By October 5, 2007June 8th, 2015No Comments

If I twist an ankle before Kona or pass out from shock while in my own home it is safe to say it is husband’s fault. Hear me out.

Thursday night, I’m walking through the kitchen nearly slipping and sliding across the floor. Huh? Walked into the living room, back into the kitchen again as my legs nearly slip out from under me. Something’s not right.

I turn to the husband.

“Did you spill something on the floor today?” I asked.


Ok. Let’s try this a different way.

“Did you do something to the floor.”


Bingo! But I know there’s more….

“I washed it.”

What? WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? He washed the floor? I’ve heard of people doing and feeling strange things during taper week but husband washing the floor? Maybe I should call the coach. Tell her something’s not right.

Don’t get me wrong. He’ll pitch in. He’ll do anything I ask. In fact, just the other night I was downstairs while I heard the sweet sound of the vacuum running upstairs. Again, I was downstairs. Music to my ears.

But the wood floors? Without request? That takes drive. No one takes on wood floors without really, really wanting to do a chore. Get on your hands and knees, scrape your kneecaps across the hard gritty floor and wash. Not exactly a preferable chore. I’d take toilets, counters, even shower over that any day.

As I nearly lost a hamstring sliding out on the floor yet again, I wondered if he had greased the floor instead of washed it? I had to know more.

“What did you wash the floor with?”

We have a lot of things for washing the floor; Murphy’s oil soap, liquid floor cleaner. A damp cloth would do. None leave the floor slippery or even shiny clean. But for some reason right now I could nearly see myself in the floor. It was shiny in the light and slippery as all heck.

From upstairs he replied, “I used Pledge.”

Pledge? As in shiny wood cleaner spray, Pledge? Oh someone call mother on this. This is so not right. Might as well have sprayed Pam butter spray all over the floor, poured on baby oil. Wait, then again, maybe not. The last time I saw baby oil poured on a floor it was in Iowa in a shady, smoky bar and the next thing I knew the-evil-Scott-twin was sliding naked across the floor.

Scratch the baby oil thought. Or, on second thought, maybe my husband is trying to turn my kitchen floor into a naked beer slide for after Ironman. Not a bad idea.

So I asked husband what possessed him to clean the floor with Pledge.

“It says it’s for wood.”

Got it. Wood cleaner, wood floors, and now I know why I am skating across my wood floors. I guess he missed the bold print on the bottle that reads DO NOT SPRAY ON WOOD FLOORS AS IT MAY MAKE THEM SLIPPERY. I’ll testify to that one. Needless to say, I was now on my kneecaps washing the wood floors. Not once but twice because apparently Pledge has shiny staying power.

Before I explained why the Pledge wood cleaner was not for cleaning wood floors I had to ask why he would even clean the floor in the first place. Note this is not normal behavior for him – but again, taper week. Anything goes.

“The floor was sticky.”

The basement right now is in complete upheaval. There are greasy fingerprints all over the garage door. Socks on the staircase, clean clothes on top of the bed, dry clothes hanging on rack by the back door. There are bags of sports equipment all over the kitchen. But he’ll be damned if we have a sticky floor.

I wish I could say this cleaning streak stopped there. But Friday morning, the cleaning streak seriously turned into a streak of a different kind.

I’m eating breakfast and before me stands naked husband in the kitchen. GOOD….morning? I ask him what he’s doing, he’s clearly on a mission, and immediately starts rummaging through the cleaning supply cabinet under the sink.

Oh dear god.

“What are you looking for?” I ask. And the weird just got weirder. I mean, what’s he looking for? Something to clean himself with? There’s plenty of soap in the shower. Shampoo, conditioner, and more. Was he looking to exfoliate himself with Soft Scrub? Get extra clean this morning with bleach? Whatever it is, if he stands up holding a bottle of Pledge I am tackling him to the ground.

No sooner does he stand up holding a scrub brush in his hand. “A HA!” he exclaims.

Please don’t tell me you are going to use that to clean yourself. Please don’t tell me that is going where it shouldn’t go.

“What are you going to use that for?” I ask. Knowing that some questions are probably better left unasked.

“Something to clean the bathtub with.” And with that, he takes the scrubby brush and walks his naked self back upstairs.

Something to clean the bathtub with? I think I should get myself to the doctor because I am seeing, hearing, experiencing VERY OFF THINGS lately. Coach – help.

A short while later, he comes downstairs. I ask him how cleaning the shower went and he quietly said “It needs a bigger brush.” And then he walked towards me in the kitchen while nearing sending himself sailing across what is still a very slippery kitchen floor.

“I guess that’s what the Pledge does,” he said while grabbing the oven door for stability (note: best not to grab something that opens outward when you are ready to fall).

The Ironman taper can do some very, very strange things. It makes you feel different, look different, and brings things out that were hidden for a very long time. In my husband’s case, it has brought on a latent need to clean the house with urgency and force. Not always cleaning with good judgement but good effort nonetheless.

And if I can ride this out I might just get a very clean house out of it. We’ve got two more days at home and according to my calculations I can at least get a clean refrigerator and three clean toilets out of this. So beware – the taper bites everyone in a slightly different way and true to it’s nature is has bitten my husband with a fever that only cleaning can cure.