Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Crayon Mystery

Don’t you hate when something bad happens at your house and each and every clue points to you, and only you, being to blame?  Man, I just hate it when that happens…

Sunday night, , and I’m reveling in the final hour of my weekend.  Lounging on my bed reading, I hear the dryer stop, signaling the end of my final load of laundry.  It’s an easy load…just my delicate whites…so I mosey on downstairs knowing I’ll have this load folded and put away in a jiffy, and that I’ll be back to lounging and reading in no time.

Lazily, I reach out my hand to open the dryer…I pull on the handle…I reach inside…and I am shocked, and stunned, at what awaits me inside.

As everyone in the house is in their own Sunday-night-silent-zone, I have to work very hard to stifle the scream that has formed in my brain and desperately wants to escape through my lips.  For what was, a mere hour ago, a simple load of laundry, has now become a pile of clothes that looks like it  has been in a bloody battle…a battle that the clothes clearly lost.  In my hands I held a red, brutalized mess, reminiscent of a Jackson Pollack painting.

Those of you with small children will only need one guess to figure out the guilty party in this laundry massacre. You got it…a crayon!  Oh, wait, let me clarify…a red crayon!  But here’s the deal, and thus part of the mystery, I don’t have small children.  I have teenage children.  And I can’t recall the last time I witnessed said teenage children with a crayon in their possession.

Oh sure, they still have school projects and such that need to be somewhat artsy, but they use colored pencils and/or fine-tip markers for those occasions.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you could go into my house, at this very minute, and not find a single crayon…anywhere! And yet, I have a red mess of ruined laundry that says otherwise.  However, I think ruling out the teenage children as the laundry villains is probably plausible given their age alone (and the fact that there are no crayons in our house).  Ditto the husband…I mean, if the teenagers don’t have crayons, then it surely follows that the husband wouldn’t have any either. 

So that leaves me…the First Grade teacher.  I spend my days surrounded by crayons. 

Aha, you say, mystery solved…the crayon must have belonged to you. 

But how did it get from my classroom to my dryer, Sherlock? 

Duh, you say, you must have put it in your pocket.

That might sound like a reasonable explanation, but guess what?  I don’t put crayons in my pocket!  They would leave marks on my clothes, and while I am neither a clothes horse nor a fashionista, I do try to take care of my stuff, and putting uncapped drawing instruments in my pocket does not qualify as taking care of my stuff!  And another thing…as the person who does all the laundry in my family, I don’t put things in my pockets…period…end of discussion!

Okay then wise guy, you say, how did you end up with a massacred load of laundry?

Hey, that’s my question!  How, indeed, did I end up with a red mess of laundry?

Once I stifled the urge to scream, and once I calmed down a bit, I went and showed my husband the damage, as well as the offending crayon.

Are you sure it’s crayon?  Could it be lipstick? 

Lipstick would be worse!  Crayon red is NOT my color!  So unless it belongs to his girlfriend, it’s not lipstick. 

The plot thickens…in the now dead load of laundry, there were exactly two items with pockets.  One is a jacket I don’t even wear to school…it’s my “I-don’t-even-wear-it-to-school jacket.”  The other is a pair of pants that, yes, I did happen to wear earlier in the week.  BUT…there was not one speck of crayon in the pockets.  Besides…I DON’T PUT THINGS IN MY POCKETS!  Oh, and there was no paper in the dryer, which means the crayon would have been one that had all the paper peeled off, and there is NO WAY I would put a peeled crayon in my pocket!

The plot thickens again…it’s like pea soup, people!  As I mentioned, I showed my husband the crayon, after which I proceeded to gather the cleaning supplies needed to clean the now crayon-infested dryer (just what I wanted to do at 9:00 on a Sunday night).  My daughter was in another room when all of this crayon business was going down, but once she emerges she sees my big butt hanging out of the dryer, and, of course, she wants to know what the heck is going on…and she wants to see the crayon.

Only guess what again?  The crayon is GONE!  And by gone, I mean GONE!  I looked in every trash can in our entire house (thank goodness the son had recently taken out the kitchen trash so at least that part of the search wasn’t totally disgusting). 

So the crayon mystery remains unsolved, but now that I have had a couple of days to think about it I have a theory:

My family planted the crayon and then destroyed it…all so they could make me think I was losing my mind, put me in a “home”, sell all my crap, and use the proceeds to take off on an adventure around the world!  Only the joke's on them, 'cuz now I'm deathly afraid to do the laundry!


  1. That just happened to me and red too. I thought someone had been murdered! I did find the wrapper but the crayon had completely disappeared into the clothes. These events are not uncommon in my house!

  2. Yes, I guess it's just one of the many hazards of parenting that no one tells us about. It happened years ago after a long road trip...but not with red...that red is shocking, isn't it?

    Thank you for stopping by!