Friday, January 2, 2009
I always host the New Year’s Eve party for one reason: I’m the only person in Indianapolis insane enough to encourage guests to throw trash bags full of confetti on my floor. And in my Christmas tree, under my couch cushions, on top of the light fixtures, down the toilets, around the dog’s cage, through the pool table, and hidden in our underwear.
Why? Because it’s fun.
OK, it was also fun to throw it off the balcony of the Embassy Suites in Chicago when we used to book rooms there, mainly because someone else would have to clean up the mess, but when the group got to big to transport everyone three hours away, I decided to suck it up and spend my first few hours of the new year getting personal with a sweeper.
For years, we handmade our confetti by whipping out a three-ring hole punch and asking the kids to go to town with construction paper during December. But for our 2009 bash, I had a truly lazy streak and sent those obnoxious orange, yelling yellow, neon pink, hot red, and glowing green sheets through the shredder in my office. Ten minutes = two trash bags of celebration.
Somehow, you know this isn’t going to end well, don’t you?
Well, we threw our confetti and then wallowed in it before wandering off to sing Paradise by the Dashboard Light on the karaoke machine. And when everyone left around 1:30 a.m., I started the familiar routine: First you broom sweep the paper pieces into piles you can pick up with a dustpan. Then you fire up the trusty Kenmore and start walking.
So I’m humming along when suddenly the sweeper began spitting paper back on the floor. I guess this happens when the bag is full … I’m no expert on this as I usually make the husband deal with anything technical, mechanical or logical. He took 10 minutes to change it out, and away I went again … still spitting paper back on the floor. He tinkered with it, and it spit paper back on the floor. We got out the central vac system, and the hose clogged two minutes into the process, refusing to suck the paper through the walls and into that bag. He was changing more bags while I stuck a knife into the hose, trying to break the log jam.
After an hour of this, Ron nonchalantly asked, “Where did you get this paper?” Where else? I stole it from his Toastmaster stash upstairs because it was pretty. It was also 65-pound cardstock, or cement as sweepers know it. I blew the motor in the Kenmore and have most likely killed the 28-year-old central vac system.
All I cared about at that moment was the fact I still had half a floor full of paper no machine could tackle. Yep, 3 a.m. and I was looking at a hand job.
That’s not fun.