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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Peanut Butter Spoon
By Catherine Pollock


It’s only a spoon, I thought as I set it in the sink. And Kelsey won’t touch it. It’s got peanut butter on it. I’ll wash it when I get back.

Of course I didn’t. Somehow, I always forget when it comes to housework. If I don’t do something right at that moment, I’ll forget about it and not get anything done. It’s not something I do on purpose - I always intend to do it. The problem is that Christy, one of my roommates, somehow always ends up washing my dishes along with hers. The last time I tried to stop her, I got nowhere.

“Don’t worry about it.”

Christy and I were in the kitchen, Christy washing dishes, while I was getting a bottle of soda from the refrigerator. I closed the door, giving her the death look - the “don’t touch my dishes or else” look. Christy rolled her eyes.

“It’s here, and it’s going to bother me that it’s there until it gets washed, so I might as well wash it myself.” She was already reaching for my soup bowl from dinner. I walked over and tapped her shoulder.

“Drop it, Christy. I’ll wash it.”

“When?” Christy countered, and continued on her merry little way with washing. “I’ve got it, Libby. Relax.”

What happens when you start feeling like I’m taking advantage of you? I thought, but pushed it away. “Fine. This time. Next time, you better leave my dishes alone.”

“No guarantees,” she called after me as I headed towards my bedroom.

See? Battle lost. No matter what I say, Christy does them anyway. I’m being set up for failure.


I was in the zone, staring down at the pad of paper perched in my lap and trying to decide whether or not the picture needed anything else. After that, dishes… specifically the spoon. I was just glad I remembered this time.

Then it landed in the middle of the page – a spoon covered with peanut butter.

What the… I thought as my feet slid off the edge of the couch to touch the floor. The pad, complete with spoon, fell to the carpet too. Quickly, I turned around to see Kelsey’s glaring face.

“Wash your dishes!”

“I was just about to, Kels.”

“Yeah - right.” Her hands went to her hips. “Just about to until Christy comes home and does it for you. I’m sick of it.”

I picked up the pad, pulled the spoon off of the paper, and carefully contemplated what would be left once the greasy concoction was removed. Definitely not worth saving. Just throw it away now.

“Well, throwing spoons at my drawings isn’t going to help things,” I muttered under my breath as I tore the page out. Then, in a voice Kelsey could understand, “I don’t ask her to.”

“No - she just does it, right? You tell her to stop, and she doesn’t?”

“That just happens to be the truth.” Paper out of the pad, I looked down at the carpet. Great! It’s on the carpet. Now I have to clean that up, too! “But you don’t have to believe it. Obviously, you don‘t.”

“Of course I don’t - because you never follow through, Libby. Never.”

“Watch me.”

I headed determinedly into the kitchen, spoon in one hand and paper in the other. The paper went in the trash can, the spoon balanced over the sink as I grabbed a dish rag and the dish soap. At that point, I really didn’t care if Kelsey was watching me or not. It wasn’t about her. It was about proving to myself that I could wash my own dishes, if given a chance. Being on Kelsey’s good side would just be a fringe benefit.

A minute later, the spoon was in the dish dryer. I was hovering underneath the sink, looking for carpet cleaner, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up. Kelsey was hunching down beside me.

“I’m sorry about the picture,” she said. “I just got so mad…”

“I know.” I shrugged. “I should have taken the minute to wash it earlier. Then I wouldn‘t be cleaning the carpet now.”

Kelsey chuckled. “Let me help with it.”

“Okay.” I handed her the scrubber. “Just one question - are you really allergic to peanut butter, or is that just an excuse to not have to eat it?”

Kelsey just laughed.

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This article has been read 473 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Renae Hair01/10/08
Cute story.
I felt lost with the Kelsey/Christy thing until Kelsey was reintroduced. Until then I thought it was the same person with typo. Also, the ending dropped off a bit compared to the rest of the story.
Excellent description and dialogue. I could see it and feel it as I read.
Ann Renae Hair01/10/08
Forgot to say I loved the title! It grabbed my interest and peaked my curiosity.
Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
What an interesting title! It sure sets the scene for what is sure to be an interesting story. I liked the atmosphere and the interaction between roommates. You hit the topic on the head here, my only note is the last line to where Libby is asking if Kelsey's really allergic to PB, if that's the case...most people with PB allergies can die just by coming into contact with the stuff. ^_^ Just a thought though. Good stuff!
Patty Wysong01/11/08
Good job setting the tone of this with the internal dialog! And you nailed the topic--good job!
darlene hight01/11/08
Enjoyed the believable characters and the believable interaction. Nice job!
Jan Ackerson 01/11/08
Your narrator's voice is spot on. Good job here.
Joanne Sher 01/13/08
Great dialog and characterization. This is a scene I am all too familiar with (I'm usually the lazy one, unfortunately LOL). Enjoyed this read.
terri tiffany01/13/08
I thought you handled dialogue excellently! Good pace and very natural. The ending through me though - you might want to consider making it a bit stronger. Otherwise, it was done very well!
Catrina Bradley 01/14/08
Oh, yah, I can relate to Libby. "I was going to do it in a minute," I keep telling my husband. :) I was thrown by Kelsey/Christie too, thinking you had changed the name and forgot the first mention. But you tied her back into the story nicely. Good job with the topic.
Sheri Gordon01/14/08
Very good illustration of the topic. This would be a good skit for college freshmen to see. Your dialogue is very real.
Dee Yoder 01/16/08
The dialogue is realistic and the characters are spot on for roomies!