Teen’s room is a hazardous waste site

Allergy season – and tissue-eating dogs – in full swing

If you have a teenager, you know love. Seriously, as the mom of
a teen, I love the smart mouth, the stink, and the fact that he’s
now taller than me and thinks that makes him in charge. But what I
really love is that my house can now be declared an official
hazardous waste site.
If you have a teenager, you know love. Seriously, as the mom of a teen, I love the smart mouth, the stink, and the fact that he’s now taller than me and thinks that makes him in charge. But what I really love is that my house can now be declared an official hazardous waste site.

Yes, I am talking about Junior’s bedroom.

Seriously, this has to be one of the foulest places on the planet. I even looked it up on Wikipedia. To be declared a hazardous waste site, there are four requirements: flammability, reactivity, corrosivity and toxicity. Hello? Junior’s room totally meets all of them. Look, at great personal danger to myself, I have gone into that room just to make sure.

Take the flammability portion of the test. Every time I open the door I am assaulted by a curious smell that seems to be made up of farts, feet, Axe body spray and dog. I can tell you that this is not a good combination. All attempts to mask the smell through use of deodorizer have sadly failed. Now, I’m no expert, but I believe that at least one of the odors making up this delightfully smelly combo are flammable, but I’m reluctant to test the limits of my insurance policy by lighting a match in there. So there you go. Let’s just cross flammability off the list.

Next we have reactivity. I don’t know about you, but the minute I step into a teenager’s dirty room, I have a reaction. A very strong reaction. It begins with yelling and ends with wild threats. Check another one off the list.

Then we have corrosivity. Frankly, I didn’t know this was a word. But according to Wikipedia it is and it means that there are acids or bases that are capable of corroding metal containers. Hello? Dirty clothes, anyone? If there is anything corrosive in that room, it’s Junior’s dirty clothes. They have to be corrosive right? Isn’t that the reason he never puts them in the hamper? OK, even if it’s not the dirty clothes, it’s got to be the shoes. Please. Have you ever smelled a teenager’s sneakers? Yeah, it’s not pleasant.

And last of all, we have toxicity. Pretty much the entire space is toxic. In Junior’s room, there is a bunch of furniture, something that used to be carpeting, but is pretty much now just a bunch of stuff piled on top the carpet – and some of that stuff is frankly scary and squishy – so I never walk in barefoot.

No light penetrates the room. The shutters are always closed against the bright orb of happiness I like to call the sun and which the room’s inhabitant calls “the burning ball of daylight that might kill me so please let me sleep until this afternoon.” The bed consists of wood, a mattress and some sort of nest created entirely out of blankets and sheets. I do not believe the sheets have been changed since I went on strike in 2008 and refused to clean Junior’s room. They appear to be black. I believe they began life a lovely shade of gray. Yeah, it totally grosses me out to realize that. As if the nest weren’t bad enough, there appear to be 75 pillows on the bed, creating a filthy, fluffy pillow top.

In the corner appears to be a desk, but it’s hard to tell. It’s covered in books, papers, empty water bottles, iPod speakers, an old globe that still has the Soviet Union on it (which might explain his geography grade now that I think about it), an empty plastic bag that previously held crickets – which I hope is only empty because the lizard ate the crickets – and several empty gum wrappers.

The dresser holds a bunch of remote control cars and the lizard cage. Apparently, the drawers are completely incapable of closing, because they are all open with clothing hanging out of them. Those must be clothes he never wears, because the rest appear to be part of the squishy flooring.

Yes, I believe we can all agree to check toxicity off the list. But it’s OK. I survived my trip into the hazardous waste dump that is my son’s room. And now that it’s an official hazardous site, I think I can get a hazmat team in for cleanup and possibly a tax credit. Who says good things don’t come to those who have teenagers?

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