The other day my friend Dwayne posted a YouTube video of a song called “This Is How You Load a Dishwasher.” It was a catchy little song, and so it was no surprise to me that it was still in my head a few days later when I had the rare chance to watch my daughter, Clementine, load our very own dishwasher. I started singing it in my head when she first opened the dishwasher door, and then, as things so often do with kids, reality set in. Loudly, and harshly.
If the YouTube version of “This Is How You Load a Dishwasher” had been Mozart, Clementine’s would have been Wagner. If the YouTube version had been Captain and Teneille, Clementine’s would have been Throbbing Gristle. If the YouTube version had been Justin Bieber, Clementine’s would have been Marilyn Manson.
You get the idea.
Slam! Crash ! Slam some more!
In the YouTube version the guy sang things like “put the light stuff on the top, and the heavy stuff on the bottom.” In Clementine’s version (when the crunchy guitar allowed for any vocals at all) it was, “put the bowls full of petrified refried beans in sideways, so that the water jets can’t reach them.” The YouTube version: “put tall things down below.” Clementine’s version: “Make sure the arms can’t spin.” YouTube: “Fill it all the way up, to save water and energy.” Clementine’s: “Go ahead. Wash one cup: it’s your favorite.”
The YouTube version, I noticed, also failed to contain anything other than singing and guitar; Clementine’s version, on the other hand, was wonderfully counterbalanced with crashing, sighing, and no less than seven heavy groans. To be honest, his was a ditty; hers was a full-on symphony. This became even more apparent to me when I got to witness the sequel to Clementine’s version of “This is How You Load a Dishwasher,” entitled, appropriately enough, “This is How You Unload a Dishwasher.”
Unlike other sophomore efforts, Clementine’s second album far outstripped the first, especially when it came to the lyrics. Of special interest was the way the lyrics of the first album neatly segued into the lyrics of the second: “make sure the arms can’t spin,” became into “this dishwasher sucks,” and “fill it all the way up” morphed into “why can’t we just get a new one?” all sung in tones of the lowest melancholy. It was almost like the “Unplugged” version of the first one. (“Unloaded,” perhaps?)
In the meantime, just to keep current, I’m thinking about releasing my own dish-themed single. It will be called called, “Stop Putting Dirty Dishes Back in the Cupboard,” with the B-side being “You Need to Scrape the Dishes First (NO Dishwasher Can Wash a T-Bone)”. I’m anticipating that there will be a response, much like the back and forth between Bob Dylan and Joan Baez on their albums of the 70s. (Side note: please don’t let me be the Joan Baez.)
I can already imagine her response, and in fact, have an inkling of the working title of the new album: “Why Do We Even Have A Dishwasher If We Have to Wash All of the Dishes First?” I’m expecting it to be something completely different from her first two—more of an Irish-style lament with punk undertones. I’ve also heard rumors about her performing it on “Saturday Night Live,” and in the middle of the set tearing a picture of the Maytag man in half, but that might just be internet scuttlebutt.
Still, I’m sure it will be nothing if not an exciting show.