Way back in the 90s, Dishwasher Pete used to pop up every once in awhile on This American Life, telling tales from his quest to wash dishes in all fifty states. I enjoyed listening to his views from the dish machine. Imagine my surprise today, when one of the student teachers mentioned her brother-in-law was visiting Teacher John’s class today as a guest author. I asked what her brother-in-law had written and she said, “Oh, a book about how he was trying to wash dishes in all fifty states.”
“Your brother-in-law is Dishwasher Pete!” I shrieked.
I was very excited to meet him. Alas, the universe had other plans. As one of my many hats, I manage the school lunch program which means, among other things, that if the lunch volunteer does not show up for her shift, I get to serve lunch and clean up afterward. This usually throws a wrench in a few people’s plans because if I serve lunch it means that I can’t do my usual recess coverage which means Maureen has to do all of the recess duty which puts both of us in grumpy moods.
So you can imagine the volume of grumpy today when the lunch volunteer didn’t show and instead of meeting Dishwasher Pete and discussing various aspects of his dishwasher life with him, I was instead serving food to students and yes, doing dishes. Teacher John took pity on me and got me a Dishwasher Pete autograph on a post it note, but I was pretty forlorn at my lunch serving table. Dishwasher Pete and I exhchanged waves as he was leaving and I was serving lunch, but it wasn’t quite the same.
Here’s my tribute to my time with Dishwasher Pete: that’s the autograph, right there on the dishwasher.
Teacher John also lent me his copy of Dishwasher. That will have to do for now.
ps. We don’t really have a dishwasher, it’s a sanitizer.