Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Shitzville: Where Fixes Go Horribly Awry

Posted on Oct 18, 2017 by Lisa Ricard Claro   23 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

We’ve all been there. You know the place. It’s that spot located somewhere between “But it should have worked!” and “What the hell went wrong?”

I know this place well, as the Universe has apparently bought me a timeshare there. And it is not a nice place. There is no beach, no mountains, and no way out. This place is so real that I gave it a name: Shitzville.

Shitzville is where you end up when the stuff you do to fix other stuff sounds great in theory but goes terribly wrong—the fix is worse than the original problem. It’s like the time I looked around and decided my kitchen wallpaper was outdated. That was a problem. The fix was to peel it off, prep the wall, and paint. Easy-peasy. But the paper had probably been up for thirty years, and the important prep-the-wall step had obviously been skipped. By the time I realized I didn’t have the wherewithal to successfully remove the wallpaper, which ran all the way up to the vaulted ceiling—perching atop a six foot ladder on my tip-toes was a bad idea—the damage was done. The hubster, being the sweetheart he is, jumped in to help without even saying, “I told you not to do this.” In spite of his valiant efforts, our kitchen walls still looked like victims of some dread disease with drywall showing through here, wallpaper melded on there, and splotches of cracked, yellowed glue exposed like pus in a gaping wound. It would be many weeks before we found and vetted a painting contractor to come in and clean things up. It took three guys three days to complete the job. And it wasn’t cheap.

Another time, my father-in-law—Papa—cooked haddock for dinner one night. It was tasty, but had the decided downside of a lingering odor. Have you ever been around when someone reheats fish in a microwave? Soak a teenage boy’s dirty sweat sock in week-old pureed shrimp and then pull the sock over your head, and you might come close to that stench. For some reason, the preparation of the fresh haddock resulted in the entire house smelling like microwaved reheated fish. The nastiness permeated everything, to the point that a week later there was still a strong odor.

No problem, I thought. I’ll fix this right up. I put water in a soup pot, added cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, a couple of halved lemons and oranges, and turned the heat on high. It’s a great potpourri in a pinch. Boil that concoction for an hour and the whole house smells like the holidays. Except . . .

Papa came into the kitchen where I was boiling my spicy stew.

“What’s that?” he asked, hands in his pockets, peeking into the pot.

“Potpourri,” I said.

He stepped back and sniffed the air. “Huh. Makes everything smell like cinnamon haddock.”

It took the better part of three weeks for those melded odors to dissipate. And we never had haddock again.

More recently, my car was infested with tiny ants. I don’t know how, but it was. They appeared out of the blue one day and we couldn’t get rid of them no matter what steps we took, and we took many. They had no food or water source, so we couldn’t figure out how they survived everything we did to be rid of them. Finally, out of desperation, the hubster blasted the inside of the vehicle with enough ant killer to drop King Kong. Windows up, we left the car in the garage to boil in the heat. After a week or so, we opened it up. The ants were gone for good, but the smell had affixed itself to the interior and it was daunting. No problem! One of those little Febreze thingies on the a/c vent would do the job, right?

You’d think I would have learned from the cinnamon haddock. But no, not me. It was another trip to Shitzville, and for the next week the inside of my car smelled like cranberry pesticide.

Last, but not least, my hair! I’ve been vacillating between either continuing the grow-out or returning to the pixie but couldn’t make up my mind. Well, it was decided for me. The little gal who has been cutting my hair—and doing a great job—took a trip to Shitzville. My guess is that she clipped a little too much and had to keep clip-clip-clipping. She’s a nice kid, so I tipped and paid for the terrible cut. Also, to be fair, I was a little in shock since the cut was 100% not what it was supposed to be. But, you know, we all have those “off” days. In any event, I came home with the lower half of my head shorn so close it will take months to grow back and the top too long—like a little mushroom cap sitting on my head. The hubster, ever supportive, says he likes it. God bless him. He’s such a trooper! But even without my glasses I know this haircut needs help.

But I’m afraid of going to Shitzville, where the fix will be worse than the initial problem! I might just wait for the whole thing to grow into  . . . well, something better than it is right now. I don’t know. I haven’t decided. All I know is that I don’t want my “hair fix” to join the ranks of cinnamon haddock or cranberry pesticide. I may wait this one out due to the fear of a train ride straight into the Shitzville station.**

What trips have you taken to Shitzville lately? I’m sure I’ll see you there sooner or later. 😉

**Hair update: The fix is in. I couldn’t stand it, so I went back to the salon and the owner took good care of me. I still don’t like it, but I can live with it now. And honestly, it’s not the worst haircut I’ve ever had. I’ve come home with some doozies over the years. What about you?


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23 Responses to "Shitzville: Where Fixes Go Horribly Awry"

  1. Comment by joan mountford
    October 18, 2017 at 10:04 am  

    I just wanted you to know that I laughed out loud at Papa’s “cinnamon haddock” comment, Lisa, and that’s a sign of good writing. Love, mrs. m.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm  

      🙂 Thank you! You know you just made my whole day, Mrs. M.!

  2. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    October 18, 2017 at 10:56 am  

    Love Shitzville. Well, I don’t LOVE Shitzville (Lord knows, I’ve got a long-term lease there) but I love that you made me laugh about it.

    So I had a problem in my shower and I knew it was an easy fix if I could just…turn…this…screw. Water went everywhere, I’m yelling to Dave to turn off the main valve to the water and of course, we didn’t remember where that was…Oh, yeah, it’s down in the basement and Dave was gonna need the ladder (that was NOT in the basement) and naturally, the able-bodied kids were nowhere to be found…

    We had to call a plumber. On Sunday. (And that was the end of my plumbing days so it wasn’t all bad. 🙂 )

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm  

      Haha! Thanks for returning the laughter to me, Cath.

  3. Comment by Pat Wahler
    October 18, 2017 at 11:21 am  

    That name is certainly descriptive. I may have to borrow it. From the world of writing, I’ll throw in having a brilliant inspiration and making a (tiny) change in a manuscript, only to discover that it’s triggered the need for changing a bunch of things that came earlier. Shitzville.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:41 pm  

      Yep . . . that’s Shitzville, all right!

  4. Comment by Tierney James
    October 18, 2017 at 11:43 am  

    A very funny post! Glad I’m not the only one who gets a curve ball once in a while.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm  

      No. We’re all in good company. lol

  5. Comment by Jerri Ricard
    October 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm  

    I love you and I can definitely relate! I had to laugh because traveling for work, I have visited many hair salons in Shitzville!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm  

      You always look gorgeous, so that’s hard to believe. P.S. I love you too!

  6. Comment by Sioux Roslawski
    October 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm  

    Lisa–Every day is Shitzville as far as my hair. My ensembles–also Shitzvilles.

    Those ants. They sound like the kind people deal with when they live by the beach. Is that part of the cost of living in paradise? 😉

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm  

      You know, I the first time I saw the ants it was after a trip to Sarasota, so . . . maybe you’re right! lol

  7. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    October 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm  

    I laughed out loud at this. It just kept getting better. LOL
    Pot Pourri… oh I have to stop!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm  

      Glad you enjoyed it, Linda. I wish I could say I made it all up, but I didn’t. True stories!

  8. Comment by Karen Lange
    October 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm  

    Glad you can live with the haircut for now. When this kind of thing happens I’m always thankful I don’t have Barbie hair. That kind never grows back!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:47 pm  

      Yes, I can live with it. I don’t like it, but I can live with it. And I agree with you. I’m so glad I don’t have Barbie hair!

  9. Comment by Donna Volkenannt
    October 19, 2017 at 8:38 pm  

    Sorry to hear about your mishaps. Maybe you can write a collection of stories with that title. It definitely is catchy.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm  

      That’s a good idea Donna. Heaven knows I’ve got plenty more where these came from . . . Shitzville!

  10. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    October 20, 2017 at 2:36 am  

    1. I can’t wait to see the hair. 🙂
    2. My hair grows much faster in Florida than it did in Ohio; maybe yours will too. Although since you came from Georgia it might not be as noticeable for you as it was for me.
    3. The first house that hubby and I bought (1973) had layer upon layer of wallpaper, and then multiple layers of paint, on top of plaster – not drywall – in the two bedrooms. We tried all kinds of things to get it off and finally ended up renting a steamer. We were doing this work in February and March. It was cold out and using the steamer fogged up all of the windows so bad you couldn’t see out. I later asked our neighbor what she thought was going on with the foggy windows. She said she knew exactly what we were doing; she must have had experience! It was not a fun time at all. Thank goodness my father was there to help us.
    4. A co-worker of mine loved to bring fish for lunch and heat it up in the microwave. I don’t have to imagine the smell you’re talking about – ugh!

    Shitzville isn’t any fun but the stories you tell about it certainly are funny. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      October 20, 2017 at 3:51 pm  

      1. You can’t miss me. I look like a gray-haired 10-year-old boy. lol
      2. Yes! It’s an odd phenomenon, but my hair grows faster here in FL too!
      3. Oh no! What an experience. At least you can laugh about it now. Right? You’re laughing, right? 🙂
      4. I worked in an office where someone microwaved fish at least once a week. It was awful!

      Shitzville does not discriminate!

  11. Comment by Stephanie
    October 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm  

    Good old Shitzville, sounds like I have a lot of good neighbors! I had a similar wall painting experience while contending with post-baby hormones…but my favorite (in hindsight, of course) was when as a newlywed I was doing time at the laundromat and had enough for only one more load. I decided the two I had left could wash together: forest green towels (monogrammed of course, because the 80s) and my husbands work uniforms consisting of dark brown pants and light brown, red-pin-striped button-down shirts sporting the distinct odor of jet fuel (a mechanic before OSHA regs…).

    Poor hubby wore the resulting green fuzz covered uniforms for awhile and endured all the teasing that ensued ;-P

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 1, 2017 at 8:25 am  

      Haha! We had a laundry episode with a red shirt and white undies, but at least no one could see the undies!

  12. Comment by Tomi Rues
    November 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm  

    I truly enjoy all of your posts! This one had me chuckling aloud. I am sure you look lovely with your new hair style. By the way, today I threw away the big pumpkin that I had ambitiously started carving the weekend before Halloween. It got dark, I got tired…..I only got the top carved where the stem was. I never made it to the face. Oh well:)

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