Rainy Season Close-Out Special, Volume 2: "Breaking The Mold"

Ah, mold.

I hate hate hate hate hate mold.

As you may know, I originally come from Colorado, and as you may also know, Colorado is a pretty dry place. There is little or no mold there, at least as far as I have seen. It’s the type of place where you can leave a slice of bread out in the evening and the next morning it’ll be dry and stale, perfect for making French toast.

If you tried that shit here, though, by the time you got to the kitchen in the morning, the bread would likely have developed enough mold to be considered a sentient being with its own volition, and the Bread Beast would be liable to challenge you to a duel to avenge all the French toast you ever made in your life.

Mold sucks.

Thankfully, the mold largely diminishes when the rainy season ends, but here it never seems to go away completely. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we found mold growing on the bottoms of our closet drawers, just a month after we’d had the closet put in. For me, the perfect description of the word, “bummer,” is when you open a drawer in the bedroom or kitchen and get that distinct musty smell, and you know that some shirt collar or oven mitt or wooden spoon must be covered in a thin layer of mold. It’s depressing, frankly.

In any case, for a while now, I’ve been keeping track of which of our objects have gotten mold while living in Costa Rica (and especially Berlín), so without further ado, I present to you this sad Hit Parade Of Our Household Objects That Have Gotten Mold:

(listed in ascending order based on the frustration and depression discovering them caused)

11th Place (Honorable Mention): Any Document That I’ve Had Here, even if kept in plastic folders or containers. This is a major drag, especially for legal and immigration documents. The ones that haven’t gotten moldy or musty have gotten rust stains from their staples or paperclips.

10th Place: A Sealed Bag of Linguini: I have no idea how this could have possibly gotten mold, as it was still sealed and way before its expiration date when we opened it, but this pasta defied logic and got mold anyhow. I would have put it higher, but with this, I was just able to throw it away and forget about it.

9th Place: My Car: This has happened with both of our cars. Our old car actually had mold in the little spaces between the badge that said “RAV-4.” Our new car just has a generally moldy smell inside, but you can roll down the windows and leave it in the sun for a day, and the smell tends to go away.

8th Place: My Shirt Collars: These pick up mold while sitting in the closet, which has led me to create a “clothes rotation program.” If I’ve not told about this program here, remind me, and I shall do so someday. This mold tends to happen more with woven than knit fabric. All the same, it’s annoying, but nothing washing in hot water can’t temporarily combat.

7th Place: The Plastic Buttons on my XBOX Control: The more I think about it, this should have been higher on the list, since I was storing these controllers in a sealed Ziplock bag. I have no idea how in the world these buttons could have gotten mold.

6th Place: My Electric Razor: In fact, the mold may be the reason it stopped working altogether.

5th Place: The Grain in the Doors of Our House: Even on the inside doors, the grain lines are starting to get a bit of white fuzz, even after they’ve been treated and stained and all that. And it happened even the one that sits in direct sunlight.

4th Place: A Brown Belt I Have: I’ve tried cleaning this with bleach, Lysol, soap, and zinc oxide, but every time I hang the belt on a rack in the garage, it starts to get mold after three or four days.

3rd Place: My Shoes: Shoes smell bad enough without having to additionally smell like mold. Usually it seems to be trapped somewhere within the fabric or soles, but occasionally like on my Doc Martens shoes, the mold will have the audacity to just grow on the outside, the bastard!

2nd Place: A Bookcase I Used to Have: We bought one of those DIY bookcases at a store in Palmares when we were living in our last house. Within a few weeks, there was mold on the outside of the shelves and even the vertical support. This was an exposed, vertical surface that was covered in a vinyl or plastic coating, and it still got mold. I also cleaned it with about 5 different solutions (and even a lot of profanity) but it was all to no avail. The mold came back on the shelves, both on the top, bottom, and sides of the bookcase, and started making the books smell worse. Even tears didn’t seem to stop the onslaught of mold, which would reappear about three days after cleaning. Eventually I gave up and we just abandoned it when we moved.

1st Place: Me: This is the weirdest one. About a year and a half ago after a trip to the beach, I noticed that the skin on my chest was kind of spotty. It had some tan areas with little pale, white areas inside. Apparently, they were on my back, too. After consulting with a friend who is a doctor, it turned out that I myself was a host to mold (or possibly it was fungus, but when it gets to 1st Place, I don’t much care one way or the other). I’ve been able to take a pill which seems to make it go away for a year or a bit less, but still, this is annoying and freakish, to say the least.

In any case, that’s about it for today. The sun’s coming out, so I’m going outside to enjoy it a bit (by lining up all our shoes in its warming, mold-killing rays).

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6 thoughts on “Rainy Season Close-Out Special, Volume 2: "Breaking The Mold"

  1. True that about the dehumidifier. I think I saw an ad for one in San José, but we were skeptical (and also the houses aren’t too well-sealed here.
    And as for the nastiness of getting mold or fungus or whatever, I guess it’s sort of like athlete’s foot, but shittier (since it’s on your chest and back). My doc friend said it’s common here, though.
    And I shower once or usually twice a day, but to no freaking avail.

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