PICTURE it: a townhouse kitchen in northern Joburg. A woman drips into a glistening pool of fresh blood and shattered glass. Worst CSI Sandton murder scene ever, right? Wrong, because the woman is me, it's not blood it's beetroot juice and I'm not dead although I am naked. So not weird at all, just another weekend in the suburbs really.
Let me explain. Sunday morning, off to the gym. Then, hot and sweaty, pop into Woolies and buy assortment of goods, including beetroot juice. Back home, into kitchen, strip off and throw clothes straight into the washing machine. Turn, take goods off counter and blam! Bottle falls through torn bag and doesn't so much smash as explode into a combination of large, slicy-looking shards of glass and crunchy glass dust. The beetroot juice has splashed up the wall, the cupboards and up my person and is doing its damndest to permeate my ancient grouting (this is not a metaphor; how rude!). Fortunately, it is a simple leap to safety to find some shoes. Then the job of cleaning up begins. It has not ended yet.
Have you ever tried to get beetroot juice out of old tiles? And I made the mistake of putting the towels I used to mop up into the washing machine after much hand-rinsing to give them a thorough clean. How very optimistic and entirely stupid of me. I now have a wardrobe of Paris Hilton-pink garments. I am not pretty in pink (not to be confused with "in the pink") and I am not amused. But I did feel a strange frisson of excitement as I packed the bits of dripping glass and beetroot-coloured towels into plastic refuse bags.
How proud Dexter would be of me, I thought! Dexter (M-Net) knows from (blood) stained mop-up paraphernalia. For those of you who have a life, Dexter is one of TV's greatest phenomena - a serial killer who bats for the home team. He is a blood-spatter specialist with the Miami police department by day and a killer of bad people by night. He only dispatches those who got away with murder, those who cheated the justice system and lived to kill another day. He's really a human garbage disposal man and I think every city should have one.
Proof, however, of Dexter's extraordinary success is that he is now a board game. "Play the fun-filled Dexter game . travel through the streets of Miami to hunt down a suspect . and make him your next victim. Once you have collected the necessary tools (a seriously big mother of a knife being one) you must head over to the marina to get rid of the evidence."
But back to my beetrooted kitchen. What got me thinking about Dexter was my refuse bags. These are what Dexter uses to get rid of his household problems too, dismembered bodies and the like, which he then throws off his boat.
I thought extending a TV serial killer's popularity, no matter how warranted, to a board game was as over-the-top as it was likely to get, but I was wrong. Celebrity, thy name is merchandising!
There are Dexter Playing Cards; a Dexter Viewing Party Kit (sit with your creepy friends and eat from blood-spattered plates while watching the show); a Dexter Blood Slide Key Chain (I totally want one); a Dexter Vinyl Apron (where was that when the beetroot hit?!); a Dexter Personalised iPhone 4 Case, which looks like you had a nosebleed while texting a friend (and I totally want one); a Dexter Evidence Remains Floor Mat (a welcome mat that's still clotting); a Dexter Blood Slide Action Figure and Dexter Bobblehead (both of these are disrespectful of the man's role in Miami society); a Dexter Ice Truck Killer Lamp (tacky); a Dexter Heat Sensitive Mug (blood spatter on the outside, hot chocolate on the inside - life doesn't get much better than that) and the Dexter Syringe Pen. The latter is like a blood-filled syringe, perfect for writing vitriol dripping with sarcasm; I have ordered several of them. But you only really know you've arrived in this world and secured your place in popular culture and its history when there are bin bags wrought in your name - the Dexter Trash Bags "for when you absolutely, positively must remove all the evidence. Big, heavy duty, black trash bags are just what the blood-splatter analyst ordered!"
Do I really need to confirm I have ordered these too?
Heavy duty is definitely the way to go when you need to throw away broken glass and stained towels discreetly, not to mention noisy and nosy neighbours who don't obey the complex rules and don't understand "no pets" means "no cats"! Here kitty-kitty..