Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Cleanliness Is Next to Impossible

with one comment

You know that feeling wildlife afficionados get when they discover that a species they thought had gone extinct in fact appears to be flourishing? We get that feeling around here every now and then.

For example, I could swear that the boys’ bedroom actually had a floor at some point, but we go long, long periods without catching sight of it. We see plenty of toys, books, laundry and assorted trash, but no floor. I’ve learned the hard way not to enter the room barefoot, lest a stray piece of LEGO pierce my sole. Imagine my excitement, then, upon overseeing the operation that cleared the landfill, when the original floor became visible!

Generally, porcelain does not change color as it ages, but our bathroom sinks have made us challenge the prevailing wisdom in that regard. They certainly started out white, but for quite a while they have been getting steadily and gradually darker, with brownish yellow ochre becoming the predominant hue, though it does sport a blue splotch or two in places. Well, just about two months ago we had occasion to wipe something out of the sink, and lo! A flash of white! It was hiding underneath the brownish yellow the whole time!

My wife accused me of painting the sink, but she should know better; I couldn’t paint myself into a corner. My prowess in household maintenance remains a secret even to me: we needed to fix a wooden training bicycle, and the task required drilling. We do own a drill, but only two or three masonry bits and no standard ones.

My father, of course, has a fully functional set of Y chromosomes and therefore possesses a full complement of power tools and their accessories, whereas other people have used our drill far more often than we have in the eleven years we’ve had it. I made some noises about not being able to repair the bike because we don’t have the bits. So Dad took the bike and patched it up, returning it to us with a set of standard bits and an admonishment that I really should know how to do all this typically masculine stuff.

It’s not the lack of know-how that dissuades me, however. A combination of apathy, laziness and fear of my own klutziness does that. Even if I knew precisely where to make the hole in the bike and which bit to use, I’d end up destroying the whole thing, and possibly ruining the drill, bit and all.

A similar philosophy appears to pervade the other spheres of household maintenance: laundry sits in hampers (and of course on floors) until clothing begins to run short, and then again the dryer and baskets until it runs short again, until every so often when all the baskets get dumped on our bed and the contents sorted. Once there, however, a pile of laundry can sit for days at a time until returning to its place in drawers and closets. Better to contort oneself at night than to make the effort to properly stow the stuff. I mean, it belongs all the way in the other rooms, a full fifteen or twenty feet away!

We have two dishwashers, but working up the will to load them – especially when that requires unloading first – usually demands more effort than we tend to deem acceptable. The kitchen sinks, countertops and dining room table, consequently, spend much of their time buried under a rotating assortment of dishes and implements. Just this afternoon I actually washed a few dishes and caught a glimpse of the stainless steel sink bottom peeking out from beneath a protective layer of what seems to be egg, rice, curdled milk and terminally soggy corn flakes. I reassured the sink surface that it would not remain dangerously exposed for long. You can’t be too careful with these things.

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Written by Thag

May 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

One Response

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  1. Uhhmm…. About your invitation to have us stay overnight…

    Shlomo

    May 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm


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