Monday, September 10, 2007

The Cleaning Lady

Ahh, cleaning ladies. Those wonderful scrubbing nymphs. They are perhaps the greatest invention of all time. Cheaper than the automobile. Less dangerous than nuclear weapons. More rugged than the cell phone. And they clean up your home to boot. I had forgotten what it's like to live in a clean apartment until this past weekend when.....You guessed it. I had the cleaning lady come over to work her magic.

Armed with nothing more than a pair of yellow rubber gloves, Windex, Soft Scrub, Fantastick (Lemon Power), Clorox Clean-up spray, Scotch-Brite, 4 rolls of paper towels, 2 trash bags, a vacuum cleaner, a mop, and a strong will to succeed, the cleaning lady was able to turn my drab and dreary apartment into a fresh, lemony, squeaky, shiny, disinfected, drab place to live. There was nothing she could do about the "drab" thing. She's most definitely not an interior decorator.

Notice the advanced technique of this expert cleaning lady. Do not try this pro maneuver at home.

But she IS most definitely a sorceress of sparkle, and a wizard-ress of washing. She slew dust bunnies the size of poodles. She annihilated 2 years' worth of bathroom mildew, with nothing but a wave of her wand and 2 hours of vigorous scrubbing with steel wool. She vacuumed the living hell out of our area rugs, and exorcised the strange bioluminescent ring from inside the toilet bowl. Is there anything she can't clean?

Well, actually yes. She didn't clean the inside of the medicine cabinet. Or the space behind my reclining lounge chair. Or the inside of the oven. Or the top of my desk lamp (it's coated with dust even as I write this). What is it about these particular places that elude the cleaning lady's dirt-seeking eyes? Maybe nothing. Give her a break, she just missed a few spots. And come to think of it, she was probably just frightened by the medicine cabinet. Decrepit, frayed toothbrushes strewn about. Decayed shaving cream cans. Age-old shampoo samples slowly leaking their decomposed contents. Oil-soaked rags. Rusty switchblades. A mummified squirrel. And so on and so forth. I don't blame her for steering clear of that mess. I'm afraid to open the medicine cabinet myself. Hold on. Let me check it out. I'll be right back...........

Heavenly father up above!! It's even worse than I thought possible. Like the pain of passing a kidney stone. I only opened it for a split second, and then slammed the cabinet door shut with great force, so as to contain most of the fruit flies and locusts swarming within. The only thing that would do an adequate job of cleaning that medicine cabinet would be fire. Hot, hot fire. Not a match, or a lighter. I'm talking about an acetylene torch. I'll just ask the cleaning lady to bring hers for next time. Guaranteed to work every time, as long as the bathroom doesn't catch fire.

Dear, dear cleaning lady. You cleaned most of the things that I didn't want to clean, or was too lazy to clean. And you did it with a smile. Or at least without shedding any tears. Except for the tears caused by the fumes from all the various cleaning solutions you used. I said you could crack a window if the vapors were too strong. But you didn't listen. You didn't want me to interrupt, so I left you alone. You were totally in that cleaning lady groove. And when you were finished, 10 or 11 hours later (working for a flat fee, of course), almost everything in my apartment was clean. And you were gone. And so was my humiliation in having the dirtiest apartment in the building. You took my humiliation and threw it out with the rest of the garbage, to be consumed by the cleansing flames of the incinerator. Or whatever. More importantly, my apartment's clean, and now my girlfriend has no excuse not to hang out here.

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