Things I’ve learned on my way to (almost) 50 | Publisher’s Note

Full disclosure, I am not yet 50, at least in relative terms and it’s not relative to me – yet. But these are some of the things I have learned with my mid-life crisis directly in sight.

Today’s subject is house cleaning. Pay attention. Class is in session.

This past weekend I spent all day Saturday cleaning the house. Now this is not a new item on the ever burgeoning list of honey-do items. In fact, I have done this many times. In my 27 years or so of marriage, I have orchestrated this day a minimum of 25 times. I am a pro at this; bordering on being a master. Take heed, here is some of what you need to know.

• I played Indiana high school basketball, well, I sat the bench, and only as a freshman, but this statement is basically accurate. My scoring average was .666 per game. Truly. Kind of prophetic, huh? Anyhow, I could go an entire practice and not sweat. Cleaning the house and within 20 minutes I am sweating like a Catholic on communion night at the end of the line (praying to our blessed: please don’t run out of wine, please. It’s the only reason I came). Why is this happening? How can one get so dirty, cleaning? Think about it. This is likely what all of the Trump supporters felt like on the morning after they voted. Plan to get dirty. It’s just going to happen. I have no idea why. Solving the riddle of quantum physics is likely easier.

• Cleaning can solve terrorist interrogation issues. To wit: open a bottle of bleach and close the door. In four micro seconds they will be begging you to remove them and handing you the keys to the nukes. This stuff is just plain nasty. Sure it cleans up the grime, even that left by a household of two teenage boys, something that is quite frankly very impressive, but after 30 seconds and at least four layers of mucous membrane and the

denigration of my lungs to that of a two-pack-a-day smoker working in a coal mine, I was ready to call Merry Maids. They wouldn’t be so merry after they got a look at this place. Note to president-elect Trump: I can sell this to you. At only $800 per gallon, it’s a steal and not rigged either.

• For the record, I always wanted a house with a large number of bathrooms. I now, officially, retract that statement. The bathrooms looked like 20 miles of bad road. This is going to end badly. How is it possible that the wife unit – whom was in charge of potty training – taught the boy’s aim to be so bad? Not me, mind you, my aim is true and never varies. I was born that way. It’s a gift. I cannot lie. But the now disowned progeny has a tremendous amount of work to do. Perhaps we should go back to placing Cheerios in the bowl for target practice. However, this is also a group that will eat anything not nailed down and this won’t end well either unless you consider a call from Department of Social and Health Services ending well. There is a solution to this. Bleach. Except, it tends to stain the hardwood floors, but I blamed this on said teenagers and they can’t really disagree or the pizza fund money will dry up. That was just something they were not inclined to risk. Amateurs. Prepare to spend some time on this part or just leave that for the wife unit – as punishment.

• We have this budget crippling vacuum called a Wind Tunnel. It cost more than some third world countries and it’s inappropriately named. Wind Tunnel? I have a wind tunnel. It’s called a shop vac. It’ll suck up a small child, dog bones, most of the rug and numerous other items that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. It has tools on it the so called Wind Tunnel can only dream of: LED lights, wands to get into every possible crevice and a hose the length of a first-down. It needs a little longer power cord, though. Had this been the case I could have done most of the downstairs from the comfort of my easy chair. This will be added. The family dog was not amused, but then again this is a fully domesticated animal that I give as much chance of surviving in the wild as a Trump re-election bid occurring. I finished the task by sucking up the Wind Tunnel. I doubt anyone will miss that perfectly worthless appliance. Kind of like the bread machine. What’s up with that appliance? You can buy a loaf of bread for like $.99 or make it yourself with six-hours of work and $42 in supplies. Brilliant. Actually the brilliance was the marketing that got me to purchase it. Score one for Big Appliance.

• Lastly was the project of dusting. The cleaning “toolbox” contained all sorts of items for this task. Too many actually. I’m certain our next vacation went to Johnson &Johnson. There was Pledge, special dust attracting rags, something called a swifter – I have no clue what this is for – and even a rag to dust the dust rag. Incredible. I decided on the tool for this job, the shop vac. Yep, it collects dust better than all of the aforementioned tools. With an elementary level degree in geometry, the shop vac can be pointed at an obtuse angle to the front door to evacuate the dust straight outside. Problem solved. Now, a word of warning. There will be “parts” missing. Do this task unsupervised by said wife unit as there will be junk, aka, knickknacks that will end up in the black hole at the bottom of this six-horsepower goddess of a machine. I refer to these as casualties of war and they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The wife refers to it as a weekend on the couch – alone.

At least it’s clean.