The Perils of Housework
Mark HarveySince the dawn of civilization, humans have spent a significant portion of their lifetime doing‘housework’. Washing, wiping, sweeping, scrubbing, ironing, dusting, tidying and many moremind-numbingly tedious and repetitive cleaning activities. The futility of housework has long been recognised, no sooner is it done than it needs redoing. We continue to do it, albeit with aninnate reluctance, because of the universal wisdom that housework just
to be done. The purpose of this treatise is to demonstrate conclusively that this ‘universal wisdom’ is a cruelmyth, that housework takes a devastating toll on our health and wellbeing, and that for the sake of our future generations, all housework should and must be ceased forthwith.It is the traditional belief that if everything wasn’t kept sparklingly clean we would be strickendown with all sorts of nasty diseases, if the carpet wasn’t spotless the wee baby would shove thespot into his mouth and instantly expire. But this is just not so. Nowadays there are more andmore cases of diseases caused by failures of the immune system. Asthma and eczema arecommon examples, but there are many more severe forms, even harder to spell. Medicalresearchers have found that most such allergies are actually
by cleanliness! The reason being that humankind has adapted to the conditions in which it evolved, i.e. dirty, filthy, naturalenvironments. If the muck is artificially removed then our immune systems are left idle anditching for action. A harmless speck of dust is likely to be leapt upon with such enthusiastic gustothat surrounding tissues also become damaged and inflamed. Recent research confirms that dirt isessential for healthy growth, especially in babies. In cases of severe deprivation, your doctor will be able to provide a booster inoculation of dirt, however on a day to day basis sufficient dirt may be obtained by the regular licking of floors, windows and other ‘collecting’ surfaces.Statistics record that around ninety percent of accidents occur in the home. It is no coincidencethat ‘in the home’ is the very place where housework takes place! Cleaning activities arefrighteningly dangerous. Washing lines are all too easy to become entangled around the necks of unwary operators causing strangulation (the ‘retractable’ varieties are especially hazardous) and aseemingly benign rotary clothes line requires only a breath of wind to transform into a whirlingskull-fracturing cudgel. Mops and brooms employ long, hard handles so lethal that they are usedas the weapon of choice in several forms of martial arts. Ironing entails the use of a heavy metalimplement which is a common cause of disfiguring burns and, despite its obvious pointy bit at thefront, is frequently categorised as a ‘blunt instrument’ by police investigators. Lapses of concentration while handling a vacuum cleaner are responsible for the loss of many a small butwell-loved family pet. In cartoons this can be very amusing, but in real life it is the cause of severe psychological distress in many young children. Even feather dusters are responsible for nasty cuts and bruises which result from involuntary muscle spasms due to tickling.From kindergarten onwards we drum into our children the crucial lesson that ‘electricity andwater don’t mix’. But take a look at your washing machine and dishwasher! What have we beenthinking? That’s just crazy, that’s asking for trouble! Neither is the manual cleaning of dishesfree from danger. Sharp and spiky kitchen utensils are designed to work safely and effectivelywhen held with an absolute maximum of one per hand. If this limit is exceeded, as commonlyoccurs when doing dishes, it is inevitable that hands will become impaled and fingers severed.Housework also brings us into contact with a vast range of highly toxic ‘cleaning products’ thatare heavily polluting to the environment and can easily be confused with cooking materials andfed to the neighbours children or stirred into the mother-in-law’s tea, with potentially fatalresults. This can also happen accidentally, with quite tragic outcomes.