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Cleaning House

Cleaning House

Ratings: (0)|Views: 39|Likes:
Published by Matthew Cook
A recent story about a father trying to get his kids to clean the house. Funny.
A recent story about a father trying to get his kids to clean the house. Funny.

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Published by: Matthew Cook on Apr 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/23/2011

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!
“Okay, follow me.”
!
“Hmm?”
!
“Off the chair, we got work to do, you and I.”
!
Chrissy got up right away, which says a great deal, I think, abouther respect for her father. And she didn
ʼ
t argue a bit as he led her throughthe house.
!
“Okay, first room is the kitchen,” Josh said. “What do you seehere?”
!
“Umm,” Chrissy put her finger to her lips and searched the roomwith her eyes. “I see food. And dishes. I
ʼ
m hungry.”
!
“Focus, dear. Is there anything special about the food and dishes?”
!
Chrissy wore a blank look. Josh showed her the pots on the stove.Each one was covered in caked-on food. One was chili. One seemed tobe some kind of casserole. One had been sitting there so long thatChrissy could not have even guessed what food was once in it.
!
“There are dead bugs in that one,” she said.
!
Josh picked a pot up and took it to the sink. “Watch me,” he said.
!
He ran the water, testing it with his hand until it was nearly too hotto touch. Then, placing the pot in the sink, he filled it with water and a fewdrops of detergent. Once it was full and bubbly, he took a harsh wiresponge, rolled up his sleeves and
scrubbed.
It was not quick. It was noteasy. His eyes were narrowed with focus. His hands grew raw and red.And after a time the pot was clean. He pulled it out of the now-dirty water,rinsed it and set it aside to dry.
!
“Did you see?”
!
Chrissy nodded.
!
“Then follow me.”
!
He led her out of the kitchen, through the living room and up thestairs. He opened the door to the bathroom. Chrissy
ʼ
s nose wrinkled.
!
“It
ʼ
s stinky in here.”
!
“Can you think of the reason why?”
!
Chrissy looked. The shower curtain was stained with mildew. Thetub had rust stains. The sink was etched with the leavings of toothpasteand soap scum. The floor around the toilet was, well, you know how thefloor around a toilet gets.
!
“It
ʼ
s dirty.”
Cleaning House
-
Matthew Cook www.theilliteratescribe.com
Cleaning House
 
!
“It is. Watch me.”
!
Josh went straight to the toilet and opened the lid. The smell in thebathroom intensified. Josh sighed and flushed the toilet. “Rule numberone,” he said.
Always 
flush.”
!
Even after flushing, though, the horror of stink and perma-pooremained. Josh took up a brush, cleaner and got onto his knees on thatdirty floor. Chrissy almost opened her mouth to protest. First he appliedthe cleaner all around the inside of the bowl. He waited a moment for it tosettle into the grime. Then he took the brush and vigorously attacked thefilth. A few drops may have splashed out of the toilet, like always seemsto happen, but Josh refused to notice them. He had eyes only for the filthin front of him and its destruction. He scrubbed at the bowl until it shined,cleaned off the brush and flushed the toilet again. When the waterscleared it looked new and a better smell was creeping into the room.
!
He stood, put the brush away and washed his hands. “Did yousee?”
!
Chrissy nodded.
!
“Then follow me.”
!
Josh led his daughter out of the bathroom and down the hall. Theycame to Chrissy
ʼ
s room. Here she hesitated.
!
“It
ʼ
s not clean in there,” she said.
!
“I know.”
!
“I can take care of it myself,” she said.
!
Josh smiled. “Let
ʼ
s see.”
!
He opened the door.
!
There was a smell. Blessedly, it was much different from the smellof the bathroom, but it was a stink anyway. Clothes, dirty and clean, laystrewn about the room, covering the floor and bed. The bed was unmade- nay, it was never made, by the looks of it. The window was covered ingreasy fingerprints. The desk was buried under a pile of old magazines, junk mail and school work. Josh took a step in and found that he couldhardly put his foot down without stepping on something.
!
“Sorry,” Chrissy shrugged.
!
Josh laughed. “Watch me,” he said.
!
He went to one section of floor and set himself to cleaning it. Hetook the clothes and sorted them, dirty from clean. He took out a laundrybasket for the dirty and folded up the clean and put them in the dresser.He took a bottle of Windex, then, and a cloth. He came to the window,sprayed the Windex on a portion of it, and wiped it off, leaving a section ofwindow so very clean that it seemed invisible. He then turned hisattention to the desk. It took him a while to organize the things he found
2
 
there. Some magazines and papers were tossed in the wastebasket.Others were put on the bookshelf. The schoolwork was put into a neatpile. He took a step back to examine the places he had cleaned.
!
“Did you see?”
!
Chrissy nodded.
!
“Then follow me.”
!
Josh led her out of the room, down the hall and down the stairs. Hestood by the door and took his coat off the rack.
!
“Are you going?”
!
“For a little while.”
!
“Can I come?”
!
“Not yet. You need to stay and clean the house.”
!
“Oh.”
!
“Chin up, Chrissy. I
ʼ
ve shown you how to do it.”
!
“That
ʼ
s true.”
!
“The kitchen must come first. Clean the pots the way I showedyou.”
!
“Okay.”
!
“Then clean the bathroom.”
!
“But you only showed me how to clean the toilet. You didn
ʼ
t evenmention how to do the rest.”
!
“The toilet will need cleaning again soon. As to the rest of theroom, use similar principles. You
ʼ
ll figure it out.”
!
“I guess.”
!
“After the kitchen and bathroom are clean, see to your room. Andtry to find out what
ʼ
s making that funky smell.”
!
“I think it might be something under the bed.”
!
“So tell me, what are you going to do?”
!
“Clean your house.”
!
Our 
house.”
!
“Our house.”
!
“And as you clean you will probably bump into your brothers andsisters. Teach them to clean. Get them to help.”
!
“Yep.”
!
“It
ʼ
ll look great when it
ʼ
s done. And I
ʼ
ll be back soon and we
ʼ
ll enjoyourselves together, okay?”
!
“Okie dokie.”
!
“Alright.” Josh kissed her forehead, opened the door and left thebig, dirty house to her.
!
“Yucky.”
3

Activity (3)

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1 hundred reads
Brian W. Porter added this note
Ah, kids. Enjoyed it. Could use a bit more descriptions about the continuing mess.
Barbara Alfaro added this note
Clever and fun.

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