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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Dust is a Verb?
By Barbara Hartsook
04/13/07


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It’s spring, that time of year when we
used to clean our houses thoroughly. In fact, when my sisters and I were growing up in our small town, foregoing this yearly ritual was considered a social and cultural taboo. If you weren’t scrubbing and airing-out and waxing and buffing the same week as your neighbors, eyebrows lifted and tongues wagged. Dust was still an action verb in those days.

Now, I see dust as part of a collection. I can’t imagine what’s under and behind some of the heavy stuff I rarely move. We’ve lived in this house more than 30 years, and I just bet there are yukky things lurking somewhere. It all looks good, though. When it’s time to clean, I’m very good at arm-scooping. Even now I see two boxes shoved under the drawing table, both with stuff recently scooped.

I asked my sisters, who appear fastidious, if they still scheduled this event annually or if they’d devised other means of keeping everything clean. My older sister, Nita, thought the question was priceless. Her answer to me was, “EGAD! NO!” She had several generations of dust bunnies, she said.

Cj, my younger sister, told me all of Pennsylvania regards dust bunnies as country accents. Essential to good decorating.

“Spritz them with Fabreeze,” she said, “and they become like little potpourris in every room in your house, very pleasant!”

She assured me they only become a problem when they unite.

“Tumbleweeds,” she said, “must be dealt with.”

We all mentioned needing to do some cleaning…


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This article has been read 594 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood04/19/07
A cute story, though short.

I really liked the original title--that grabbed me right away--and could almost see those active dust bunnies beneath the bed!
Jess Godwin04/19/07
I enjoyed it! I'm a "stuffer" too. My grandmother sometimes tells me that I have enough dust in my room to create a man.

In the words of my cyber mom--"Dust Bunnies have feelings too!"
Pam Carlson-Hetland04/20/07
This made me smile. I related on a personal level. Great title. And an easy read. Good job
Jacquelyn Horne04/22/07
Wouldn't it be nice if we could "laugh it off" instead of using the dust rag? Good writing. Good thought.
Beth LaBuff 04/22/07
Did you hear about the little boy that told his Mom (because of all the dust under his bed), he thought there was a man under his bed and he didn't know whether the man was "going" or "coming". I enjoyed reading your dusty story. :)
Lynda Schultz 04/23/07
My collection of dust bunnies qualifies as antique — trouble with them is that they reproduce really quickly. Loved this! Good job.
Mo 04/23/07
I liked the "tumbleweeds" line!
Joanne Malley04/24/07
This was cute! Loved the line about the dust bunnies being country accents. I would have loved to see this longer. Keep writing! Blessings, Jo
Emily Gillilan04/24/07
I absolutly love your idea of dust being a verb...rather than a noun; this is a very poetic way to make this point, and captivating. I was totally engrossed in your story from the first paragraph and just settling in for a good read, but then it seemed to loose steam...please expand this and work on the end.
Ed VanDeMark04/24/07
My wife's from Pennsylvania. Thanks for Cj's line I'll use it at opportune moments. Actually she is a good wife in all respects but it's fun teasing her about her PA roots.

Keep on writing and I might discover what a noun looks like too.
Elizabeth Baize 04/26/07
I really enjoyed this entry when I was judging. I especially liked the comments about dust bunnies. The “Spritz them with Fabreeze,” was priceless. I laughed when I got the title and the content didn't disappoint me!
Blessings, Elizabeth