Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)
TITLE: Cleaning Up
By Shari Armstrong
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”Are you sure about that?” He glanced at his wife over his newspaper and coffee
“Yes, and I’m going to invite the Smiths. We’re all stuck here on base and no family around. It’ll be fun.” She pulled a cookbook off the shelf. “How hard can it be to cook a turkey anyway?”
He folded his paper and moved to stand near Mary. “I’m sure it will be wonderful.” He kissed her. “I need to go, or I’ll be late. Love you.”
“I love you, too.” She sat down and started pouring over the pages looking for the perfect Thanksgiving meal.
She closed the book after making an extensive shopping list. She let out a sigh. “This is going to be harder than I thought, but I am going to do it.”
She read the directions to herself. “This is easy.” She hummed as she began to clean the turkey before placing it in the pan. Once the turkey was tucked away in the oven, she moved on to the side dishes.
She pealed and cut up potatoes to get ready for mashed potatoes. Dumping them in a big pot of water, she turned on the burner. “Ok? Now what?” She looked around her kitchen. “Oh, I need to make the pie. She had decided to make the pumpkin pie, as it seemed the simplest. She took great care to read over the directions.
She examined the pie before placing it in the oven on the rack above the turkey. “Perfect. I’ll just take it out before the turkey’s done, and that will give it plenty of time to cool before dinner.”
The phone rang. “Hello? Oh, hi, Laura. Yes, dinner will be at 5:00. Rolls? Oh yes, please feel free. That would be great.” They talked for a few minutes until an odd hissing sound caught her attention, she turned to see her pot of potatoes boiling over. “I need to go. See you later.”
She turned the burner off and lifted the pan carefully as water steamed around her. “Oh, no. They are ruined!” The potatoes had scorched. She dug through the cupboard. “Maybe I have some instant in here somewhere?”
She looked around her at the battle zone that used to be her kitchen. “Goodness, what a mess.” She began to load the dishwasher. “This old thing is going to never be able to handle all this without a little help.” She grabbed the bottle of Dawn off the sink. “This should cut that layer of grease.” She put a couple drops of the blue liquid in with the powder, started the machine and went to shower and get ready for her dinner guests.
“Oh, no!” She discovered herself in the middle of an “I Love Lucy” episode as she returned to her kitchen. A layer of bubbles almost an inch thick covered her linoleum. She grabbed some towels and attempted to clean it up.
She heard the back door open. ”Hi, Mary. How are things…” Her husband stopped dead in his tracks as he saw his wife on her hands and knees mopping up bubbles.
She glanced up at him, “Umm.. I decided to clean the floor?” She grinned.
He chuckled. “What did you do?”
She told him about the idea to use the Dawn. “The floor’s never been cleaner,” she announced as she finished.
Their guests, Laura and Matt, were seated at their small dinning room table as she brought out the turkey, placing it in front of her husband. She handed him the carving tools. He said grace before he began to carve. He gave everyone their preferred cut, and the other bowls of food began to be passed around the table.
Laura took a bite of the meat. She tried to hide the face she made with her napkin. “Mary, dear, what a … unique flavor. What did you use?”
”Just some salt and pepper. I didn’t want anything too fancy. Why?”
Her husband then took a bite. “This tastes like…soap.”
Mary took a bite. “Oh, this tastes awful.” She bit her lip to try to hold back the tears.
“Honey? How did you cook this?”
”Well, the directions said to clean the turkey, and Comet cleans anything, so I scrubbed it with Comet.”
Matt cleared his throat, “Pie, anyone?”
* Based on a true story of a family friend and a few personal experiences blended together
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