Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)
TITLE: Cleaning, Critters and Canine Abilities
By Joanne Malley
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Nothing compares to a death-defying excursion into foul, hostile territory.
Dressed in a sterile, surgical steel body glove, gas mask and protective eyewear, I contemplated encroaching on terrain quarantined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite my uncanny resemblance to the newest in high-tech cookware, I never looked better. However, I felt insufficiently protected from the dangers in my teenager’s bedroom.
With a load of folded laundry, was it worth venturing in?
Regardless of rigorous cleaning instructions, my lovely darling devised her own brilliant plan to eradicate dirt in her filthy quarters. Granted, there’s an off chance I’m wrong, but any method that requires one to aimlessly suck through a used straw while watching t.v. is fruitless. Ultimately, my main concern was the unidentified species that may exponentially multiply before my eyes.
At the very least, she’s occasionally opened a window for a hint of fresh air. When stretching her efforts, she’s tricked me with a spray or two of Lemon Fresh Pledge toward the center of the room. Once, she even hung a dust cloth from the lampshade. Gosh…she almost had me that day.
Before entering, I reckoned I might not survive. I pushed aside the triviality of death and forged in anyway. With my snout to the ground, I hunted for creatures that resembled those in petri dishes and sang Billy Joel’s song , “Only the Good Die Young.”
Once inside, I was clueless to the copious amount of filth that could leech onto my head, reproduce and devour my scalp. The thought made welts and a boiling fever emerge. Without hesitation, I recited the 23rd Psalm with urgency and fervor in a tongue-twisted fit. I fearfully waited to start foaming at the mouth.
On one occasion, my daughter’s friend lost an earring in there, ventured under the bed to retrieve it and emerged bald. Who knew an assembly of sweaty gym socks could emit noxious gases? Actually, aside from the extreme outcome, I was more than proud my daughter conducted such an advanced science experiment with no planning, effort or brainpower.
Despite the painful embarrassment the incident caused me, the girl’s mother had me removed as PTA President. I was also unjustly banned from future bake sale fundraisers and box top counting parties.
Her actions were extreme. After all, what’s a little hair? It does grow back.
Anyway, when pictures of my face showed up on telephone poles in town, I was miffed. Even with my keen, dog-like sense of smell, shame would kill me faster than the putrescent stench emanating from my daughter’s closet. Then, my efforts would fall to the wayside just like the Singing Sally doll did from my daughter’s shelf. The question is…what ate her?
As punishment for putting me through the ordeal, I made my daughter go directly to her room, eat dinner on the sticky floor and sleep in her leftovers. One should never underestimate the power that ground-in, creamed asparagus has on designer nightwear. “Don’t spare the rod,” the Lord says. I pride myself on being creative with his commands.
I’ve realized cornering her in her room, pounding my fists and screaming gets me nowhere. All it does is blow excess dust around and defeat my purpose of behaving like a raving lunatic…which by the way, is my prerogative.
Frankly, motherhood should come with an exorbitant salary and better protective gear - or at the very least – a nose unlike a canine with the ability to sniff out rancid organisms from down the block.
I’m baffled how she’s flourished and grown into a healthy young lady under wretched living conditions. It’s a God thing for sure because her insides are squeaky clean. She knows the art of giving and compassion. Between her cleaning fests, she’s managed to learn the language of love. And most importantly, God comes before the newest heartthrob clad in body piercings.
All this while, I swore she was hearing challenged. Though I stand corrected for once, she’s certainly made her mama proud.
As ludicrous as it sounds, the day she heads off to college you’ll find me in tears curled up amidst the vile muck. But, for now, the yellow tape remains across the door to keep the populous out, intact and alive.
The ordeal taught me that demanding a clean room is a futile waste. My time is better spent raising my husband.
Now, it’s high time I remove this stylin’ get-up, lock the door behind me and pray I don’t start barking anytime soon.
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