Blog Posting by Earl Merkel
My smartphone informs me that I just “missed” three calls.
Sorry, callers. I was doing a bit of light cleaning around my humble abode… and the noise of the leaf-blower drowned your ringtones. I will now close the front door, out through which some quite interesting detritus has just blown, and return your calls.
And no– this is not a fiction-based tale. Ask my neighbors.
— Earl Merkel
(POSTSCRIPT: NOTE TO ‘DEAR HELOISE’: “Yes, it works. Quite well.
“The trick is to keep the hurricane-speed blast aimed low as one walks thru the home… and, upon successful conclusion of the initial sweep-thru, to continue to direct the jet of air toward (and thru) the propped-open front door.
“Continue until the clouds of dust, dust-bunnies, and Unwanted Possessions have been removed from mid-air suspension, ‘else you’ll have to dust the freakin’ furniture too.”
(Author’s Note: Such innovative genius is likely why my tenure as a newspaper advice columnist was somewhat abbreviated. Jealousy is a terrible thing.*** — EM)
(POST-POSTSCRIPT: I am now in (temporary) possession of what the label says is a “Dirt Devil/Royal Pressure-Flex 1600,” the owner of which assures me that it will deliver 1,600 PSI of water.
Look out, kitchen & bathroom: I’m comin’ for YOU… —EM)
(POST-POST-POSTSCRIPT: In response to a surprising outpouring of concern from Faithful Readers, let me reassure you: all this careful cleaning is not the result of my Annual Spring Breakdown… but rather, t’is that fine catch-all excuse for Unwise Behavior used by writers since Oog chiseled out his first freelance spec-piece: to wit, “Article Research.”
I’m checking the viability of a freelance magazine pitch with the working-title of “Spring Cleaning For The Homebound Male” –and without first-hand experience in the perils & pitfalls of same… well, it might be a pretty unenlightening article, no?
(<sigh> I know: I should have submitted the proposal months ago. But I did clean the place in November, thus rendering the research-timeline both useless & needless. ‘Sides, there’s always next year, eh?)
So rest easy, Faithful Readers. All is –more or less, anyway– well.
Now– where did I put that pneumatic paint-sprayer? It’s time to fire up the compressor, mix up the bleach, ammonia and hydrochloric acid… and get to work on that toilet… — EM)
RESEARCH NOTE UPDATE- My now-regrettable experiment in home-made toilet-cleaning solutions was, at least, a learning experience– and no doubt will be valuable to male reader-cleaners, should I live to write the article.
On another subject, appropros to nothing in particular, a few lines of poetry seem oddly fixed in my mind:
“The green little chemist
On a green little day
Mixed some green little chemicals
In a green little way.
The green little grasses
Now tenderly wave
O’er the green little chemist’s
Green little grave.”
• • • • • • •
APRIL 6: More Comments From Faithful Readers…
• Comment, from Faithful Reader Marilyn (via Facebook): “hmmmm!”
• EM Response: Thank heavens; you hear it too.
• Comment, from Faithful Reader Morgan (via Facebook): “You didn’t really mix those three chemicals together did you?”
• EM Response: Yesterday is a vague blur. But the parakeet is dead, so maybe.
• Comment, from Faithful Reader Marilyn (via Facebook): “A leaf blower in the house? Come on now!”
• EM Response: That part, I remember. And swear it is true.
Moreover, it is actually effective –on wood floors, even more so than a vacuum– and raises a most satisfying cloud from rugs & carpeting.
I hope to try the power washer next week, but have high hopes for it, at least in the (fully tiled) bathroom.
Still, with the aforementioned vague blur, I may imitate the color of my little chemist… henceforth, eschewing chemicals and going fully “green.” As Morgan said-without-saying-it, the combination would create what is legally a Weapon Of Mass Destruction.
Nobody wants the UN involved in my article, or in my housecleaning.
Will update all Faithful Readers, as events unfold. — EM