Viewpoint: Housework no simple deal

Viewpoint: Housework no simple deal

By Joe Baker

Housework no simple deal

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Three things are important in life—garbage, dishes and beds. My wife told me that last week. Well, she didn’t exactly tell me, she yelled it.

It was one of her more reflective moments, of which there are very few.

Garbage is a science in itself. It must be placed correctly at the curb. It’s a complicated process involving a ruler, protractor, sextant and a compass. I won’t try to explain it, I’m not sure I understand it myself.

You have to “shoot” the North Star, get the correct angle on the neighbor’s curb and measure the distance from your own curb. Lord help you if you don’t have the cans with the “X” turned toward the morning sun. There should be a class for this one. Advanced training is required.

Dishes at our house have a patented process. First, we take several minutes and align all the spoons, forks and knives. That means straight and even, mister! Then we measure the dishwashing soap according to the gross weight of the dishes to be washed.

Next step is to draw the wash and rinse water. It must be at least 275 degrees. I don’t know if it cleans the dishes, but it cooks your hands in about 15 seconds.

Now we arrange the glassware in a diamond pattern and, starting at the top point, proceed in clockwise fashion, immersing each glass for 3 1/2 minutes.

The dinner plates come next, using a power drill with one of those pads on it. The plates are then piled on the drainboard at an EXACT elevation of 36 degrees. Glasses are inverted, and we play Cuban rhythms on them, using a couple of pencils.

Silver, by this time, has been piled in a jumble in the rinse water. We use a pancake turner to flip it onto the drainboard, piece by piece. After that, we leave the whole mess there and go out to dinner.

Beds! Now there’s a complete culture if there ever was one. My wife believes that if you don’t have your beds made no later than 9 a.m., a swat team will surround your house, and they will take you away to the pokey.

The art and science of bed maintenance requires two people and surveyor’s equipment. Everything depends on straight lines and smooth surfaces.

One party holds the surveyor’s pole at the head of the bed while the master bedmaker sights through the transit at the foot of the bed. Once the mark is established, the sheet is adjusted to line up. Same deal on the other side.

As for smoothing the sheets, we use a hair dryer. It works well if you don’t set the bed on fire. We next use a triangle to make sure the creases in the sheets are at right angles to the edge of the mattress.

Getting the bedspread installed is a major undertaking. It is carefully opened on the bed, and then we measure from the center line to the edge, making certain equal amounts will fall on each side of the line.

Once that’s done, it’s time to measure pillow height to ensure we have folded enough of the bedspread to cover the pillows. Then, the fun part. We count the pattern on each side of the center line to make certain the same number of designs is on each side. That is tedious. This takes until 11 a.m., almost time for a nap.

I never thought housework would necessitate an engineering degree. Life is complex.

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