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Is It Spring Cleaning or Just Making a Mess?

Is It Spring Cleaning or Just Making a Mess?

by Mark Lyons

Image by Julio Cesar Velasquez Mejia from Pixabay

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            “Is it spring yet?” Mark asked Sally, his wife, early one morning in April.

            “Yes, it is,” answered Sally. “Why do you ask?”

            “I’ve got a hankerin’ to clean and I thought I would coordinate it with spring if I could,” replied Mark.

            “Have at it,” said Sally, “but please don’t make a mess. Please show me anything you are not sure about throwing away. And if you move stuff around, please make sure you tell and show me. You are always putting things “away” without telling me and then you forget where you put them.”

            “Yes, I know, but I am cute so it all evens out!” grinned Mark.

            “Uh-huh,” sighed Sally.

            Mark rubbed his hands together, sinched up his pants, and set to work. After several minutes, he approached his wife and said, “Honey, I found this under the bed,” holding it up for Sally to see. “Do we want to keep this?”

            “That’s Harley!” gasped Sally. “The cat!”

            “Oh,” muttered Mark. “I didn’t recognize him under the bed there and all. So, do we, uh, you know, keep him?”

            “Mark!” exclaimed Sally.

            “Oh, okay,” said Mark.

            Mark set Harley carefully on the bed, scratched behind the cat’s ears, and patted him on the back. Then crouching back down beside the bed, Mark crawled around under the bed. After several minutes of huffing, puffing, moans, and groans, he reemerged standing upright next to the bed.

            “Are you sweeping that dirt under the rug?” asked Sally as she returned to the bedroom from the kitchen.

            “Uh, no,” said Mark lifting the rug and reversing his sweeps. “I was just going to get the dustpan.”

            Mark swept the dirt into the dustpan and took it to the kitchen to put in the trash can. He did not return.

            Sally began to hear “Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!” She went off in search of the sound. “What is he up to now?” she said to herself.

            Sally walked into the living room and saw Mark whacking their living room rug hanging from a wire strung across the room with an old tennis racket.

            “What are you doing?” asked Sally.

            “Puff! ….. Just a second! ….. Pant! …. I’m in the rhythm ….. Puff! ….. and want to finish ….. Pant! ….. Whomp! There!” said Mark.

            “Wouldn’t it be better if you did that outside?” asked Sally.

            “Hold on Honey,” said Mark. “I can’t see you anymore because of all the dust.” Mark swiped at the dust with the racket in an attempt to clear the air.

            “Cough, cough, cough,” coughed Mark. Slowly the dust settled pretty much without his help. “Whew!” sputtered Mark. “That really is a workout. Maybe I’ve uncovered another regimen like when I combined grocery shopping with exercising. This would be spring cleaning and exercise. Anyway, what?”

            “Shouldn’t you be doing that outside?” asked Sally. “On account of all the dust?”

            “Oh, yeah,” said Mark with a grin. “That would make sense. Thanks, Honey. Let me just clean this up and then I’ll move it outside.”

            Mark set to work and cleaned up all the dirt and dust. Sally watched for a brief time and then went into the computer room to work on their grocery list. After about an hour of not seeing or hearing Mark, Sally grew curious and searched for him in the house. She found him sprawled out on the kitchen floor with canned goods spread all around.

            “Honey, what are you doing now?” asked Sally not sure she wanted to hear his reply.

            “Hi, Schweetie,” said Mark. “Do you think these canned goods should be arranged in alphabetical order, by the size of the can in descending or ascending height, by the most recent or oldest ‘use by’ date, calorie by serving, color of the can based on the rainbow parameters, or how we like them from least to most favorite?”

            “Oh, Mark!” said Sally.

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