Saturday, December 03, 2005

Duck and Cover

Picture the scene. It’s roughly 10pm in the Malone household. Sunny is watching Home and Garden TV (as she likes to do), so I pull out my mp3 player, and start listening to a Billy Connolly stand up show.

Unfortunately, because I decided to ‘save a little cash’ on the bargain bin ‘everything on this shelf for $1’ batteries, my mp3 player’s 20 hour battery life, is more like 4 hours…and these are not fresh batteries.

So an hour in, the damn thing dies. The shuttle forward ‘feature’ on this thing is only about 3 speed, so I don’t feel like sitting with my finger on the finicky button for 20 minutes to get back the where I was, especially considering the slightest vibration (like, say, a heartbeat) causes the button to ‘click’ again, taking you to the next track.

So I saunter over to the old computer, and start perusing the blogs (Good one today, Kato). My muse was on holiday, so no post ideas were forthcoming.

Now, not wanting to disturb my sweetie, I plug in the headphones, and head over to, a nice collection of videos of Darwin Award Wannabe’s hurting themselves.

About 20 minutes later, I’m halfway through watching a video about a guy who thinks it’s a great idea to drink a flaming sambuka without putting it out first. He sets his face on fire, throws the rest of the drink, setting the table, and a few other people on fire. There are screams, there is swearing.

My ears are filled with four word tirades. The video stops….however, the swearfest doesn’t.

Then I realize that Sunny has taken it upon herself to start vacuuming, not an easy prospect in our weirdly proportioned house. You just get started, and the cord pings out of the wall, the cat starts a game of hit-and-run, you’re required to move every single stick of furniture. Not a fun or easy task.

Sunny’s pissed…and one thought enters my mind:

“I’m going to pay for this before the night’s out.”

Now, to all the women out there, the solution would be simple. If I did the housework, there wouldn’t be a problem. Well, this is true, but there are problems.

You see, Sunny is used to being independent and living on her own. She has her own way of doing things. It’s not that she goes psycho if I put the knives in the drawer where the spoons go, but lets say if I make the bed, she ‘Does a Monica’, and will re-make it before she’ll sleep in it. My way of doing things is incompatible with Sunny’s. Therefore, I just don’t see much point in doing something if she’s going to re-do it later. She somehow gets madder re-doing something I’ve already done, than just doing the thing herself.

Also, Sunny is a Mother (and that deserves the Capital letter). This means that her dirt-radar gene turned on. For example, I vacuumed the entire house at 11pm last night. I thought the carpet was spick and span. Not according to Sunny.

On the other hand, I went straight from the nest to my marital home.  Let me explain why this matters:

When it comes to mess tolerance (10 being ultra messy, and 1 being freakishly ‘Aunt Petunia’ clean), I’m about a 6, Sunny’s a 5, and my Mother is a minus 3.

I was 16 before I realized that the kitchen sink didn’t automatically clean the dishes for you. All I knew was I put my dishes in there, and an hour or so later, I’d walk past and they’d be washed, dried and put away.

I once bought a magazine, put it on the arm of the chair, went upstairs to use the bathroom, and came back down to find my magazine missing. It was in the trash. My Mum said “It was left lying around, so I didn’t think anyone wanted it.”

My mother has been known to pull out the vacuum cleaner in the middle of a house-party, just because she spotted a dustbunny under the coffee table. That’s right, Mum, it’s okay to start vacuuming your guests, after all, if the news got out about the microscopic dustbunny under the table, people would talk!

That’s the house I lived in. A mess in my Mum’s house has the life expectancy of Adolf Hitler at a Black Gay Jewish Bodybuilder Psychopaths With Anger Management Issues Convention and Gun Rally. (Speaking of which, check out the local BGJBPWAMIGR Convention in your area, they’re a hoot!)

In short, here’s the problem:

I’m used to having all my cleaning done for me. Sunny is used to living alone, and not having someone else mess the place up. However, the worst thing is her mess tolerance is slightly lower than mine. Basically, when I think things will need cleaning in a day or so, Sunny needs them done now.

So you can imagine the pickle I was in. Sunny is doing housework, is pissed and is swearing. I’m at my usual place in front of the computer, watching dumbasses hurt themselves.

Again, you’d think the solution would be simple. Get up off my ass, and help her clean.


You see, when Sunny is swearing, interrupting her in any way, even if it’s to offer help, is like waking a sleepwalker.

In fact, scratch that. It’s like putting your manhood in a hungry lion’s mouth, while whipping its testicles with a wet towel, calling it a pussy, and saying you’ve slept with it’s wife…and she was crap.

Kinda like:

“Here sweetie, let me take over.” (reaches for vacuum)

“Leave me alone.” (Said in the same tone as the ‘Get Out.” From The Amityville Horror).

“Sweetie, go sit and calm down, I’ll finish. It’s no trouble, hones…”

“ROAWWWRR ROWARRRRAWWWWW (Scratch, Rip, Tear, Splash)”

“It’s ok, sweetie, I’m sure that arm will grow back, and I’ve heard kidneys are quite cheap on the black market these days. I’ll be fine, honestly.”

So here’s the situation. Do I:

  1. Do nothing, guaranteeing I’ll get it in the neck for just sitting here while she sweats over the housework?

  2. Offer to help, thereby risking the possible loss of an arm, and risk incurring an unholy wrath that would soon be the stuff of legend?

Actually, the answer is neither. In this situation, I usually find a different task to do in another room, meaning I’m still ‘helping’ but keeping at least one wall of safety between me and the Bugblatter Beast of Trall that has temporarily possessed my wife.

Unfortunately, even that wasn’t possible today. You see, Sunny had found a few old pewter Christmas candlesticks for me to polish with my Dremel this afternoon, and while I did that, she cleaned the rest of the house.

This left me with option D. The dreaded option I never want to take. This consists of the following.

  1. Grab the cat, and lock myself in the bathroom, with a hurried mumble about having a bad stomach (From something I ate outside the home, and definitely not something Sunny cooked)

  2. Curl up into the fetal position and sob like a little girl for a while.

  3. Wait until the swearing stops.

  4. Wait about 10 minutes longer, in case of an ambush.

  5. Crack the door, throw out the cat, and slam the door shut again.

  6. Wait for the cat’s return. If it still as at least three of it’s legs, 60% of it’s tail, and only a slight limp, it’s safe to come out…but only if I have chocolate.

  7. If I don’t have chocolate, I simply attempt to flush myself down the toilet, and begin a new life at sea, under the assumed name “Sal McDirmuid”.

Oh, one little addition. If the swearing is accompanied by frenzied screaming, lots of stamping and the mention of my name in ANY context, the chocolate can only be administered safely with the use of a high-powered slingshot and a hunting scope.

However, the storm now appears to have passed, although this is no guarantee of safety. My wife is now like a vial of nitro-glycerine. The slightest tremor, the slightest mis-spoken word and everything goes splat.

Or as Igor would put it, the mob would hit the windmill.

It’s especially scary (like right now) when directly after the housework, when she’s sat down and relaxed a little, she lapses into “Incredibly Good Mood” mode. She’ll laugh manically at stuff that is only mildly funny.

The best way I can describe this is accidentally falling into a tiger cage, watching the tiger approach you with a hungry look in it’s eyes… then offering you a coffee and asking if you need another cushion to sit on.

IE, everything seems cool, but you know that it shouldn’t be happening, and wondering where the catch comes in, or when the trap is going to be sprung.

If I don’t post in the next few days, friends…Avenge my Death.


Miz S said...

In my defense.............well, never mind. Like he said- he tries- I appreciate it- but some things I just need to do my way for my peace of mind and to ensure my sanity. If I can set my house in order-to MY standards- then I have control over SOMETHING in my life at the moment.
Paulius understands this- altho I'm not sure he knows he understands it.
All I can say is- keep the chocolate handy....and,BTWFFR- I like BITTERSWEET chocolate- not that freakishly annoying mildly similar to chocolate-milk chocolate.

Thank you, Paulius, for loving me anyway with all my little(?) idiosyncrasies.

And be assured I will continue loving you even tho your need to clean level will always be one away from mine.


OzzyC said...

I can relate to both of you...

-Paulius, it looks like our parents went to the same finishing school. Although somewhere along the line, my mom appears to have gone to the opposite end of the spectrum. My parents' house is now so cluttered that there's no "house" per se. It's more accurate to call it an indoor labyrinth. If you know the way, you can walk through various paths to the toilet, stove, bed or whatever, but it's no longer a house.

-Sunny, I'm the neat-freak around the house, and I'm also a dad. Of course, I don't go all Monica and redo things... no, I snap and make the kids help me. Their options are to keep things somewhat neat and organized, or be little pigs until I snap, and then clean to my standards. The usually choose the latter, and scream, moan, bitch and complain.

serendipity said...

My mum is a definate Monica, and on the scale of 1 - 10 of messiness i'm about a 6. I can be the most horribly messy person thre ever was, but when I clean I have to REALLY clean and it has to be done to MY standards...or I else I might do a Monica.

Kato said...

Thank you, you're not too shabby yourself :) Nice Hitchhiker's reference, by the way.

My mom is the same way, definitely a neat-freak and way overly concerned about everything being spotless. I've seen her clean on Christmas day between wrapping presents. And the worst part is she's cleaning for, I guess, my siblings and I, who grew up in the house and could probably care less about the rugs being clean. It's not like we're expecting the President (for Paulius: The Queen Mum) or anything.

MC Etcher said...

Ha ha ha! Ah, married bliss. I understand completely!