« Brain Like a Lumpy Custard | Main | Super What Now? »

February 04, 2007

Everybody Was Kung Fu Cleaning


Krissy entered my office with a sweatband made of plastic trashbags and spoke wisdom: "In order to clean a mess, one must first remove the source of the mess," she said. This was her excuse for kicking me out of the room.

Then she closed the door.

Then she started playing ABBA.

I don't suspect my office stands a chance.

I have been exiled to the bedroom, from which I am not allowed to emerge until Krissy is done cleaning. I believe that I mess with her cleaning chi. Fortunately I have been given beverages and a laptop. I may survive. which is more than I can say for the mess in my office.

Posted by john at February 4, 2007 11:04 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Dean | February 4, 2007 11:20 AM

My office space tends toward maximum entropy, too. Unfortunately, I have no Krissy to counter the entropic slide. I have to do it myself, which usually results in 'aagh!' explosions and sudden devastating sorties with large trash bags.

I lose a lot of stuff this way.

P.G.Husted | February 4, 2007 11:24 AM

There, there. Poor dear. When she gets done, I've got two bedrooms full of books and junk I mean to get to this week (while on vacation) that she can help me with.

I'm kidding. I wouldn't wish these rooms on anyone. The dust mites alone will kill you, not to mention the landslides.

P.G. Husted | February 4, 2007 11:26 AM

The trash bag "look" is very nice by the way and I certainly give her kudos for being willing to be photographed in them.

Omaha Lisa | February 4, 2007 11:39 AM

One of the few advantages (and a disadvantage) to being single is that there is no one to answer to for the encroaching glacier of books/papers/photos/hand lotion/CDs/DVDs/flotsam and jetsam of my office.

It gets beaten back twice a year with a promise to do better, but then life goes on and it grows again.

BTW... nice peanut butter!

Queenie | February 4, 2007 11:44 AM

That's your workspace?

Man. I hate being anal retentive.

Bill | February 4, 2007 11:47 AM

Okay, I just have to ask. Why is there a jar of peanut butter in your office? Unless of course it's like my computer desk, in which case it wouldn't be all that unusual.

Paul Raven | February 4, 2007 11:48 AM

But if she tidies everything away, how will you know where it all is?

Being one of life's naturally chaotic persons, at least when it comes to the arrangement of physical items in my assorted workspaces, I tend to sympathise with Einstein's 'cluttered desk' aphorism, and get all shaky and nervous at the thought of some kind soul taking it upon themselves to put my things into order. Hence I agree with Lisa's comment regarding the single lifestyle ...

... but it must be nice to know that someone cares! Plus, an excuse to lounge out with laptop and beverages can't be a bad thing.

Jamie | February 4, 2007 11:51 AM

There seems to be a jar of peanut butter on your desk there. I hope that's not evidence of a food-on-animal picture gone wrong! Other than that, your desk looks a lot like the one in our living room.

ABBA is good cleaning music. I like to clean to A Chorus Line, which might explain why my husband does most of the cleaning.

Chang who gots flavor | February 4, 2007 11:51 AM

The jar of peanut butter on the desk speaks volumes, Skippy Scalzi. Does it help you write faster or slow you down?

John Scalzi | February 4, 2007 12:01 PM

For the record, the peanut butter is in the room courtesy of my daughter, who brought it upstairs to ask if she could eat out of the jar with a spoon.

Omaha Lisa | February 4, 2007 12:11 PM

RE: Athena asking if she could eat it out of the jar with a spoon. At least she's exploring her options.

Brings to mind the column where Miss Manners was asked if it was polite to eat ice cream straight from the box with a spoon. Her answer was that she couldn't fathom anyone doing such a thing, so she would not answer.

My brother's response to her response was: "Spoon? You're supposed to use a spoon?!?"

Tim | February 4, 2007 12:19 PM

I am sure the mess will not give succumb easily. She will pay for her cleanliness, oh yes, she will pay.

Tim Walker | February 4, 2007 12:25 PM

Go, Krissy, go!!

Annalee Flower Horne | February 4, 2007 12:45 PM

What's that under the peanut butter jar? I can't figure out if it's a lid or a coaster. I've also got nothin' on the blue thing next to it.

Steve Buchheit | February 4, 2007 01:10 PM

Could have been worse. She could have handed you the bags and scrubbing/disenfectant equipment and said, "Your office, your problem. No dinner until it's clean." I mean, it looks like she needs to have equipment that beeps when it backs up to clean that mess.

Steve Buchheit | February 4, 2007 01:13 PM

And the what appears to be unopened FedEx box (which I believe was in a previous offcie shot) just kills me.

Brian | February 4, 2007 01:30 PM

Sigh... My wife would insist on me joining in such labour. Would you like to trade?

Amyzon the Oracle | February 4, 2007 02:01 PM

This reminds me that I need to clean my desk area. It's starting to look like your desk area, and that is just unacceptable. Though, you'd never find a jar of peanut butter on my desk. That's just wrong. You would find cookies, but not peanut butter.

Dr. Phil | February 4, 2007 02:15 PM

Sure looks to me like the peanut butter jar is there to prop up a pile of papers and keep it level so it doesn't slide off. I have a scanner which serves the same purpose at the office...

Dr. Phil

Cassie | February 4, 2007 02:17 PM

I see no spoon with the peanut butter, so did you give Athena a "yes" or a "no"?

Harvey | February 4, 2007 02:34 PM

YOU'R RIGHT... The plastic headband DOES NOT take away the awsomeness of Krissy.

Give the Kid a BIG SPOON and say "go for it".

The "blue thing" looks like a reguritation cone from a ER room... to much peanut butter..???...no to much sleep...no some really sick email..aaahhhh

Where is the FEDEX envelope John ????

J at The Dundies | February 4, 2007 02:35 PM


j-_e_richards | February 4, 2007 02:46 PM

I always think Bob Segar's Greatest Hits is one of the best CD's for mega cleaning. I'd have to unearth the record player to try ABBA...

Aiela | February 4, 2007 03:18 PM

The peanut butter appears to be on one of those little electric coffee cup warmers. Do you like your peanut butter warmed? :)

Aiela | February 4, 2007 03:19 PM

The peanut butter appears to be on one of those little electric coffee cup warmers. Do you like your peanut butter warmed? :)

Tania | February 4, 2007 03:48 PM

I clean to the Cranberries - nothing quite like venting your disgust about the husband's inability to pick up after himself while screeching along to Linger.

Timothy McClanahan | February 4, 2007 04:09 PM

So, we've done the White Castle vs anything-is-better discussion - what kind of PB is that? It looks like it could my favourite - Peter Pan. Also, there's the creamy vs crazy, err, crunchy debate to be had at the same time. My opinion: if you want cruncy, eat some freakin' peanuts.

JerolJ | February 4, 2007 04:19 PM

Take my wife, please. For one thing, she's 100% German. Plus just a WEE bit OCD. Plus her Dad was in the army, the man had a garage floor so clean you could eat off it. When she starts cleaning, it's like the Panzer divisions rolling over the Polish border. I'm Scandinavian, we don't have much defenses against that kind of blitzkrieg.

primate | February 4, 2007 06:06 PM

Please, people. The peanut butter is clearly Jif brand, specifically creamy. Peter Pan tapers and has a lip at the top that makes it impossible to get all the stuff at the top out with a knife. Skippy is light blue and white. On a day that we celebrate the best of commercialism, I'm ashamed that you can't identify a brand of the food of the gods without seeing the front.

Ray | February 5, 2007 05:49 AM

I commend your wife for her bravery. My wife would not go near my studio for a few reasons.

A) To avoid me asking her 1000 times where she put the thing I need that was there and now is gone.

B) She would be fearful of the multitude of MIDI cables, and Guitar cables as they will most likely turn into vicious snakes and attack anyone but the master.

As for her choice in cleaning music. My I recommend listening to Juno Reactor next cleaning bout.

Link to my clean looking Vienna studio:

Patrick in the Philippines | February 5, 2007 02:45 PM

Do you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter.

Myself I prefer creamy. I take it slathered on lightly toasted bread, on a banana or straight out of the jar.

Primate | February 5, 2007 06:15 PM

Yes. Creamy, crunchy, with honey - most every brand on the market, although I'm currently mostly eating Smucker's natural style. It's got none of the transfats they use to help stablize most of the brands, although I'm still waiting for them to make it organic.

Jelly's are mostly Smucker's organic stuff (made will real cane sugar! A rarity for a major brand here in the states).

Favorite bread is a 5-grain sour dough bread made by Wegmann's, which shouldn't work, but totally does. White bread, toasted or not is also good for variety.

And yes, I've spent way too much time on this meal, but it's my default take to work food, so I've had years to play with it.

Grumpator | February 6, 2007 07:05 PM

ABBA is the best cleaning music there is - my mom cleaned to ABBA, and now I clean to ABBA. Cleaning house is a religious ritual, and ABBA is my hymnal.

Post a comment.

Comments are moderated to stop spam; if your comment goes into moderation, it may take a couple of hours to be released. Please read this for my comment moderation policies.
Preview will not show paragraph breaks. Trust me, they're there.
The proprietor generally responds to commenters in kind. If you're polite, he'll be polite. If you're a jackass, he'll be a jackass. If you are ignorant, he may correct you.
When in doubt, read the comment thread rules.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)