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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So Now We’re Vacuuming the Street, Huh?

Mary has called to tell me that she can't talk.

“I’m going to have to call you back,” she says.

I lean back in my chair.  “You sound bummed.  What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing.” Mary sighs heavily.  “I’m just vacuuming the street.  I’ll call you back in ten.”

Normally, this is the sort of statement that gives me wrinkles, but if it’s Mary saying it? 

My forehead remains as placid as a baby’s.

Thirty minutes later, the phone rings.

“Good morning, Acme Grommets and Gravel.”


“Thank you, sir.  I’ll transfer you now.”

“Pearl, dagnabit!  My life is a shambles!”  Mary starts laughing.  There is only the slightest tinge of hysteria attached to the sound.

“What’s going on?”

“You know my car, right?”

I start to frown, catch myself.  “Yes,” I say cautiously.

“And you know the kind of valuable stuff I keep in it, right?”

“Are we talking about the mop AND the radio?”


I nod, sure that she will know that I am nodding.

“You are also aware, are you not, that I don’t lock my car door?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I say.  “I know all these things and more.”

“So, knowing these things, where would you place the odds of my car window being smashed out?”




There is a moment’s silence as we consider the state of affairs wherein an unlocked car holding both a mop and a radio is broken into and neither is taken.

“So they left the mop,” I say.  “That’s a clue, right there.”

I envision Mary nodding.  “We know they don’t care about their kitchen floors.”

“And they have no need for a Flintstone-style wig,” I say.

“Nor are they wise to the advantages of a mid-price car stereo.”


There is silence again. 

“So,” I say.  “You’ve been vacuuming the street.”

“No need for everyone to suffer,” she says.  “They left quite a mess.”

“And took nothing,” I say.

“And took nothing,” she agrees.  “On the other hand,” she says, ”I have to say that the street in front of our house has never been cleaner.”

“We have you to thank, Mare.”

“Hey,” she says, grinning into the phone, “Who has more fun than me?”


R. Jacob said...

and it leaves the unanswered question...why?
now my forehead is wrinkled...

Pearl said...

R., I'm going to say "sheer stupidity" and call it a day...

esbboston said...

If she needs to borrow "ours", the city of Borger recently bought a cute lil truck with a street sweeper, um, cute as in my favorite lil Freightliner M2 Business Class model. What a waste, it would make a veRy nice pickup truck. WeLL, if it was the four door model. Alas, it isn't a nice maroon color either, just Utility Department White.

Pearl said...

esb, I'll let her know. :-)

TexWisGirl said...

a big UGH for mary!

Pearl said...

TexWisGirl, like she doesn't have enough on her plate!

Chantel said...

Ug. Thieves make me ill. I'm all for going medieval on their asses. You touch my stuff--the stuff I have slaved and saved and EARNED....and I'll wack off a hand. *sigh*

At least it's not winter?

ThreeOldKeys said...

i'm glad you are friends with real people, chock full of personality.

and i'm glad you soak in, stir up, savor, distill and share batches of those personalities with us.

OMG PEARL your blog is a still. i can see the copper tubing now.

you are running bootleg shine and we line up each day to take a pull from the jug.

Stephen Hayes said...

I wonder why they broke the windows if the car was unlocked? Just vandals, I guess, young ones.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

They did steal something...happiness and peace of mind...the devils.

jenny_o said...

As the old joke goes (or a variation thereof):

"When they were handing out brains, those people thought they were saying 'drains', and said, "no, we don't need any"."

Sheer stupidity, indeed.

The Jules said...

Oh rubbishness.

Not your post. Mary's situation. Your posts aren't rubbish. They are the opposite of rubbish.

The other day I realised that the most valuable thing in my car is the Krook-Lock.


Laraine Eddington said...

I hope a glass nugget got stuck in their thieving underwear

Indigo Roth said...

Did you take the floorwax over? If a job's worth doing...

Eva Gallant said...

Senseless vandalism, yet Mary remains Mary! Gotta' love that girl!

Lynn said...

Bless her heart!

Diane said...

I am shocked. Shocked! They didn't take the mop, you say?! I can see it sitting there. Frightened. Alone. Unwanted. Why that's just - there's no other word for it - senseless. BTW, We used to leave our car unlocked. With the keys in it. They only broke our window, too.

Symdaddy said...

I need a 'Mary' in my life too!

She could phone me at work any time!

Gigi said...

Lets not forget vandals/would be thieves = idiots.

We have a few of those running around here too. How hard is it to check to see if the door is unlocked?

Joanne said...

My friend Lucy always swept the street before she set up for a street show. She always swept my place, too. It's like I know Mary.

Mom of A and a said...

Flintstone-style wig!! Why didn't I think of that?!?!

klahanie said...

Vacuuming the street? Well, that sucks.
Fun article, Pearl :)
Take care and happy blogging, eh.

Lin said...

Oh, the humanity. It sounds like it was just for the pure fun of it--which is even more maddening. They broke the window because they could....and that's it.

At least if they had taken the mop...


Ann Imig said...

Oh Pearl. It's good to read your voice.


Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl,some pathetic thieves are so dumb and silly they need their knee-caps whacked and cracked. Mary could spend her street-vacuuming time more productively smacking their foolish knee-caps using a brand new solid oak mop handle and listening to the radio,would help her get the right BEAT. Dummies too stupid to try the door first deserve what they get, even a grommet up the nose. ":)

Amy said...

Your stories always make me smile.

Powdered Toast Man said...

maybe the vandal was looking for a broom and a tv.

River said...

Mary's welcome to come and vacuum my street any time she likes. It's just leaves and stuff, no broken glass.

Tempo said...

If that car gets any worse the night stalkers will be coming around in the depth of the night and making repairs to it... pitiful heap..

the walking man said...

Probably her husband did it---had to prove to himself that the vacuum was still in running order. He had to cross that off his list of things to get her for her next birthday.

Call him on the sly and suggest a bucket to go with the mop.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Well, she's decent. Lesser people would just drive around the shards and ignore the mess.

Bossy Betty said...

Well, at least she's got a good attitude. Note to thieves: check the car door next, dummies.

NellieVaughn said...

And I thought it was strange that my mother liked to vacuum her kitchen floor. There is a setting for that, she'd say.
Maybe, just like my mother, Mary couldn't work a broom.

Pat said...

A sticker saying:
'car unlocked - we trust you'?