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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Purpose-Driven Life; or Mary Really DOES Have All the Answers

“I need your help,” I say.

“Mmmm,” she muses.  “And so the tables turn and now I am the master.”  I  hear her close her eyes, rub the tips of her little fingers together. “Speak freely, neophyte.  There are no stupid questions.  Just stupid answers.”

I consider the many ways this conversation train has already jumped the tracks but chug on.  There will be time for playing into Mary’s soft, freckled hands another phone call. 

“How can people leave a public bathroom knowing full well that they just dropped, say, a paper towel on the floor and not be bothered to pick it up?  What’s it mean?  Is it, like, hey, someone else can pick this up?”

Mary chuckles. 

I narrow my eyes at her, something I am certain she can pick up over the phone.  “Heeeey.”

“You crabby today?” she says.

“No.  Yes.  No.  Shut up.”

Mary chuckles again, a bit indulgently, if you ask me.  “How did this come up?”

I shake my head, the memory still vivid.  “Well I was in the bathroom, and I look down and someone’s pulled off this huge entanglement of black threads from something and just left it on the floor.  I thought it was a spider.”

“And you picked it up and threw it away, is that where we’re going with this?”

I nod. 

“Have you considered,” she says, “that because you and I clean houses that you may actually be feeling protective of those in the janitorial services?”

I had not considered this connection.  “I hadn’t really thought of that,” I grumble, “although this explains why I’ve been shopping for a shirt with my name embroidered on it.”

“Do you rinse out the sinks?”

I nod.  “And wipe down the counters.”

“Do you push down the overflowing paper towel baskets?”

I frown.  “Somebody’s got to.”

“Tsk, tsk,” she says.  “You know people put hypodermic needles in there, don’t you?”


Mary’s laughs.  “And LSD, man!  There’s liquid LSD hidden in the trashcans, man!”

“I should be so lucky,” I mutter, a small smile forming.

“You know, I’m fresh outta LSD,” she says.  “But I can pop by with a pair of Jon’s work socks.  A whiff or two and that’ll dilate yer pupils.”

I smile.

“You feel better now?”

I nod.  “I’m gonna keep doing it, you know.  I’m going to keep picking up.”

Mary sighs.  “That’s why we’re here,” she says.  


Daisy said...

For a minute there, Mary reminded me of Ms Lisa Bean. Have they been in cahoots?

Yah know, I hardly ever clean my house, but in some public bathrooms you'll find me picking up and wiping down. Really strange now that I think of it.

Have a good day Pearl, hope you are feeling better.
Barbara and Daisy

joeh said...

Public bathrooms...I get in and get out as fast as possible!

Pearl said...

Daisy, Mary is many things, including, at times, a small striped cat. :-) No, that's not true. Mary would always be a dog: a happy, tail-wagging doggie.

Wrists are much the same. It's really boring.

Pearl said...

joeh, I don't have a problem with them, but I think that's because the ones I come into contact with are most often pretty clean -- hence my irritation with people who can't pick up their lousy paper towel!

Eva Gallant said...

I try to avoid public bathrooms, because we don't have a Pearl here!

Pearl said...

Eva, might have to get yourself a Mary! :-)

Buttons said...

I think this could be considered another one of those resulting secret hidden job hazards they never talk about. I am glad someone finally did.:) Yeah I was a housekeeper too:( B

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I worried about you when read this the first time round - but I guess old habits die hard... and the truth is am one of these myself!

Am not obsessive - just don't want to risk a potential Pearl coming in after me and thinking I'm a grot &*> YAM xx

Pearl said...

Buttons, there should be habit pay!

Yam, :-) I do not think that could be possible, knowing what I do of you!

Ray Denzel said...

I am so sorry you still hurt, anything I can do?

Sioux said...

There are days that I could use a whiff or two (or three) of Jon's socks...

Hey, instead of doing those banquets and cleaning houses, just hermetically seal and bag up Jon's socks (so they don't lose any of their odor)and sell them to people like us that have run out of LSD...It could be QUITE lucrative.

fishducky said...

We ALL have a purpose in life, Pearl!!

TexWisGirl said...

awww. you and mary are good peeps. :)

Indigo Roth said...

PearlyGirl! I do understand, and feel the same compulsion. But I ignore it; if I pick up, they'll assume I'll pick up, and that never ends well. On the positive side, you have a t-shirt with your name on it. Fame indeed ;) x

Leenie said...

Everyone should have a Mary with which to share and vent.

Beach Bum said...

There’s liquid LSD hidden in the trashcans, man!”

In my part of South Carolina during the early 1970's a rumor popped up about how Hippies were going around schools selling LSD lollipops to kids.

Its sort of funny now but I clearly remember people freaking out over it.

Gigi said...

Often I look around at the detritus that my co-workers leave behind for someone else to deal with and wonder....do they do this at home? And if so, they must live in a sty.

Linda O'Connell said...

I'm right there with you, picking up other people's messes. It makes me crazy!

Simply Suthern said...

I tend to pick up trash everywhere since at my first real job the boss threw trash on the floor just to see if anyone would pick it up.

It became a habit.

I feel your pain.

jenny_o said...

Thanks to you and Mary and all the commenters who pick up trash and wipe down counters, this has become my new standard of behavior as well. I just think, "If Pearl does it, so can I." See what you've started :)

Merlesworld said...

If it's my trash I clean it up if it's not mine then no way unless it's in my house or garden or out the front of my place, these places I feel responsible for.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thank you for making me laugh so much tears ran down my face

Rose L said...

I can use someone to do those cleanups at my place. Wanna volunteer?????

River said...

"Somebody's got to."
and that would be you and me. I use my foot though, not my hands, it's a bit safer that way.

Mitchell is Moving said...

You wouldn't catch me picking anything up off the floor in a public restroom. I've picked up enough there!

Lin said...

Well, I guess I'm part of the team. :) While I don't pick up trash in public restrooms, I will wipe down all the water off the sink and counters if nobody else is in there.

I'm always cleaning up after the pigs at work. I was sorta like their maid/mom until one day someone made a comment about me cleaning up after them. That was it. I don't clean up their mess anymore.

Life is too short to live in pig squalor.

goatman said...

I always feel sorry for those who must pick up after sports games or the tiny paper shreads dropped during the parades (and who collects all those balloons after an event?)
I guess, though that it is a bit of income for someone.

Oh . . . "On the hoof" we may be worth big bucks. Turns out that the hydrogen is the biggest contributer:

Of course this does not consider the usable organs -- which could be millions; and if "the hoof" happens to be those stiletto heels from Macys, add a bunch more!

tiffany rose said...

Not always, depending how disgusting the restroom, I pick up, rinse out, wipe off and push down too, but don't risk direct touching or enough pressure to be in danger of needles. And it's not because I clean houses.

Liquid LSD is beyond my knowledge base.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

I started my working life at my dad's pub.

I find it very difficult not to clear my table of plates and glasses...a couple of men I've dated thought it was weird. I don't date them any more and waitresses like me.

I totally get it!