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Friday, April 10, 2015

The Cleaning Woman Takes to the Streets

Remember that piece I was writing about my traumatic day at work?  Well, I wrote it.  And I saved it.  On another computer.  You'll see it Monday.  Until then, please enjoy the thought of Mary vacuuming the street...

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 and, that, further, nothing was taken?”




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?”


Shelly said...

That Mary- she's a good 'un.

Silliyak said...

She's gonna make it after all...

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Well that was just plain careless of those idiots - then again, maybe they were lurking in the undergrowth secretly filming The Mare at her cleaning work? I'd be checking the tubular... YAM xx

jenny_o said...

That was either a blind thief or just a vandal. The nerve - smashing and NOT grabbing.

Mary, on the other hand - how's her schedule for the next few weeks? We've got some snow here that could use vacuuming up.

vanilla said...

I, too, use the unlocked car technique to avoid the broken glass problem; yet we find that the idiots are too dumb to pull the door handle. Sorry world in which we live. :-o

joeh said...


The cut a plexi-glass thing on my jeep to steal a kids $80 bowling ball worth ton them maybe $1.98. Cost me $250 to fix the window.


Are you frowning? I can't tell.

Anonymous said...

What an insult...to break into a car and take nothing...is she sure???? maybe a loose chicklet or mint was taken???? tell her to look again.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I'm with Delores --- didn't Mary have 31 cents under the seat? Or a Burgler King coupon? Something has to be missing.

Eileen B said...

Love Silliyak's comment. I'm visualizing Mary tossing her beret into the air. However, a beret doesn't sound like your Mary's style.

Catalyst said...

That Mary! I think I'd have kinda liked her. HEY! That's not Mary Tyler Moore, is it?

River said...

My own street could use a little vacuuming. Does Mary charge by the hour?

Geo. said...

Maybe they broke in to steal the car and then decided they didn't want a car with broken windows. Probably repeated this sequence many times on many cars that were suddenly, inexplicably, devalued before exhausting themselves. May still be at it. Even thieving needs some learning skills.

Linda O'Connell said...

Jerks! They are everywhere. Mary is a good gal.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Knew there had to be a reason for her to vacuum the street, there are some right idiots around not Mary but the ones that broke a window of an unlocked car just for the fun of it

Rose Blackthorn said...


I hope their armpits and genitalia are infested with the fleas of a thousand camels.

Daisy said...

Mary has a good heart and a clean street.