Thursday, October 21, 2010

Company Clean

From the Lackey Family Lexicon:

straight en ['stratn]  
get the junk off of the floor, the bathroom counters, and off of the furniture in your room and stow it where Mom won't see it:  Boooooys!  Do not even dream of going outside to throw that football until you have straightened your rooms!

clean [kleen]  
wipe away or vacuum up the big chunks of crud so that the crud won't be noticed by visitors or intruders:  Dude, this sink is nasty!  Don't you even run the water when you brush your teeth?  The rinse-and-spit residue is clinging to the sides of the sink like Superglue.  Grab one of those Clorox wet wipes under the sink and clean this dental health abomination. 

company clean [kum pun ee kleen]
totally free from dirt, marks, stains, goo, odor, rinse-and-spit residue, or any other substance that would cause someone from the outside world to gag and/or moan:  Gentlemen!  I am having a committee meeting here in the morning at 9AM.  Get in there and get your rooms and bathroom company clean, or I'll...I'll...think up a consequence that will have you doin' some gaggin' and moanin'...don't test me on this one!  I mean it!

(Hopefully, the definitions above will help you gain a thorough understanding of all that follows.)

My boys HATE to clean anything but CDs, DVDs and computer screens.  Being the good mother that I am, instilling the desire to have a neat and tidy home that feels both welcoming and relaxing was high on my list of teachable values.  We had chore charts.  We had chores that one performed out of the joy derived from having a roof over one's head.  We had "overtime" chores that paid out healthy lump sums for those who wanted to savor the experience of "earning" and "delayed gratification."

I tried to make these experiential learning sessions fun by cranking up the Beatles on the stereo and offering fun prizes for things like Expediency and Thoroughness.  No joy in Mudville was to be found on Toilet Bowl Tuesdays or Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Saturdays.  Bryce, however, always seemed to be working towards a merit badge in Expediency.  During one of his bathroom tours of duty, I heard the vacuum cleaner echoing from the inner sanctum of the boys' latrine.  To me, the large-ish Hoover upright seemed to be a bit hard to maneuver in such a small, enclosed space to make vacuuming the tile floor even a smidge easier than sweeping.  

Bryce wasn't vacuuming the floor.  He was vacuuming the toilet. 

Me: [loudly, and not just to be heard over the wailing of the vacuum cleaner]:  Bryce!  What on earth!?  Water will ruin the vacuum cleaner!!!  [Note:  When training boys to vacuum, know that you will probably need a new vacuum cleaner every single Mother's Day.]

Bryce: [nonchalantly]:  Vacuumin' the commode.

Me:  You can't vacuum the commode!  You'll short out the vacuum, uh...I mean, risk electrocution!!

Bryce:  Sure you can.  I'm doing it!  Don't worry.  I'm not going to suck up any of the water or anything.

Sure enough.  The lid of the potty was raised, and Bryce was sucking up all of the vermin around the porcelain rim and sides that could be sent airborne up the tube by the tornadic winds of the Hoover.  I had to just bite my lip and walk away.  Walk away, Carolyn.  Just walk away, and no one will get hurt ...or see you laughing.

All of the above leads me to my present situation.  The lack of a luxurious hotel room in Waco this weekend for Baylor Homecoming has us trudging towards Plan B:  Stay at Bryce's Apartment.  

My dilemma:  Feeling clean after showering in his shower.  [When we moved him out of his last apartment, I had to use oven cleaner on the tile of the shower.]  

My solution:  Modesta!!  [Modesta was Mimi's housekeeper in Waco.  For way less than it would cost to relax in the cool, company clean comfort of the Courtyard, I could hire Modesta to go over and make Bryce's apartment just as company clean.] 

The following are the texts that have flown from my iphone to Bryce's this afternoon.  [None of the spelling or punctuation has been changed.]:

Bryce:  What time are we going to pigskin on Friday?

Me:  Early pigskin.  Did u talk to Modesta.

Bryce:  No, I don't speak spainish..  Me and Reed [Freshman brother] will just clean it for free.  We'll do a good job.

Me:  Modesta speaks English [barely]!  We would love to help you [I wanted it to seem like we were doing HIM a favor] by getting her to clean!  Mimi said that Modesta's v-mail is in Spanish.  You can leave a message in English.

[At this point, Bryce changes the subject to studying abroad.]

I've decided that this experience will give me a clear view of exactly what Mr. Toilet Bowl Vacuum-er learned during the years of my tutelage.  I grade on a pass/fail basis with absolutely no curve.  Just in case Bryce has "lost his touch" in the usage of the toilet brush, I will be packing some Clorox wipes and flip-flops.  Just wait until he gets a good dose of Mom's rinsin' and spittin'.  Waco, here we come! 

Update:  Bryce let me know last night that Modesta went by his apartment yesterday afternoon to "survey the damage."  She's coming today at noon.  Bryce further told me that he and Reed had already worked really hard on the apartment for about 15 minutes today.  (Very nice considering that Reed actually lives in the dorm.)  

"So, what did you guys accomplish in that 15 minutes?"
"We picked up a bunch of trash."

Good luck, Modesta!  God bless you!


Jeff said...

by Cindy -
I love your blog! I don't know why college men are messy but even my neat freak husband had NASTY college places. I would not even go into some of his bathrooms in college. Take heart, there is hope...

Jeff said...

by Cindy -

And a plug for Bryce...Please, please, please let him study abroad. I think that is one of the greatest things you can do while in college. :)

Carolyn Lackey said...

Cindy, Bryce will be really happy to hear your input! We have encouraged the boys to do so! Thanks! Wish I could come study in Dubai!!


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