Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring Cleaning - It's for the Birds!

I belong to a small writing group which meets once a week. We get a writing prompt every week and (usually) write on that subject. One week, it was spring cleaning. This is what I wrote.

"Effie!" Mama screeched from the back porch.
I'd almost made it. I was halfway over the fence between us and the Mason's when I heard her. Had I been on the other side, I could've claimed I didn't hear her, but she'd see me in a second if she looked.
"Effie Marie!"
"Coming, Mama!" I hollered, pouting. "Dang it, just about got away!" I shuffled my feet as I approached the porch.
"Where you runnin' off to? Today we start spring cleaning."
"Mama, we just cleaned up the house last week."
"But that was just regular cleaning. Now we got to open up the house, freshen the air, beat the rugs, scrub the floors...."
"Why, Mama?"
"Because it's spring. Need to greet the new season with a fresh house."
Pouting and griping, I followed her inside. She handed me an armload of dirty rugs and told me to go beat them clean. I took 'em to the side of the house and whacked 'em against the corner until she fussed at me and took over the process.
"Go mop the kitchen," she ordered.
I got the mop and bucket and marched into the kitchen. I slopped some water around and left big puddles of grubby water on the floor. Mama came back in while I was shoving the pools around and fussed some more.
"Swear to God, Effie Marie, you can't do nothin' right! Give me that mop!"
I handed it over. "Sorry, Mama."
"Go sweep the front porch. Can't tell me you're not able to do that right!"
"Yes, ma'am." I took the broom and went out to the front porch.
There was quite a wind blowing. Every time I got a pile of dirt together, it blew away before I could sweep it up. I went and got Daddy's leaf blower and fired it up, blowing the crap off the porch that way. Mama came out screaming.
"Effie Marie, what're you doing now?"
"Sweeping the porch, Mama. Wind kept blowing it all back around...."
"You're more trouble than you're worth, child. Go on up to your room and stay outta my way! If you want something done right, got to do it yourself!" She griped & grumbled as she finished working.
I went up to my room with a sly smile. I closed the door and lay down on my bed to watch some TV. Yup, there's sure something to be said for incompetence. "If you want something done right....do it wrong so Mama will do it." Boy, do I love spring cleaning!

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