Uh oh. I’m in trouble.
Miss-Matic has guests. And when Miss-Matic has guests, the laws of chaos seem to inexplicably change.
Normally, when I walk into a someone’s home and see an unwashed mug, the roof of that home does not sag and collapse and kill all the occupants.
Usually, when I’m sitting on a friend’s sofa and spot a crumb on the floor, a madman does not leap through the window in a cloud of glistening glass shards, and slaughter everyone in the room in particularly bloody and brutal ways.
And never, in my personal experience, upon spotting a coffee ring on a horizontal surface – which is usually a good thing, a sign that the surface is sufficiently robust should I wish to rest a warm beverage on it – have I caused the eruption of a solar flare of such magnitude that it boils the oceans and sterilises the planet down to bedrock.
You would not believe Miss-Matic hasn’t experienced these things if you had ever witnessed her expecting guests.
We all know that chores are one of life’s many, many ways of letting you know that you are its bitch. You can procrastinate about them, put them off longer and longer – and that’s exactly what I do – but sooner or later you have to bend over and take the washing-up brush, or get on your knees and shine something, or some other thinly-veiled reference to getting fucked.
But even when I do submit and do the chores, they inevitably get me in just as much trouble as if I hadn’t bothered.
The day before her guests were due, Miss-Matic left me with a few chores to do. One was related to clothes – watering them, talking to them, or something – so they dried properly. The other was to vacuum the floor.
So, fearing her wrath, I did my chores.
I didn’t procrastinate after the first couple of hours of procrastination – I just got straight on with the vacuuming. I pushed the big noisy Dyson all around the flat, this way and that, allowing it to do its fancy cyclonic separation of dust and everything else, and pausing only to persuade it that it didn’t like eating socks.
I pushed it into every room I’ve so far managed to find in the flat, and even imagined I was pushing it into more exotic rooms filled with dragon-treasure or lusty harems of household-appliance fetishists, and by the time I was done I was exhausted.
I dragged the vacuum cleaner back to its spot in the spare room, and inspected my handywork. A warm glow of pride came over me. I knew I had done a good day’s work, and imagined that only people who build orphanages might experience such satisfaction with their daily efforts.
And so, to reward myself, I made a mug of tea, and didn’t do any of my mounting load of assignments until Miss-Matic got home.
Miss-Matic walked in the door. There was the usual jumping-up and licking of faces, and then she looked around and said, ‘Have you done the floors?’
‘Yeah,‘ I said proudly. ‘See how clean they look! Take me now!‘
‘What’s that?‘ Miss-matic asked, pointing to a dusty spot on the floor.
‘Uh,‘ I replied. ‘That wasn’t there before.‘
‘And look at that! All around the door frame!‘
‘But… But I did that bit!‘
‘And look at all this!‘
‘Look at what?‘
‘I might as well have done it myself!‘
‘As if I don’t have anything else to do when I get home!‘
‘Half a job! You always do half a job!‘
and so on.
I swear, I did the fucking vacuuming. I have no idea what happened. Was it my eyes? Are my eyes broken? I didn’t see any dust or crumbs, or leaves or old newspapers, or burned-out cars or whatever else her hawk-like eyes might have seen. Maybe she DOES have amazing eyes. Maybe she was just looking at the kind of hard-to-kill bacteria that even napalm has trouble killing.
All I know is that I hate chores, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that they hate me back.