[Fiction] Rainy day flashfic: Grunge

I hate washing the dishes. Sure, call me petty for whining about a simple household chore performed daily by the uncomplaining masses, but the fact remains that I hate it, absolutely and completely.

Me, a germophobe? Not hardly! If a task requires getting down and dirty with it you’ll find me wallowing in the mud with the best of them. Scraping off the leftovers? No problemo. Cleaning up after the dog? I’ll grab a bag. Heck, I’m so fearless I’ll even hug my walking biohazard of a friend when he’s spewing cold and flu germs all over the place. Stand aside, Mr. Clean – Immune System Boy and his army of T-cells is here to help! Besides, plates can’t carry sickness – I read in New Scientist once that the cleanest part of a human body is the saliva. Or was that just for dogs?

Washing dishes by hand is plain inefficient. Think about it – every dish has to be rinsed and scrubbed and then run under water and then probably rinsed and scrubbed and rinsed again because last night’s mac and cheese has fused with the plate and can only be removed by blowtorch. Then after maybe three or four dishes the water in the sink has become so grotty that you need to let it all out and fill it up again. What a waste of water! It’s criminal, really, when we’re already five billion people past what the earth can reasonably sustain. In an age when every resource counts, it’s high time we started treating water like the precious commodity it is. The Industrial Revolution gifted us with dishwashers, so would it kill you to show a little ecological initiative? This cavalier use of sinks and taps has got to stop, so have a heart, my friends – join the revolution saving the earth one rinse cycle at a time.

Inconvenience doesn’t factor into it – it’s not taking time out of my day to buff the chinaware to sparkling perfection that I resent. What really bugs me is that all too often I fail to see the point. “Oh go on, it’ll only take a minute.” But Ma, it don’t need washing! Why wash the teacup when it’ll be full of tea again in a minute? This from the one stuffing the extravagant droppings of his consumerist lifestyle into the trash can outside. But, hey, that’s different – I need that stuff to live.

They say that your childhood equips you with the skills you need to survive, so I have a plan to free myself from the tyranny of dishwashing. I’m referring, of course, to the expert advice of the poet Shel Silverstein. Here is How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes from his anthology A Light in the Attic.

If you have to dry the dishes
(such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
(‘Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor –
Maybe they won’t let you
Dry the dishes anymore.


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