May 1, 2006 by Allen George
Students. After 5 years, I’m still dumbfounded at the mess in which students wallow.
I moved into my temporary residence yesterday. Moved in. There’s an optimistic term. When I arrived, I had two boxes of food – various canned goods, oatmeal, bread etc. Usually that’s not an issue. A few minutes in the kitchen, find out which cupboard is mine, stock all the items in there. But not yesterday. You see, this process requires a clean kitchen. Not one that looks like a refuse pit. There was food all over the place. The shelves were sticky, the stove a mess, the countertop unkempt. The floor was covered with crumbs, dropped food, and more. Appliances, once a pristine white were spattered. The sinks looked like they’d never been washed.
My Mom looked sick. I was sick and I – I thought to myself – “What the fuck happened here?”
It was almost 1AM before I was done there. I scrubbed down everything I could. A layer of skin on my hands had sloughed off (the latex gloves had reacted badly with the Srub Free). At 1AM there is only blackness, only anger, despair at the meaningless of it all and a firm belief that we – humans, all of us – are unfit to live.
But I was not done.
The floors had not been vacuumed in quite some time. Feathers from a long-removed duvet punctuated the dark grey carpet. Dust bunnies and other miscellanea littered the floor. Not to mention the kitchen or the bathroom.
“Where’s the vacuum cleaner?”
“In the storage room – but it doesn’t work properly.”
It’s a small, blue, Dirt Devil canister vac, 10A motor. I’m puzzled. Physical dimensions notwithstanding, 10A is a pretty hefty motor. And so, I open it up…
Three things strike me immediately:
- There is no dust bag – and there’s very obviously a slot for one
- The entire cavity is clogged – literally overflowing – with dust, dirt and stuff
- The dust filter is jammed with the previous
Is common-sense in such short supply around here? Has anyone ever cleaned or used a vacuum cleaner before? A few short minutes later and the ‘poorly functioning’ vacuum cleaner has been transformed into a dirt devil indeed…Allen walks into bathroom – the final cleaning job for the day. This is exactly how he wants to spend his time after work. Cleaning up other people’s mess.
Having attacked the sink and the shower, I turn my attention to the toilet. Not my favorite thing to clean, but I always do it. I look around for the toilet brush and I’m puzzled – there’s nothing around. “How am I supposed to scrub the bowl?” I wonder. That’s when I notice it, lying on the ground behind the garbage can.
Odd. It has no holder. Usually they come with a holder.
Even odder, it’s a design I’ve never seen before – not even the fancy “Euro-style toilet scrubber” I saw at Safeway, Santa Clara.
I pick it up – there’s a tag attached.
And I lose my cool completely.
Vegetable scrubber? I mean – WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE. Have you never cleaned a toilet before? EVER?
What the hell…