Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Define Scrub

Cursed scrubbing bubbles, ye lied.

Anyone remember those old commercials for the Scrubbing Bubble cleanser? One spray would unleash a battalion of cheerful bubbles, each coasting on tiny scrub brushes. They'd swarm over a bathroom's soiled surfaces with the aplomb of an Olympic figure skater. In their wake, they'd leave a brilliant shine. The kind of animated shine that flared like a star and made a champagne glass ping.

When I was a child, the idea of super-smart bubbles was fascinating--playmates in a pressurized can. As an adult, my interest is derived from one of the seven sins--sloth. I mean, it's not like I really think that useful intelligence can be found in the collusion of detergent and surface tension. But by definition, "scrubbing" bubbles implies "not-scrubbing" Pat.

Cleaning isn't a priority in my life, but sometimes the pride of homeownership kicks in, especially when the impact of sentient soap scum on resale value is considered:

"The perfect home for a single or the home bound. Enjoy scintillating conversation with the soap scum on those lonely evenings."

I've sent all the usual chemical heroes into that retched hive of villainy and soap scum, The Shower. The only cleaners that make a dent also give off fumes that kill brain cells. So, on a recent shopping trip, when I saw the can of Scrubbing Bubbles, festooned with a smiling bubble, I chucked it in the cart.

At home, I apply the merry maids in a bottle to the shower.

The spray tip is partially clogged. The cleaner spurts from the can with the sound of wet fart. The clog dam bursts and a foamy mist covers the shower surface. The bubbles hit the soap scum and hiss ferociously, but otherwise, not much happens.

The can says to allow the cleaner to penetrate dirt and soap scum. Huh. Perhaps the bubbles are shy. I wander off.

I return several minutes later, sponge in hand. The instructions say to wipe clean. I wipe. The soap scum is soft...like gum. The sponge sinks into the softened filth. I am now smearing scum into artful designs. I work at it a little longer, putting muscle into the effort and some of the dirt departs the shower.

Before I realize it, I'm scrubbing. Scrubbing. I pick up the can and curse. Sure they loosened the scum and the bathroom doesn't smell like a Super Fund site, but "Thar be no scrub in them thar bubbles." I am pirate-y peeved.

In the absence of happy bubbles, there should be hard-working, scrubbing bubbles. Surly bubbles? No problem, so long as they scrub. But I shouldn't be swabbing the deck.

At this point, I decide to play the feminist card. Scrubbing Bubbles are just a right-wing ploy to keep me on my knees, cleaning, too stupified to do any thinking. Striking a blow against The Man, I walk away, leaving the half-clean shower.

(*Unfortunately, The Man in this case is my poor husband, the great guy who cooks dinner every night. He studies the artistically smeared soap scum and discarded sponge and wonders what the hell distracted his nutty wife this time. )


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005