Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cleanliness is next to impossible

Note: The following column makes a few jokes at the expense of our house. Kara thinks that making fun of one's house on the internet is not necessarily the most prudent thing to do when one is trying to sell said house. Of course, she's right. So I'd just like to make absolutely clear that our house has nothing wrong with it that couldn't be solved by removing the current occupants. Seriously. We've taken excellent care of this place, and I'd sell it to my own mother (if she came close enough to our asking price).

I’ve developed an appreciation for clean people. Involuntarily, of course. As my wife Kara and I continue trying to trick some unsuspecting, loaded soul into buying our house, we actually have to clean up our messes directly after we make them. Otherwise, somebody will show up at our front door unannounced and say, “Here, let me give you this check for your asking price – wait, do I see a pair of jeans slung over a chair? Never mind. I guess I’ll go buy a Ferrari instead.”

Our home used to be this awesome obstacle course, like the last event in American Gladiators, except with less steroid-addled androgynous woman-like creatures hurling medicine balls at you. Walking to the bathroom in the dark without mashing your toes into anything gave you a real sense of accomplishment. But now our place is a total fun vacuum, where cereal bowls that once contained dinner are only allowed to stay on the coffee table until the next commercial break and the floor is sterile enough to perform surgery upon.

Still, no matter how much you try to stay on top of things, there’s always dust settling, mildew procreating and ferrets excreting just a couple of rooms over. It’s not good enough just to clean up after yourself; entropy is constantly on the attack. You know those old dilapidated buildings on the side of the road with caved-in roofs and holes where windows use to be? Those happen in like six months. Somebody just says, “You know, I don’t think I’m going to clean up around here anymore,” and a few weeks later the first wall collapses.

It’s strange living in this state of suspended habitation, where the house doesn’t really feel like ours anymore, but it isn’t anyone else’s yet, either. As we sat on the couch last weekend during our first open house, we turned on the TV to distract ourselves from the lack of bidding wars occurring in our living room.

“Oh, sweet, zombie movie!” I said, switching the channel to arrive at something far more ghastly: a Sandra Bullock romance. I still hadn’t fully recuperated from the suffering endured during a recent rental of The Lake House, a movie in which the viewing experience would benefit greatly from the audience being as inebriated as the screenwriters. The lesson to be learned from the whole experience is that there is an enormous difference between 28 Days and 28 Days Later, even though one could argue that both movies involve heads from which brains have been removed.

We finally did have some people come for a walkthrough of the house, and as I walked a small family around, the mother took to calling me Todd. If I had a dollar for every time somebody thought my first name was Todd, we wouldn’t even have to sell the house; we could just airlift it onto our private island.

So I let her keep calling me Todd, figuring that we had a sort of sports team relationship thing going on, like, “Hey Todd, you just scored on the wrong goal!” or “Yo, Todd, I just left a surprise in your gym bag!”

But then Kara joined our tour and called me Mike.

The lady looked confused. “Oh, I’ve been calling you Todd all this time.”

Then she looked at me as though I’d lied to her, which I really hadn’t, except for every word that had come out of my mouth regarding the condition of the house. Now I’m just kidding, of course. The house really is in excellent condition, and you’d be silly not to offer at least the asking price for it. Oh, that bucket under the skylight? That’s there to catch rays of sunshine.

You can remind Mike Todd not to leave his underwear on the stairs at


  1. Oh Todd, your house sounds like ours. My aunt told me we should sell it. And I'm like. I can't, that's to much dam work to clean it up. hehehehe It would take me a couple years. Then it wouldn't be worth much. lmao

  2. Pretty funny Todd. I think you could sideline as a movie critic. Loved the take on Sandra Bullock.

    She's gone downhill anyway. Married a guy that was married to a porn queen.

    She has more connections now in her sexual six degrees than Kevin Bacon has in movies. Ha.

  3. I'll buy it if you give me a hefty friends and family think?

  4. "except with less steroid-addled androgynous woman-like creatures"

    Hmmm. Let's see. You don't say "without" - you say "less" meaning there are at least some such creatures. Since there aren't any other women there, I assume this epithet is being used to describe Kara. You really must spend a lot on bouquets.

  5. Burf -- Stay put! Holy crap this sucks. It's like living in a hotel, except you're the cleaning lady. And no tips.

    Buster -- Dang, you're better than US Magazine. I didn't know any of that.

    JP -- You move back to the East Coast, we'll talk.

    anonymous -- Scholar on, Dude! Thanks for deconstructing my column. I'd say more, but I have to go let Kara out of her Atlasphere.

  6. Hey Todd!

    Provided you can flat-pack your home Ikea-style and ship it to Ireland, I'll gladly buy your place.

    Oh, and you'd also have to throw in the ferret.

  7. Hey stranger.

    I've climbed back up off the face of the earth and wanted to say "Hey".

    We're in limbo as well right now. Waiting to hear about a possible job transfer for DH.

    So, I've sunk every dime I've earned from writing toward "home improvements".

    Lived here 8.5 years and wasn't that interested in doing this shit then...

    Can't wait until the sucker is actually on the market.

  8. JL -- Hey man! Absolutely, the ferret is a fixture, like a dryer that craps on the carpet.

    Marie -- Yo dude! Enjoy the limbo. Hope you don't find out how low you can go. Good luck with it!

  9. o Todd... I just wanted to call you Todd, that's all.

    I had a few LOLs reading that! nice un- keep it up.