Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Points for Originality

I love Calvin and Hobbes. Peter got me the complete collection for Christmas. There’s a touching story behind that gift that I won’t share here. Needless to say, I’m married to one awesome guy.

Here’s the gist of one strip. Too bad you can’t do comic strips justice in print alone.

Calvin asks Hobbes for help with his homework. “What’s a pronoun?”
Hobbes answers: “A noun that’s lost its amateur status.”
Calvin: “Maybe I can get points for originality.”

I was going for points for originality the other day when one of those door-to-door sales people came by. We’re really close to breaking a record for the longest dry spell here in Arizona, nearly 100 days without rain. We haven’t had rain since October. Everything is covered with a layer of fine red dust that infiltrates everywhere.

Which is the point the sales girl was trying to make when she came by my house the other morning. She had some cleaner guaranteed to get off the toughest dirt in my house.

I sense a challenge. She hasn't seen the dirt in our house. I can never resist a challenge, no matter how stupid. Explains a few things in my life. Anyhow, my son has a fascination for black Sharpie and apparently his muse, in a modern art period, can’t be confined to paper. Thus the walls of our entryway and stairs are decorated in black. He blamed the dog. And I almost believed him.

So I point to the marks on the walls. “Let’s see if you can get those off.”

She starts scrubbing.

The black starts coming off the wall. Ooh, I’m impressed. An idea forms in my mind. “Okay, well, what about this ink over here on this door? I haven’t been able to get that off.”

She scrubs the door.

“And the grime on the banister?”

It comes off. By the time I start asking her about bloodstains on the carpet (okay, I’m a suspense writer, but it’s not what you think), she straightens and looks at me. “Yeah, it works on that.” No demonstration. She’s caught on to my scheme to get her to clean my house. Too bad we hadn’t gotten to the kitchen floor yet. But I figure she if she’s going to sell me something, she should earn it.

So there’s my housecleaning tip for the day. Get the sales people to do it.

And hide the Sharpie.


Jenny said...

Man! You came so close!
I think you deserve a medal for getting her to do as much as you did.
Abundant blessings!

michael snyder said...

Wait till Jeanne D. reads this. She's a veritable points dispenser. And this one deserves many mucho.

That was funny and original AND hopefully going to make an appearance in your next novel!

Good, good stuff.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh, you are just sneaky! LOL! Great post, Jennifer. Reminded me when I bought my littlest one (12 now) her first crayons. Saw the washable ones and grabbed them. What timing. That day the red crayon became her favorite and the wall under the stairs her paper. Thanks goodness I bought the right ones!

Robin Caroll said...

Um......did you buy the cleaner?

Sabrina L. Fox said...

Hah! Very funny, Jen. Uh, do you have a number where I can reach this lady? I have a scuff mark on my no scuff laminate flooring I'd love to see her tackle. =)

Jeanne Damoff said...

Good show, Jen! And yes, you get a nice bushel of juicy points, both for originality and laughs.

Now, about that salesgirl's compliance. One must wonder if she was really a door-to-door salesperson, of if she was a spy sent to case the joint, abetted by a double agent who has been posing as your "son" all these years. Maybe the sharpie art and ink stains and banister grime were just ploys to get his accomplice in the house. Or maybe this would all make more sense if you read my response to your comment on my blog . . .

We got the complete Calvin and Hobbes collection for Christmas, too. You have to be a body builder just to lift the set, but boy is it ever worth the effort. I love them all, but I especially love the ones where Suzie and Calvin are playing house and they're drawn as grown-ups. Priceless!

Jennifer Tiszai said...

You know what I find really creepy? Malia, Jenny and Mike posted within 10 minutes of each other. What are you doing, hanging outside Blogger waiting for me to post?

Robin, you win the prize. Don't know what it is, but I was just waiting for someone to ask me if I bought the stuff. Are you kidding? It takes off Sharpie! The best part? My daughter thought it was so cool she spent the rest of the weekend cleaning the other walls.

Sabrina, my tip for you: a green scrubbie. It got dry erase marker off my kitchen floor.

Jeanne, (y'all got to read Jeanne's blog, it's a stitch) dang it, that was the plot for my next book. Sigh. Now I'll have to think of something else while I'm vacuuming because I'm certain there's hidden forensic evidence in my carpet.

Corina Bowen said...

I love it!~~ Usually I hide from the salespeople...... :-) Now though... I am thinking this could get interesting! Thanks!

OH, and if the green scrubbie doesn't work an eraser does!