Bullitt's Bros

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Housekeeping Matters

This post is to be kept confidential.

I'm talking to you, Mom. You'll see why when you read the post.

The Bobcat household has had cleanliness problems in the past. I won't go into them, but suffice it to say they're Dad's and my fault. More Dad's fault.

Before delving any further into the history of my family's mess, I should say that I started out as a clean boy. I would make sure to put my shoes--and everyone else's shoes--into the proper place; I would clean up my toys; I didn't have any papers to organize, but if I had had them, you can bank on the fact that I would have organized them.

What happened to me? My family; my Dad was a relentless messer-upper (he remains unrepentant to this day), my brother was the same during my growing up (he has since changed), and my Mom had given up by about my fifth or sixth birthday (I think she's become a little more hopeful in recent years). So, being a child, I must have concluded that I was doing something wrong by being clean, and I have looked upon non-filthy places with moral disgust ever since.*

Anyway, we got a housekeeper lately. A friend of the family, in fact. Call her L. There's no need to go into L's history--well, no need beyond this: she's from Romania, and she became an adult during Ceaucescu's regime. Consequently, she had to deal with some excesses of communism. So cut her some slack.

Also, she has forearms like steel scepters (from mountain-climbing). I just thought I should mention that.

So, the conversation I'm about to relay is one I've never told my Mom. And once again, I ask her to keep it confidential. So here goes...

One day, of fairly recent vintage, I was home alone with L. L was getting ready to do some housecleaning. I was eating, and the family cat, Bullitt, jumped up on table and started sniffing at my food. I didn't mind, but L shooed him away.

Me: What's wrong with Bullitt?
L: Ach, he iz not clean. You should not let him near you.
Me: How is he not clean? He's such a neat-freak that he licks the filth off his genitals and his smelly place.
L: Bobcat, I haf never told you zis, but ven I vas in Romania, you remember, I was a coroner.

It's true. I mean, it's true that she's told me that many times.

Me: Yes, I remember you telling me that.
L: And I saw sings. Sings I will never forget.
Me: Okay.
L: Once, I vas looking at a man's body, and I vill never forget zis ... no, vait, it vas voman.

I don't think I need to comment about that sentence. She continued:

L: In her liver, I found a cat-hair. She had swallowed one and it killed her.

Really? When you swallow cat hairs they go straight to the liver? Maybe in Romania they connect the liver to the stomach so that the booze will work faster?

L: I can tell you, efen ven it doesn't kill you, you will be praying for death.
Me: Oh. Wow. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more.
L: Vell, ve didn't lif vit cats and dogs for sousands of years. You think everyone was stupid in ze past and zat zey are smart only now?

Actually, I was thinking that the most economical explanation was that L didn't know what she was talking about. But even if she was right, she apparently thinks it's okay to assume that while not everyone was stupid in the past, everyone is stupid now.

Me: Oh, well I better tell Mom.
L: No, don't tell your mozer. Promise me zat you won't.
Me: Why not?
L: Becauze she will not like to hear zat she can't be around her cat.

Somehow, I don't think that's what Mom will conclude. She might conclude that L has a weird sense of propriety--I mean, if I really thoughts being around cats killed people through their livers, I would spread this gospel far and wide. Even if it meant mildly upsettin them. I guess that's where L and I disagree. But of course, I'm assuming even she doesn't believe what she said.

She's a generally nice lady, though. And she helps keep the house clean, which is really nice. And she grew up in a totalitarian society, after all; such societies usually scapegoat somebody. I guess in Romania it was the cats.

*--That's not true; I just like the idea of looking upon non-disgust with moral disgust.


  • very funny blog. Well said. Pinko loves it. L would be horrified so she shall not know about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

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