I have now officially done every single disgusting AND odious job in the house.

OK, the gutters. I didn’t do the gutters. And I meant to.

Technically, those aren’t in the house. ahem.

If I had been at all clever I would have taken before and after photos of the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, and the bedroom — all of which are unrecognizable from their appearance at 8 am this morning — but that would have required forethought, and that was one element that was conspicuously missing from this little housecleaning bonanza.

I started off with a modest desire to replace the bleach puck in the toilet tank, as I was awoken last night by a sinister aroma wafting over from the bathroom. I have a very sensitive nose, ever since I quit deadening all my nerve endings with various toxins, both liquid and inhaled.

So trip to the store for a toilet puck turned into an eighty-dollar spending spree on cleaning products. I just can’t resist all those pretty promises on the over-specialized detergents and scrubbers.

I returned home with my bundle of OCD joy and set to work. I quickly discovered that the toilet had some serious, serious issues that had been heretofore unknown to me, and were, in a word, ghastly.

I will spare you the details.

BUT it involved hacking away at layers of grime with an old, long-handled screwdriver that seemed to have been secretly custom-built for the job.

Oh, it was disgusting all right. But goddamn if it don’t look like a brand new throne by now.

Of course, I have permanantly altered the chemical balance in the local water table with the amounts of bleach I have used this afternoon, but you know, omelets and eggs…

And that was, of course, only the beginning. I made TWO more trips out to the store over the course of the afternoon, once getting stuck in a massive traffic jam that was due to the immanent arrival of Santa Claus by helicopter.

This clearly traumatized me, because I have no other explanation for the mission-style end table I somehow ended up with, when all I set out to buy was a lousy two dollar shower curtain liner. Helicopter Santa is clearly to blame, and I dare you to deny it.

Careful readers will remember that I am driving up to Boston to take a test tomorrow. I suppose you are thinking that this was all an elaborate way to avoid studying the quadratic equation like I was planning on doing all day.

You would be correct about that.

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