Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Miracle Worker





The couch was dirty.

OK. Not so much “dirty” as it belonged in the “Animal House” of the Delta Tau Chi.

I could even see Bluto’s butt print on the cushion.

“We need to get it cleaned,” my husband mused.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. There were six dozen things I’d rather be doing, including laundry, giving the dog a bath and declaring war on Sweden just because we can.

My husband pulled out the telephone book and began thumbing through the Yellow Pages.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Calling someone to come clean the couch,” he answered.

“You’re kidding me, right?” I said. “It’s a couch. Not a fur coat.” I snorted.

He gestured toward the couch. “Have you looked at that thing? It’s like Spring Break ’87 took place on it.”

I arched an eyebrow, “So what exactly happened on Spring Break ’87?”

A deer-in-the-headlights look washed over his face and he stammered, “Uh...what?”

I shrugged. “I find it curious that you threw that out there like that,” snapping my fingers. “So what was her name?”

Suddenly something outside the window seemed much more interesting than this agonizing conversation, and he laughed uncomfortably, “Hey...look at that bird. Out there...flying around.” Silence. “Silly bird.”

He looked back at me, my arms folded across my chest as if preparing for war.

He picked up the phone book and said, “Well, we can’t stand around talking about birds all day. Back to the matter at hand. Upholstery cleaners. I’ll find one.”

I grabbed the book from his hand, tossed it over my shoulder and snapped, “No, you will not.”

He sighed, “I don’t understand. Last week when there was 2 feet of snow on the driveway, you INSISTED we call The Guy to blade it rather than shovel it ourselves.”

Apples and oranges, my friend. Apples and oranges.

“It was 3 below zero, and the driveway is 40 feet long. That’s bad math no matter how you figure it,” I said. I gestured toward the couch and said, “That’s 8 feet we’re looking at right there. Eight feet I can handle.”

His long-suffering sigh was my answer, but he was already looking at my back as I headed out the room.
“Hey,” he hollered, “where are you going?”

“I’m off to search the Internet,” I answered. “If one can use it to learn how to train an elephant to sing the national anthem, then I can figure out how to get a little dirt out of polyester.”

One hour later....

OK.

It was really two. But only because I got distracted by some pictures of these unbelievably cute little elephants crooning, “Oh, say can you see.”

So...armed with one $2.97 can of upholstery cleaner, a soft-bristled brush, two lint-free cloths and the Can-Do Attitude that shaped this great country of ours, I got to work.

About two seconds into it I hear this over my shoulder, “I don’t think that’s gonna get it done.”

OK, Mr. Doubting Pants. Apparently he fought for the British in a past life.

“I’m just getting started, so give me a minute,” I said and elbowed him back.

He stepped back then stopped. And just stood there. Like Big Brother breathing down my neck.

I turned around and snapped, “Do you mind?” 

He ignored me and asked, “Did you do a test spot first?”

“No,” I snapped, “Thought I’d just wing it and see what happens.”

He shrugged and answered, “It’s your conscience that’s at stake here.”

Whoa. What the heck? I looked down at the couch and suddenly wondered if it was a special couch. Such as a portal to a magical universe.

Like to the Cheesecake Factory.

Because, you know, that would ROCK.

I said, “What do you mean?”

“It belonged to your grandmother,” he answered. “She died. And left it to you.” He paused, “She trusted you to take care of it.”

Oh. Dear. God.

But before the full-blown panic attack set in, we looked down at the couch where I had been cleaning, and as if by magic the spot began to dry and in its place was a shiny area so clean you could have eaten off it.

You know, if we were allowed to ever eat on the couch again in this lifetime.

I smiled and quietly said, “Thanks, Grandma.”

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