Like the grunge at the bottom of the toothbrush and toothpaste cup holder. I don’t think I’ve cleaned it since 1967. And my wood blinds have accumulated enough dust to send smoke signals to the neighbors when I snap them open and shut.
And I know there’s pulpy squash composting at the back of the vegetable bin. When worms start knocking on the plastic or moths fly from the open drawer, I’ll finally carry the squishy bag to the trash.
When I finally have time off from work, my recessive slug genes take over. I shuffle around the house, still in my slippers and my pajamas at 3 p.m. I notice all the tasks I SHOULD do – like sorting a year’s worth of unread magazines, dusting my knick-knacks or changing the 17-year-old box of baking soda in the fridge – but I don’t feel like working.
On a recent long weekend, guilt over my laziness finally got to me. I strode (although in my slippers still) to my computer to do a flurry of overdue e-mailing. I paused with my fingers over the keyboard and looked, really looked at the keys. I was stunned at the collection of detritus trapped inside the keyboard! Why hadn’t I noticed this before!
I turned the keyboard upside down and violently shook it until my blank document read: ZPWRKEHUYTDOIAQBM. A history of my diet fell from the keyboard and littered my desk: toast crumbs, sesame seeds, a peanut or two, desiccated cottage cheese, five chocolate chips, a few Cheerios, a dried apricot, a liter of trail mix and an apple core.
A missing TV remote, a mouse carcass and a Fudgesicle wrapper also dropped from the keyboard.
When the rain of debris stopped, I turned the keyboard over and looked between the keys. I could still see crumbs and particles stuck below the keys, probably glued to the surface by dried ice cream drips. My e-mailing suspended, I pondered how to extract the rest of the trapped rubble.
I thought a paintbrush would do the trick, but the closest thing to a paintbrush I could find was a broom. I put the keyboard on the floor and swept it several times. As a result, my keyboard produced the first chapter to a Fantasy novel with a hero named “YIQZFUG.” But the crumbs were still inside.
I leaned over and blew a lungful of air between the keys, blasting Chips Ahoy crumbs and pencil shavings into my eyes. I spent an hour finding the vacuum’s skinny hose attachment, but it was too fat to slide between the keys. So was the attachment to the handheld Dust Buster.
I decided I needed to purchase one of those doohickeys designed just for this keyboard-cleaning task, which I remembered seeing at Walmart.
It was almost dinnertime by then, and I lazily told myself I would go tomorrow. After all, I would have to change from my slippers, and that would mean confronting the dust bunnies lurking in the closet.