With warmer days, we have opened some windows. This makes the dust accumulate faster than usual. As a consequence, allergies are active. I have the sensation of some crud deep in the lungs that refuses to clear despite copious amounts of coughing. I have a deep bass cough – loud too – I sound like a walrus.

This weekend we will spend some time dusting, sweeping the floors, shaking out the rugs etc. Pledge for days. When I dust I recall a poem I memorized in my youth:

Agatha Morley all her life

Complained of dust, like a good wife.


Dust on the counter; dust on the chair

Dust on the mantel she could not bear.


She forgave fault in man and child

But a dusty place would set her wild.


She bore sin without protest

Yet dust thoughts laid upon her rest.

Agatha Morley is sleeping sound

Six feet under the cold, cold ground.

Six feet under the earth she lies

With dust at her feet; and dust in her eyes.

In “Le Miserables” some little brat sings a song as she sweeps the floor. The tune is charming as it has diminished cords and is in a minor key. I like to sing it when I am sweeping the kitchen floor. Sometimes I announce “Back by popular demand! Here is The Sweeping Song as rendered by (fill in the blank, but usually it is Eartha Kitt)” and proceed accordingly.

Someone can’t stand the tune no matter who is singing it, so this is a good way to get him to sweep rather than I do it.

Getting the dust out of the rugs requires hauling them outside for a good shake. Better yet, drape them over a chair.

Then I beat them with a belt whack whack whack I get into this and the dust is not just dust but squalor and filth and all that is wrong with the world and I whack whack slap whack in honor of the generations of men and woman who devoted their lives to cleaning and scrubbing the world and I go up and down the rugs beating them in the name all that is good against the lazy, lackluster, lead-butt slow leak attitude of people all to ready to accept filth and squalor as a means of life until I am done whack whack whack and yes I whack yes I will Yes until Someone takes away the belt.