Cardella: Wiping Down the Tiles

Tom Cardella

I don’t hate the Sound of Music, but who goes around their house singing My Favorite Things? Nobody. That’s who. You think Julie Andrews gets turned on by “brown paper packages tied up with string?” If I find a “brown paper package tied up with string” on my doorstep and it has no return address, I’m not singing my ass off, I’m calling Homeland Security. And we’re in February right now, are you getting thrilled yet by “silver white winters that turn into spring?” You know what comes to mind for me when I’m in the middle of a “silver white winter?” I’m thinking how the hell can they charge this much for rock salt? So, let’s get clear right here and now. We need more cynics and fewer people who get orgasmic about “snowflakes that fall on their nose and eyelashes.”

I turned on my TV the other day (once I figured out which one of four remotes I’m supposed to use). I check the guide to see what’s on, and the first thing that hits me are the words “Larry King Prostate.” I don’t know about you, but that didn’t hit me as “must-see TV.” In fact, I’m going to lobby the FCC to see if they can force Comcast to delete this channel from my TV package. I’d rather watch a rerun of Trump’s State of the Union speech while I’m getting a colonoscopy than view anything dealing with Larry King and his prostate.

Guys — do you enjoy supermarket shopping with your wives? I’ll tell you my favorite part of doing the Acme thing with my wife, Fran. After we’ve shopped for four and a half hours and we finally get in line to check out, Fran disappears. Gone. Doesn’t even leave a silver bullet or yell “Hi Ho Silver!” She disappears like the victim in a Liam Neeson movie. I’m left in line. Fran has all the coupons. Happens every time. What, I wonder, is the crucial item she forgot to pick up? Some staple of life? Bread? Milk? She suddenly reappears with a can of Tomato Bisque soup. This is what she abandoned me for? “It comes with its own croutons,” she tells me.

Does your wife have a thing about wiping down the tiles after you shower? I know it’s not a big thing. People don’t divorce because they disagree on wiping down the tiles. But what the hell does it really accomplish? You’re there enjoying a nice hot shower in the middle of winter (singing about “silver white winters that turn into spring”) and now your shower is over. And you have to stand there wiping down the tiles while you’re freezing your butt off. Sort of negates the benefit of a hot shower, doesn’t it? And what’s remarkable is that Fran instinctively knows whether I’ve actually wiped down the tiles or not. I know because I tried faking it a few times just to test her. She insists on showering after I do just to inspect the tiles. Is this some kind of obsessive compulsion? And the plastic thing-a-ma-jig that you use to wipe down the tiles? It has these rubber suction cups that always comes unstuck about 2 o’clock in the morning. It makes this incredible noise when it falls into the tub. Sounds as if there’s a home invasion going on. I dive under the bed. Fearless Fran reminds me it’s just the plastic thing that came unstuck again.

I just saw that this guy in Canada shoveled out a likeness of the Mona Lisa in his snow-covered backyard. Can you imagine, like, you hire this guy to shovel your pavement. An hour later, he rings your doorbell to get paid. You ask how much. “$25,000,” he says.” “That’s insane,” you scream. He calmly points out that he’s shoveled a portrait of The Last Supper for you and still left room for your trash cans near the curb.

Here’s one that could unite our country. Panera is running ads claiming it sells “clean soup.” Is there anyone out there who’s not for clean soup? You think the Freedom Caucus or radical socialists want a dirty mop run through their Chicken Noodle before they’ll eat it? Fran agrees to serve me only clean soup, but only if I wipe down the shower tiles.

Fran likes Happy Hour. These days, every self-respecting bar has a Happy Hour. Let me tell you about Happy Hour, people. Happy Hour is when a bar serves you three ounces of cheap wine marked up. You’re supposed to be thrilled that they’re charging you only $5 for jug wine that normally sells for $10 a gallon. And the Happy Hour snacks. How about two sliders for $5? There’s so little beef in these sliders, you can eat them on Good Friday and not commit a mortal sin. But I can’t complain about taking Fran to a bar or restaurant. We went out to a nice place for Valentine’s Day. She orders carrot soup. And that’s it. Me — I’m starving. Now can I order my usual three courses plus a bread basket when all she orders is carrot soup? The answer is yes, I can. Unashamedly. That’s the slob I am. I ignore the disapproving look from the waitress.

I figure I’m owed something for wiping down the shower tiles.