Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rabbits and Rubber Gloves

Easter is such a nice holiday in so many ways. For the religious, of course, the story of Christ's resurrection is paramount. And even for the heathens, this is the season of the Earth's reawakening from her long winter rest. (Well, our part of the Earth has been resting; other parts of the Earth have been lounging poolside, sipping tropical drinks with little paper parasols in them and gossiping with other planets about Pluto being a little, well, sensitive, if you know what Earth means. Confusing? Yes.)

Warm weather and fresh air, rabbits, lambs, chicks, egg dyeing, brightly-colored baskets, plastic grass, special foods, fancy clothing, passing on the bunny myth to the little ones--all of these things mark our emergence into a new season of life once again.

Women feel the cycles of the Earth strongly--as opposed to men, who feel only the bumpy buttons of their remote control devices. As the days get longer and warmer, women everywhere get the urge to clean house (undoubtedly a vestige of our cavewoman days--remove the old animal bones and urine-soaked grass from the cave, pick off and eat the cavebabies' fleas, hang the family's reeking, animal-skin wardrobe out in the sunshine because, y'know, RETCH!).

These days, this powerful instinct in women is often performed as a religious or cultural observance. Before the Passover celebration each year,
Jewish women clean their homes top to bottom, gathering and destroying any grain of "chametz" (leavened bread) found in the house. Cleaning rituals in other faiths and cultures also survive from antiquity (although many are linked to celebration of the new year or to various other holidays throughout the calendar year).

While spring cleaning is not technically practiced at Casa Pseudonym, Nature's pull on Priscilla was evidenced recently when she impulsively grabbed up a broom and knocked down the webs of several former house guests. These webs were quite ancient and coated with greasy brown dust, so the house spiders had probably packed up and left for more sanitary accomodations long before Priscilla's uncommon fit of cleanliness. There was also a mass slaughter of E. coli, salmonella and several viral colonies in the kitchen and bathroom when Priscilla found an old bottle of Kill, Kill, KILL! spray bleach under the bathroom sink and went berserk.

Before collapsing from exhaustion, Priscilla nobly managed to sweep up most of the orchard grass bedding that had fallen from Sprinkles' cage before a scheduled visit from the cable company. It's bad enough the cable guy had to perform his duties in the Pseudonym's home office under the close scrutiny of a small rat in a big wire cage. Service people have been known to scream and run out of the house when unexpectedly coming face-to-face with pet rats.

This is really absurd, but not everyone recognizes how really sweet and cuddly pet rats can be. In point of fact, rats are soft, warm and completely docile. Reptiles are cold, scaly and often mean spirited. Reptiles will very often try to bite you, slap the nose off your face with their tails or wrap themselves around your throat and suffocate you. Yes, yes...they're God's creatures, too. But have you ever seen one eat? GAG!

Anyway, About.com offers a Complete Spring Cleaning Checklist, which may help some of us with this annual endeavor. Priscilla has no need of such a checklist: objects at Casa Pseudonym are either reasonably clean or coated with slimey brown goo, making the tasks at hand clearly evident. Priscilla thinks the checklist is for women who don't remember when they cleaned this or that, since everything looks fairly clean from actually having been cleaned within the past few months because these women clean and clean and clean and clean and clean, constantly, every morning, evening and weekend, so that they never have to scream in horror and start chucking things into closets and kicking things under the sofa whenever unexpected company pulls up in the driveway. They also make their beds every single day of their lives. Even when they have the flu and get out of bed for a few minutes, the bed gets made before they run off to hurl in the commode.

Best wishes to everyone for a pine- (or lemon-) scented cave this month!