Monday, November 14, 2011

They Clean Carpets

It's less than a couple of weeks 'til Thanksgiving and so we did what just about everyone does just before the holiday fun begins...we had our carpets cleaned. don't?

Anyway, keeping with the holiday tradition, the carpet cleaners came the other day; a day I dread....

We hire them every year or so to come and steam clean the rugs, which they do, and do a nice job.

But I just can’t stand their sense of righteousness. Not to mention the judgment….

You want the stain guard treatment. right?"

"No...just the carpets, thanks."

“Mmmmm hmmmm.  The upholstery?"

"Nope...just the carpets."

"How about your tile grout?"

"My tile grout is fine...thanks...again."

“You really don’t want the stain guard treatment for only another $25.99?”

“No…just a cleaning, please”

“You’re sure?”


“It’s not worth $25.99 knowing that you’ll be free from worry in your high traffic areas…not to mention serious spill damage?”

“Pretty sure…”

“Pretty sure?”

Now I start to waver.

“I think."


But I recover.  "Look, just clean the carpets. Okay?

“Sure thing.”

And with that one guy drags this huge hose trough my living room while the other walks around looking for spots to spray with this magic super spot remover.

“So what’s this…Merlot?”

“Could be…not really sure. How did you even see that?

It was about the size of half a dime…under the couch.

“We’re trained, sir. You throw a lot of parties?”

“Not a lot…some.”

Then he’s down on his hands and knees like a CSI investigator rubbing and sniffing.  I start to feel like I need to fill in some of the gaps and offer, “I think it’s from last Christmas.”


“Yeah, we had Chicken.” For some reason I thought that might be useful information.

“Chicken…for Christmas?”


“Most people have turkey.”

“We had chicken". Now I’m beginning to feel a little ashamed.

“And you had red...with chicken?”

“Look, can you just clean the carpets please.”

“Yes, sir…we clean carpets…that's what we’re here for.”
And with that I head upstairs to escape the ridicule, but not before hearing the carpet investigator say to his partner, “I’ve got to get the kit out of the trunk.”

And while I’m no longer in the room, I can clearly see, at least in my head, the other guy shaking his head with disdain.

I really don’t want to know what the kit is.

Soon there’s all sorts of noise as the big machine is turned on, followed by the occasional chuckle, at least I think there’s chuckles.

I peek down the stairs and spy the pair wearing these kind of plastic booties over their shoes, like the real CSI guys do, moving furniture and sucking up grime.

I start to head down the stairs, pleased to notice that the Merlot is a thing of the past.

“Whoa…hold on right there!” the man with the water sucker shouts. “Where do you think you’re going with those dirty shoes?”


“No dirty shoes until this dries out for a day.”

“Do you think I could have a pair of those booties then?” 

Now I was using the word booties in a conversation that I was not at all enjoying. Plus the reaction I received was as if I had asked if I could drive their truck...blindfolded...while naked.

“Well, we’re not really supposed to give out any booties.”

I never knew a man could be so protective of his booties.

“Well, I’ll be happy to pay extra for them,” I offered.

The men looked at each other and shrugged. Apparently they had never been solicited for their booties before.

“Listen, if it’s a problem I’ll just walk in my socks. Don’t worry about it.”

“No…I’ll give you some booties.”

And now, as he reluctantly handed me the booties, I felt as if he thought my socks weren’t good enough either. I put them on and began to inspect the work, feeling a little silly.

I noticed little squares of plastic under various chair legs and such and some blocks of foam under others. I recalled that they were to protect the wet carpet from picking up any stain off the furniture legs. I wanted to impress the guys so I threw that little fact out there.

“Mmmmm hmmmm,” was the best I could get out of them as they worked up my bill.

“It looks great!” I said, hoping to get some sort of a response.

How old is this carpet?”

Here it comes, I thought, the ax was about to fall.

“5 years…four?”

“Uh…actually it’s just 10. We bought it when we moved in.”

“It’s in really good shape, boss. You take nice care of it.  I like people who take care of their carpets.”

My chest swelled with pride as he handed me the receipt.

“Thanks…thanks,” It was all I could utter, so shocked was I by this unexpected approval.

“You really should get the stain protector next time. You got lucky with that merlot.”

“I’ll think about it…promise.  And thanks for the booties!”

With that I closed the door behind and swore I would not use the word booties least for another year.


What better way to get through the week than to pick up my new "Updated" collection of Retorts...?

Well...I can think of a few...but that's not the point....

Still "fresh" in their original "absurdity"


Or subscribe above to receive Retorts by E-Mail  

While you're at it

Check Out



  1. Booties are always funny! so sweetly humiliating to be in a pair. Thanks for pointing that out for us all :-)

  2. Yet I still get odd looks in the supermarket. Go figure.....

  3. And did you check out our handy assortment of bulk carpets & rugs accessories


Retort to the Retort -

“Is there anybody alive out there…”