The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, November 18, 2003  

Ranting While Trying to Get Some Work Done

Okay, now that I’ve emerged from my initial late-morning stupor (see below), I’m trying to get some work done.

And, as it happens, the building management, the management that regularly and repeatedly describes my apartment building as providing “luxury living in the heart of Philadelphia,” has decided to launch that once-every-three-years ritual known around here as “vacuuming the hallway carpeting,” not to be confused with the once-every-ten-years ritual that encompasses actually shampooing said hallway carpeting, and it’s driving me nuts.

God, I hate the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

It’s a loathing that dates back to childhood. You see, if I heard my mother vacuuming I knew something was up. Maybe company was coming, the cleaning lady had quit, or my father had made some not-too-subtle crack about the general appearance of the house. (Hey, you try keeping a 20-room house, occupied -- and regularly battered and badgered about -- by 10 kids, their friends, and any number of invited short-term guests and other assorted hangers-on, consistently clean.)

Regardless, it was a safe bet Mom wasn’t in a good mood.

Tread lightly was the general but unspoken message.

I feel the exact same way right now.

I’m almost afraid to go downstairs and check the mail.

Oh, wait, they’ve stopped. Must have been just a particularly egregious little spill. Figures. I didn’t think we were due for vacuuming around here for at least another year.

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