American Consequences - May 2020



Speaking of discoveries, where do dishes go?... We had a full complement of dishware. Within 48 hours, it was all missing. I found glasses of curdled milk in sock drawers, half-eaten bowls of Honey Nut Cheerios on closet shelves, mugs full of cocoa sludge hanging from coat hooks, peanut butter encrusted flatware being used as bookmarks in algebra texts, and platters of petrified SpaghettiOs tucked under couch cushions. OK, so that’s where the dishes go... But where does laundry come from? I’ve been doing four loads a day. Why? I’ve been wearing the same flannel shirt and dad jeans since we got the bad news from the Wuhan wet market. And the kids are going nowhere except to school online, so they’re just in their sweats. Speaking of discoveries, where do dishes go? When my wife went into isolation, we had a full complement of dishware. Within 48 hours, it was all missing. I made reluctant forays into teen-occupied areas of the house, such as bedrooms and the finished basement. These had been reasonably tidy just a few days ago. Now they seem to have been hit by a bomb armed with a clothes, shoes, electronic devices, sports equipment, and personal grooming items warhead.

s any feminist will tell you, it’s an old joke that men remain useless when it comes to housework, childcare, and daily meal

By P.J. O’Rourke

preparation. Like most old jokes, it’s not funny. I know because I am that old joke. My wife was exposed to the coronavirus. She’s not sick, thank God, but she is in self- quarantine. And I am now a feminist. We husbands and fathers have been promising for decades to shoulder our fair share of domestic chores. And yet we still consider our main domestic chore to be watching golf on television. This is wrong – especially when there is no golf on television. But now, I’m in charge of cleaning, cooking, and the supervision of two teenagers. Did you know that the “dish soap” on the kitchen counter next to the sink is different from the “dish soap” in the kitchen cabinet next to the dishwasher? Even though they are both clearly labeled “dish soap”? The resulting Mount Vesuvius of foam, however, does mean that – technically – I’ve washed the kitchen floor. There’s a shortage of basic household goods at the moment, so resorting to paper plates seems wasteful. And putting them in the dishwasher doesn’t work... no matter what kind of soap you use.


May 2020

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