Sometimes treasure is buried a lot closer than you'd think.
It's one thing to clean up here and there as you go, but a full-fledged household cleaning is a big project. Like many people, my roommate Dan and I save our biggest cleaning for spring. It's not only our biggest cleaning, it's also our only cleaning. Let me rephrase this more honestly: my roommate Dan and I only clean our house once a year when spring comes around.
Dan and I are not dirty guys, but we also aren't clean guys. This is evident if you look at our CAW, or Combined Average Washing. CAW is a number that determines how clean a combination of people are, be it a couple, housemates, a family, or any other combination of two or more people. An ideal CAW is in the vicinity of 1, though from 0.85 to 1.2 is great, too. Much higher or much lower than that and you have to be honest with yourself about what the number is saying. You're either dirty or clean.
CAW is calculated by taking the total number of times per week all of the selected people bath, divided by the number of people selected times 7. It may be written as:
(Total Baths) / (Number of people * 7) = CAW
For example, last week I bathed a total number of 8 times. Once every day and one day twice, because I got into a garbage can chasing what I thought was a tiny wizard. I saw the wizard scurrying down the street before B-lining it down an alley. I've only seen fifteen or twenty wizards in my life, same as any other normal person, but it's been a good month or so since I've seen a wizard, which is why I so eagerly pursued this wizard. I only saw the flash of his beard as the wizard went into a garbage can. I assumed the garbage can was his wizard home, a portal into an entire world of magic. Magic is so magical. Excited, I opened the can and dove in. It turns out the beard was a tail and the wizard was just a raccoon. An honest, easy, common mistake, but still, it goes into calculating my household CAW.
So if you take my 8 baths--baths is the encompassing term for showering, washing with biodegradable soap in a lake, etc.; for me it's actual baths because I am the smallest man in the world and therefore every bath is a hot tub. Who doesn't like hot tubs!?--and combine it with my roommate Dan's 3 baths, all of which were me surprise attacking him with the hose and some Comet brand powder cleaner, you get 11 Total Baths. Divide this total of 11 by 14, which is the product of the 2 of us multiplied by the 7 days in a week, and you get 0.78.
A CAW of 0.78 is not 1, but it's also not 0.5 or 0.4 or 0.3 or even 0.2, which Dan and I sometimes score because the son of a bitch takes negative baths somedays. A negative bath can come from a number of disgusting choices, such as swimming at the sewage treatment facility, showering down in the sewers as water drips from the streets above, or hanging around hippies when it's rather humid. God those hippies mess up CAW. Dan's negative baths came from him playing in the mud all day every day that particular week, as he's a method actor and was preparing for a role he had in a live action version of "Charlotte's Web." Considering all of this, a 0.78 is pretty OK.
However, regardless of CAW, which is such a smart, well thought out calculation as any intelligent eye can see *cough cough hint hint are you reading this, Scientific American?*, one's house can still be a complete mess, making the whole thing pointless. This is the case for Dan and I. If you could calculate CAW for a house--which you can't believe me I've tried and I am the brains behind such brilliant, original formulas such as CAW and IRRH, or Is Ray Romano Happy, which is a measure applied to the character from the show "Everybody Loves Raymond"--ours would be so low. Like, low low. Like, she hit the floor, next thing you know, shawty got low low low low low low low low. THAT's how dirty our house is.
Or, more aptly put, THAT's how dirty our house was, because we cleaned it today. How did we clean such a dirty house you ask? Well, let me tell you--
--CUE MONTAGE TO THE TUNE OF EMINEM'S "CLEANING OUT MY CLOSET"
--DAN WEARS A WIFEBEATER, LOOKS AT CAMERA WHILE HOLDING A SPONGE LIKE A PISTOL
--MAC GHOST RIDES A MOP BUCKET
--A VERY COOL PARTY TAKES PLACE WHERE EVERYONE VACUUMS
--ABRAHAM LINCOLN FEATHER DUSTS THE FAN. HE CAN REACH IT BECAUSE HE'S VERY TALL
--DAN OPENS A GARBAGE CAN WHILE HOLDING A FULL BAG OF TRASH AND ENCOUNTERS OSCAR THE GROUCH. THEY LAUGH
--MAC OPENS A GARBAGE CAN WHILE HOLDING A DIFFERENT FULL BAG OF TRASH AND ENCOUNTERS THE RACCOON FROM BEFORE. THE RACCOON IS PISSED AND THEY FIGHT IN A CARTOON CLOUD OF DUST
--DAN REACHES UNDER THE COUCH AND PULLS OUT A CRUMPLED PLASTIC BAG. HE UNCRUMPLES IT. IT'S AN EMPTY BAG OF KRAFT JET-PUFFED MINIATURE MARHMALLOWS. DAN SHAKES HIS HEAD LIKE "OH MAC YOU SURE DO LOVE KRAFT JET-PUFFED MINIATURE MARSHMALLOWS!"
--MAC OPENS A CLOSET. IT'S VERY FULL FROM A YEAR'S WORTH OF CRAMMING JUNK IN. MAC SEES A GLOVE AT THE FRONT OF THE PILE, PULLS IT, REVEALS A SKELETON HAND
--END MONTAGE. THE SONG CUTS OFF WITH ONE OF THOSE RECORD ABRUPTLY SCRATCHING NOISES
That's right, an actual hand was in the glove. Panicked, I ran into the other room, waving the boney hand around in the air like a crazy person. Dan stood up from putting a new bag in the garbage can, a look of complete confusion on his face. "Mac! Mac!" Dan walked over to me and put his hands on my shoulders, calming me. "MAC!" he yelled.
I settled down but breathed heavily, still freaked out. "It's a hand, Dan! A real hand!"
"What are you talking about?"
"Look!" I showed him the hand. It was five white bone fingers attached to the remaining hand bones. There was a lot of dust in the house so let's say that's what was holding the bones together for some reason. Whatever, you don't know! It's my story!
"Holy cows!" said Dan.
"Moo!" said the Buddha cow, levitating above the ground while meditating.
"Hi, your most enlightenedness," Dan and I said together to the Buddha cow.
"It was in the closet, man. I'm freaked out," I said.
"Are you sure it's not some prop?" Dan asked.
"I don't know, it seems real to me." We walked to the closet. I slowly turned the handle, hesitant, nervous. The door creaked as it opened. "There!" I pointed at the boney stump sticking out from the pile of junk where the hand had broken off.
"That looks like a fricken' arm!" said Dan.
"Hey, cool, a beach ball!" Dan reached past the arm and pulled out a really awesome beach ball. It was the size of a smaller medicine ball and beautiful. It had red, green, yellow, blue, and purple stripes. We closed our eyes and held hands, the ball tucked under Dan's arm. I could practically hear and see the beach. The warm, granular cushioning of sand beneath my toes, the cawing of gulls up above, the smell of hot dogs on a grill.
"I know how we can make it up to everyone that's helped clean!" Dan said as we opened our eyes. "Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?" he asked.
I gave a big nod and two thumbs up. "Luau time!"
It was such a fantastic party, even better than the cleaning party we had back during the montage. There were tiki torches, sweet tropical drinks in fun novelty cups, grass skirts, coconut bikini tops, and, best of all, an entire pig roasted on a spit.
"Great party," said Cameron Diaz as she sipped from her bendy straw. She winked at me. "See you later, Mac."
Dan and I looked at each other. "Cheers, my good friend! To warmer weather and good times!" he said as we clinked glasses. I was drinking rum and pineapple juice. What a delicious combo!
"Hey, what are we going to do about that skeleton we found in our closet?" I asked. Everyone in the Conga Line was doing the Limbo now. I gotta get in on that! I thought.
Dan was wearing some hilarious sunglasses. They were circular frames, had smiley faces on the lenses, and were green tinted. I'm sure he couldn't see that well out of them! Also, it was night! What a goof! "Well, I looked at the lease to see if there's anything in it about skeletons we inherited or anything like that, but it only mentions the enlightened Buddha cow that lives with us. It turns out we apparently had a third roommate when we moved in, though," said Dan.
"Oh yeah, Randall. Whatever happened that guy?" I asked. I made that slurping noise as I sucked the last of my drink through a straw. Some people don't like rum but I sure do!
"I have no idea," said Dan. "I wonder where he is."
"Need one for chicken fights!" called our friend Tony from the pool. Our other buddy Scott was on his shoulders.
"You guys are so going down!" said Dan as he ran over and jumped into the pool.
I turned to face the camera. "Some things will just never change," I said, winking.
Luaus are always so much fun.