Clothespin Consciousne by Stephen halpert

Clothespin Consciousne by Stephen halpert

OK CAMPBELLSWORLD VISITORS! Here’s Steven Halpert’s contribution for the week. What do you all think of this? LOL!

Clothespin Consciousness

“May I ask a favor of you?” Tasha asked me as we finished breakfast. 

“What can I do for you?” I replied.

“Would you mind not hanging out the laundry this morning?”

“Not hanging out the laundry? Why not?”

“I’d rather do it myself,” she sighed. “When you do it, the clothes look messy on the clothesline and they don’t dry as fast.”

“You’re saying I lack style when it comes to hanging out the wash?”

“It’s more the way you bunch things up and then put the clothespins over them. Maybe, instead you could take care of the piles in the office,” she said, beginning to clear away the dishes.

“What piles? Those aren’t piles!  That’s my stuff!” I tried assuring her.  “Books, articles, research materials, magazines. Everything in there is vital to me. Especially now that I’m doing art. I never know when I’ll need a particular color or design and can only find it on the cover of some old magazine.”

“Your piles could be considered a fire hazard.”

“First you tell me that you don’t like the way I put clothes-pins on the wet wash.  Now you suggest that my workspace is a firetrap. Most people use their dryers you know. Not us! When it comes to the conveniences of homemaking we seem to be living back in the 19th century.”

“What do you mean?”

“You! I’m talking about you as a throwback to some sort of primitive frontier woman at home on the range. You don’t approve such modern conveniences as clothes dryers, cake mixes, electric blankets, microwaves, paper napkins, paper plates, or throw away plastic glasses.”


“And I don’t mind, except that while I can appreciate your idiosyncratic behavior, you seem to have trouble accepting mine.”

“What do you mean? I think you’re wonderful!”

“You criticize the way I hang out clothes. You say my clothespin consciousness needs awakening.  That makes me feel unappreciated.  Do you realize that my mother would roll over in her grave if she knew I was helping you out this way. She’d criticize me for not being able to afford us help.”

“She was of another generation.”

“No doubt, but she got her message across big time. How do you think I feel when I see you laboring in the garden?”

“I hope you feel fine knowing I’m exercising and enjoying myself.”

“A part of me feels as though I should hire you a gardener.”

“I love doing it. Stretching and bending is good physical conditioning. If we had paid help, we’d have to join a health club to get such good exercise. Plus we accomplish something at the same time. To me this is more fun.”

“What’s fun about housework and gardening? That’s downright drudgery to me.”

“Fun is every moment of life with you. Fun is sharing and that includes cooking, cleaning and hanging out the laundry.”

“Even though you think I put too much hot pepper in the chili and my hanging out the wash lacks your sophisticated symmetry.”

“Even so. At least you’re willing to help. Now about those piles… Do you suppose we could set aside some time every day to diminish them somehow? Maybe we could sort through the magazines and take pages out that you think you’ll need.”

“How do I know what I’ll need until I need it?” I asked her as reasonably as I could.  “It’s important to my creative process to have my stuff spread out and visible.”      

“Oh. Well, I didn’t think about that. But what about the attic?”

“What about the attic?”

“It’s crammed with piles of old stuff, not art material.”

“That’s what attics are for, to keep stuff in.”

“Can’t they be kept neatly?”

“Well, yes. Except that they’re not really visible so I don’t think much about them.”

“Neither do I except when I go up there for something and all the clutter makes me feel nervous.”


“I’m not sure. I do know that in folk tradition from Celtic lore to Chinese Feng Shui, good fortune is brought about by neatness and tidiness, and ill fortune by messiness and clutter.”

“You mean we’d get invited to more dinner parties if we cleaned up the attic?”

“All I know is that the good fairies always took up residence in the tidy houses, while the mischievous ones lived in the messy ones.”

“Maybe we could get them to move in and do some of the housework for us.  Why not do something appropriate to attract their attention.”

“That’s precisely what I’m trying to do,” she said, a touch of exasperation in her voice.  “Which brings us back to cleaning up the piles.”

“I guess that’s what meant by brownie points?”


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: