I return from abroad this fine brisk morning to find that Congress Ave — Austin’s most conspicuous Ave. — is shut down from Town Lake to the capitol building. Some cops reported “feeling sick” and birds have apparently been dropping dead out of the sky, biblical-plague-like. “Welcome home, Twisty!” they seem to say. Authorities — the good-looking, heroic nerds who, in disaster movies, nobody listens to until it’s too late — have enjoined the citizenry to give these eleven blocks a wide berth until the all-clear. Just another routine atmospheric poisoning here in trendy, progressive Austin.
Speaking of health, thanks to everyone who thought I would enjoy a hearty guffaw over the study showing how housework prevents breast cancer. Man, that’s a hot one.
Despite my having been indoctrinated from the cradle with the well-scrubbed Protestant dogma stating that a spotless house indicates a spotless character, I think I have done housework only about six or seven times, ever. The reasons for my apostate sloth are many. For example, I was born with the temperament of a disorder-tolerant layabout. Which, by the way, I must insist is not a character flaw, but merely a non-lethal variant of normal, like musical aptitude, or big feet.
Furthermore, I have no interest in creating a race of Clorox-resistant supergerms that will one day rise against me.
Even more furthermore, the cleanliness purported to be the result of housework is entirely illusory. What does “clean” even mean? It may be possible to temporarily inflict the appearance of some culturally-constructed sense of order on the macroscopic constituents of a given bungalow, but there are fundamental laws — such as the Law of Waxy Yellow Build-up — governing the microscopic infrastructure of those constituents that bow to no appliance, solvent, or tireless female human elbow grease.
I have concluded, therefore, that housework is nothing but the meaningless and futile attempt to rearrange matter. Matter, the actual arrangement of which is governed by cosmic principles far beyond the scope, the control, and frankly, the interest of a spinster aunt, just laughs at your stupid vacuum cleaner.
Because I have examined housework and found it to be asinine, I am unsurprised to see that it now prevents cancer. It makes perfect sense in a world gone bizarro that women’s traditional unpaid Sysiphean drudgery should be found to have “health benefits” associated with today’s Number One sentimental favorite “women’s” disease. No doubt the “benefits” are from inhaling the fumes from all that Lemon Pledge and EZ-Off Oven Cleaner. So never mind the mutation-causing environmental contaminants emanating from the megatheocorpo-industrial complex that manufactures the poisons, the chipper press releases, and the anti-cancer pills that cost chumps like me over $300 a month.
And never mind that this morning Congress Ave is littered with the corpses of poisoned grackles. Everything is expected to be “back to normal” by noon.