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My Favorite TV Show Is A Huge Mess
As further proof that I do not have enough going on in my life, I’ve recently begun rearranging my entire schedule around a television show. And it isn’t even The Simpsons or one of those Crime Scene variants.
I am hooked – hooked, I tell you – on the BBC America channel’s ‘How Clean Is Your House?”
In case you don’t know the show (or its American version on the Lifetime network) here’s the deal:
Two women – professional cleaner Kim Woodburn and former magazine editor Aggie MacKenzie – are sent to a house so filthy you’d think it ought to be shoved into a pit and covered over. They clean the house while alternately scolding the occupant for letting it get into such deplorably filthy condition, then encouraging him or her to change for the better (and tidier).
If you would have told me six months ago that I would be watching this program every night, I would have nominated you for another reality show: “You’re Out Of Your Mind.”
But no. It comes on every night at 7:30, and believe me, at 7:30 everything else in this house comes to a halt. Got work to do? Sorry, it’ll have to wait. Dog needs to go out? All right, but she’s not coming back in until the commercial. Dinner on the table? Forget it. The cleaning ladies are on.
(I know, you’re thinking, “Well, why doesn’t he just eat dinner and watch TV?” Obviously, you haven’t seen the show. And if you have, and if you can enjoy a meal while the camera dwells lovingly on a kitchen that hasn’t been cleaned since Prince Charlie was in short pants – well, your stomach is stronger than mine.)
This is what I call Must-See TV. Also, considering the condition of some of the houses Aggie and Kim go into, it’s Good-Heavens! TV, What’s-Wrong-With-Those-People TV, and There-But-For-The-Grace-Of-God-Go-I TV.
Well, that last one may be overstating the case a little. I mean, it’s highly unlikely that I will ever find myself living in a three-room apartment so full of trash, heaped and stacked as high as your head, with only pathways going from room to room. I doubt I’ll ever allow my cat to just use the entire place as her litter box while allowing the human bathroom to turn into a Toxic Waste Site. I don’t think I’ll ever let wind up with chicken poop on the kitchen floor and a solid inch of bacteria-laden black grease on the stovetop. Which are some of the milder examples from the show.
So maybe I’m really feeling good because by comparison, my house is spotless. And at the same time, I feel sorry for the occupants, and slightly guilty because I know how I’d feel if it were my house and a bunch of people were looking at it on TV and saying, “Oh my Lord, what an abomination.”
But still I watch. I can’t help it. I’m hooked. Hooked, I tell you. Which, in case my mother is reading this, is why I no longer answer the phone between 7:30 and 8. Sorry, Mom.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go mop the kitchen. Think of it as being inspired. Or, put another way, if Kim and Aggie drop in, I want to be ready.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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