Are Things Really That Bad?

Tampa man’s experience over the holiday weekend might make your week seem easy

By M. Dylan Mathieu

Think you’re having an awful week are you? Did gas prices make you border on being agoraphobic, a certified home-body over the holiday weekend? Are higher prices for your favorite summer backyard beverage making you swallow your mouthwash? Maybe then you missed this item in the news today: A 50-year-old Tampa man hired a nude maid to clean his 2,281-square foot home Friday. Shortly after, the man’s wife came home from vacation to discover $40,000 in jewelry missing from their bedroom.

If your week turns out to be worse than this guy, and you feel you didn’t contribute to your bad luck, than keep your chin up, things will turn around. I just know it. But before your life brightens too much, this story will make its rounds on the internet and, before then, I just have to share my favorite quote from it: “The man told deputies he’d only left the maid alone in the bedroom a short while.” Left her alone? She charged $100 per hour, by the way…left her alone. Where did he go? To get more Pledge? To go make messes in the kitchen and bathroom?

I’ll spare you a moralistic approach to this story, but will say I (as of press time) retain enough moral authority having never hired a nude maid, carpet cleaner, tree-cutter, landscaper or realtor. Unless your home is spotless or always smells like a pine forest, it seems it’d be an expensive hobby. Consider, though, in this down housing market, you could expect the more desperate among nude realtors to drop their fees some. Moral arguments or treatments aside, much fun still remains to be had at his fellow’s expense. “Man”, “fellow”, “guy”…now I’m close to being out of G-rated adjectives to describe him. Could we borrow from police jargon and call him “John” as in “a John”? Sure, but let’s indict him too much; we can’t be sure the maid was involved in waxing anything other than the floors, right? Let’s just call him “Marvin”. As in “Messy Marvin”; always leaves a mess, and oh, no…now Mumma is coming back from her vacation and soon.

What picture is currently swirling in your head? Panic enveloping poor Marvin as the tan, rested and ready, Mrs. Marvin is in her cab rolling up the driveway. Enter Bea Arthur’s “Maude” here, although Ethel Merman and Milton Berle’s scenes from “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” would seem most fitting. Let’s leave those classic actors inviolate and decades away from this mess; better off blissfully in the 60’s. Marvin’s problem will worsen just after his honey enters the home’s foyer and sighs, “Whew, that airport was just a mess, I already feel I need a vacation from my vacation,” then “Ewwww, smells like someone’s been cleaning, awww, you didn’t have to do that on my account.” Fast forward to her best line a few moments later: “Someone even dusted our dresser and look, my jewelry box too.” Pan the camera to Marvin (wringing his hands, looking at his shoes), “They dusted more than that, dear.” Quick flash of shots of the dustpan, vacuum cleaner handle and the dryer’s lint tray.

It gets worse, because the cops and the insurance claims agent get to ask the dreaded question, no one wants an answer to. Enter Peter Falk (while we’re borrowing alumni from “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” ), weaving his fingers through his hair, asking the sheepish Marvin, “So this brooch, the one shaped like a butterfly and those five pairs of earrings, and this maid, this nude maid, how do you suppose she got this jewelry out of the bedroom?”

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