This morning while eating breakfast, I saw Tom go scurrying across the kitchen floor and tear into the dining room at high speed. He appeared to be in pursuit of something. Turns out he was chasing something across the floor.

It was a dust bunny.

Since I had shoveled a space for myself at the kitchen table just moments before, I figured that the universe was giving me not-so-subtle hints that we needed to clean the house.

I don’t know what we were thinking three years ago. “Let’s buy a house twice the size of the old one, and to keep it interesting, let’s leave the housekeeper behind!” What the hell was I thinking. It’s almost as ludicrous as having a performance “Sleeping Beauty” next to the service porch of the Brady house.

Granted, I often referred to our old housekeeper as Agnes Destructo and I often wondered if she was going to go up in flames from smoking while spraying bleach as an air freshener, but at least the house looked good.

So tonight I dusted and swiffered and sucked up everything in sight. By the way, can someone please tell me the purpose of the hole with a moveable cover in the vacuum cleaner hose? What is the purpose of that? To reduce the amount of suction? “My God, I’ve sucked up the cat, better release the pressure.” I don’t think so. I find it annoying and worthy of a swath of duct tape.

Our county has a crazy code that every home built after 1995 must have a telephone jack in each room. I guess the geniuses had never heard of a cordless phone getup before and decided they were doing the public service a favor. You know what they should have done? Required central vacuum systems in every home.

I was a spoiled little cub growing up. My grandparents had a beautiful house next door to our mobile home. Grandma would bake cookies or some other good-farm-wife inspired dessert weekday afternoons and I would trot over after getting off the bus to catch “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie”, eat some cookies, drink some milk and hang out with Grams as she did her household chores. Their house was so big it had two central vacuum systems (one at each end). Gram never lugged around a vacuum cleaner canister get up, getting all twisted in the cord and emptying the bag after every room because of all the dust she sucked up. No, she had a hose and a wand that she plugged into ports strategically located throughout the house. No muss, no fuss. When my dad built our house a few years later, it had a central vacuum system. Again, no muss, no fuss.

Why the hell doesn’t this house that’s less than ten years old have such a thing? I have a good mind to buy one and put one in myself. Some pipe, some drilling, a little luck and voila, instant domestic bliss. Why get a sock stuck in the wand with a hole when you can lodge it nice and tight in some dark recess of a wall?

Let’s face it, if I have the energy to install a central vacuum system then I must certainly have the energy to clean the house the old fashioned way. By witchcraft.

I keep telling Earl that I’m going to hire a housekeeper for this house. His only requirement is that they’re male, naked and work after hours.

Sounds good to me.