P.O. Box 1034
Colorado Springs, CO 80901
May 13, 2004
Mr. Vance Mehrens
860 Ridge Lake Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120
Dear Mr. Mehrens:
I recently broke down, did the bachelor thing and hired your people to clean my pleasure pit. No complaints about their work: The pit is all sorts of spotless.
The thing is, I can't buy into this Merry Maids idea.
You've probably heard the oft-quoted line by Harvard University's president, Lawrence Summers, who argues, In the history of the world, no one has ever washed a rented car. Summers is referring not to my apartment, but Iraq. The idea is that if Iraqis don't feel a sense of ownership of their country, they're not going to justify our love.
I'd like to extend Summers' metaphor to housecleaning: Just as no one has ever washed a rented car, neither has anyone ever enjoyed cleaning a stranger's toilet.
The notion that your maids are whistling like punch drunk Disney dwarfs is ridiculous and, quite frankly, more than a little arrogant. They may be relieved at having marginal, low-wage employment (as opposed to none) or perhaps they're just buzzed from cleaning agents, I don't profess to know.
I don't expect you to change your name on my account, but you might want to start thinking about it. I could handle something like Old Maids: We'll Clean Your Mess, But We Won't Pretend to Like It.
We Americans appreciate brutal honesty as much as we cherish our delusions.
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