Tis’ not that my family is incapable of responding to a beep—they respondeth to mine other calls, such as, “Come hither for thy frozen pizza awaits ye,” “Behold, ye telephone be ringing” and “Hark, over yonder the Good Humor truck be sounding.” But when the appliance beep signals a chore, like dishes to unload or frocks to remove and fold, my family entereth a state of utter slothfulness.
I say, “God save ye, family, for even ye poor mutt dost cover his ears for the nagging beep that ye fail to silence. Pray tell, are ye so helpless that ye can’t lend a hand? Dost ye carry a 500 lb. donkey on ye back?”
Things were different for my family back in the old country just east of downtown Los Angeles. My grandmother didst scrub her dirty laundry with a washboard and hang the clothes on the clothesline to dry. No finish beep rang out. It was ready when she didst yell, “Children, get ye laundry or get ye a whipping!”
My children, on the other hand, sayeth, “Mum, the dryer went off!” and go back to watching “Hannah Montana” and eating Captain Crunch out of the box. But when my little varmints’ cell phones ring they reach for it faster than they reach for a bucket of water should our cottage be engulfed in flames.
Tired of doing all the work myself, I bade them to come to a family meeting and hear me complaineth about the Beep Avoidance Issue.
“I am not thy servant,” I said. “Cast aside ye Disney Channel, get ye lazy arses off my couch, and get ye Newman’s Own butter popcorn out of the microwave yeself when ye hear it beeping.”
“Mother, we art sorry for our misdeeds,” said mine eldest, Heather. “We’ll get to work in good haste. I will fetch mine own popcorn.”
“Worry not, mother, for I shall retrieve thy dishes from thy dishwasher,” said the middle lad, Henry.
“Mum, I will unload thy dryer if thou wishes,” said my youngest lass, Elizabeth.
“That’s the spirit, children,” I said. “Now run along and get to work.”
From a distance, we heard the music, ‘Poppeth Goes the Weasel.’ “The ice cream truck!” my children cried, and raced out the door leaving me to answer the beeps alone. “Blasted kids,” I muttered. “Alas, tis’ a good thing the thatched roof don’t burneth.”