Sunday, June 3, 2007

W is for Windows

Voice-over: Amidst swirl of rumors of impending window washing, Indigo Bunting has agreed to a press conference to address these rumors directly. She approaches the podium now.

Indigo Bunting: Good morning. It’s come to my attention that rumors abound regarding my annual window washing. Rather than let this get out of hand, I’ve decided that a free exchange with the press is the best approach to ward off any possible misunderstandings. One of the primary reasons for washing windows is to let in more light. With that, I welcome your questions.

New York Times: Ms. Bunting! Is it true you are about to embark on the annual washing of your windows?

Indigo Bunting: The truth is that I have begun to think about doing this. It’s become a matter of scheduling.

New York Times: Ms. Bunting, a followup. It’s already June. Isn’t it getting a little late?

Indigo Bunting: Not so much here in Vermont. I once made the mistake of washing my windows in early May, before the pollen had really settled. In a couple of days it was like I hadn’t washed them at all. I won’t ever do that again. I vowed then and there to never wash them before Memorial Day weekend.

BBC: Are you saying that after you washed them too early, you didn’t wash them again for more than an entire year, even though they were covered with pollen?

Indigo Bunting: That’s correct. I did not.

New York Post: But didn’t that tarnish your reputation as a homeowner?

Indigo Bunting: It may have. But the fact is, I’m very busy, and I don’t have time to be constantly washing windows.

Weekly World News: Busy with what?

Indigo Bunting: Work. Occasionally life beyond work.

Boston Herald: But if you’re working, couldn’t you afford to pay someone to wash your windows?

Indigo Bunting: It’s true I pay some people to do some things for me. But I can’t see adding windows to that list.

Fox News: Ms. Bunting, wouldn’t a professional do a better job?

Indigo Bunting: Yes. A much, much better job. I’m not very good at it, frankly.

Weekly World News: Is it a big job, Ms. Bunting?

Indigo Bunting: Yes. I have thirty-one windows to wash. And in the past, I’ve dusted the blinds too, one by one. It usually takes me three days working several hours per day.

NPR: Thirty-one windows? Isn’t that an awfully big house for two people?

Indigo Bunting: Maybe. But I have a home office, and my husband has a studio room, and we have a guest room, so it feels like just the right size for us. And it’s a Queen Anne Victorian—is that the proper terminology?—so it’s really all windows and doors. I feel like I’ve barely got any solid wall space, if you wanna know the truth.

USA Today: So it’s light and airy?

Indigo Bunting: Absolutely not. I don’t know how these Victorians managed to put in all these windows and still retain a sense of darkness. On the upside, of course, it is quite cold in the winter.

Washington Post: Isn’t it politically incorrect these days to live in a house that’s not energy efficient?

Indigo Bunting: Well, I’ve replaced almost every window. And we had insulation blown in. So we’re trying, but it will never be exactly cozy. That chimney won’t ever allow a working fireplace. We didn’t build a new house, though, which in itself is somewhat environmentally minded.

CNN: Ms. Bunting, it’s all well and good to think about washing windows. When are you planning to actually do it?

Indigo Bunting: Look. I don’t mean to sound defensive, but I’m absolutely swamped with work right now. I have hopes of Saturday next, June 9. That is, if it’s not raining.

Toronto Star: And if it is?

Indigo Bunting: I don’t know. I’m traveling the next weekend. It may get put off until the end of June. I’m hoping not.

Washington Times: Do you think it’s right to take a trip if your windows haven’t been washed?

Indigo Bunting: I’m not sure I can choose to think of it in terms of right or wrong.

Weekly World News: Why not? Why are you afraid to commit to an opinion here? Are you trying to hide something?

Indigo Bunting: Next question, please.

Rutland Herald: Ms. Bunting, have you ever considered dusting the blinds separately from washing the windows?

Indigo Bunting: Thank you for asking. Usually, because I’m already up on the ladder and I’ve already moved the furniture, I figure I might as well do the blinds. This year I’m seriously thinking of just washing the windows. Maybe I could finish in one day. I don’t have too many guests inspecting my blinds. At least I don’t think I do. I might be able to get away with it.

Reuters: Are some windows worse than others?

Indigo Bunting: Certainly any window facing the street is filthy. I do them first.

NPR: Do you have any window-washing rituals?

Indigo Bunting: I always play Prince at some point. I find his music quite motivating for this task. Each year I find myself thinking, Wow, this guy was a genius. Why don’t I listen to him more often?

USA Today: Everyone has sentimental window-washing memories. Can you share one of yours?

Indigo Bunting: A few years ago, I suddenly felt a strong need to be in touch with my friends Debbie and Lee, whom I hadn’t heard from in a long time. Because I knew where Lee worked and could find his e-mail address online, I got in touch with him first. Turns out they had broken up, and I had contacted him a few days before Debbie’s wedding! We scheduled a catchup conversation for during the wedding itself, a conversation that lasted two hours and was great fun. I was in the middle of washing windows when that happened. So I always think of Lee when window washing comes around. Come to think of it, that must have been the year I washed the windows too early.

Highlights for Children: Ms. Bunting, do you ever find yourself having fun while washing windows?

Indigo Bunting: Sometimes I actually get into a rhythm, and it’s a little bit fun. What it’s NOT is sitting in front of a computer editing copy. And I get to listen to music.

Portland Press Herald: Are you nervous?

Indigo Bunting: Definitely. This is a big chore. I’m afraid I have so much work to do that I won’t get the windows done. Or, if I do the windows, I won’t meet my deadlines. It seems I don’t have time to keep up with things. I used to have a blog, Alphabird, that I don’t have time to write anymore. It’s pathetic, really.

9 comments:

Sewa Yoleme said...

I'm extremely pleased to see the Weekly World News and Highlights for Children represented in your press corps.

Now, I note that you say that Prince was a genius. Ms. Bunting, do you think the Purple One has lost his spark?

Indigo Bunting said...

Hmmm. Sewa, you raise a good point. I don't feel I can speak to whether he still is a genius in any informed way. He well may be.

Cedar Waxwing said...

>NPR: Do you have any window-washing rituals?
Perfect!! I can hear the ambient sounds of water sloshing in the background.

I don't wash windows - I have a husband who actually likes to do that job.

Great post as usual. I wish I had time to write for fun some more -but swamped with work right now...

Preston said...

Ha. How creative. The ironic thing is, the windows would have been washed if you hadn't spent the time writing this post.

Helen said...

Good point! (re Preston's comment). I laughed at the fact that you have 31 windows but the house is still dark (although, maybe that's because you don't wash your windows often enough?). And not to be too nitpicking, but is Prince known as Prince again? It's so confusing trying to keep track of all these name changes.

I'm impressed that you're up to W in the alphabet. What happens after Z?

Deloney said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJetuA4Y1I0

Deloney said...

It's not always easy to make out what Van sings, so here are the lyrics.

CLEANING WINDOWS

Oh, the smell of the bakery from across the street
Got in my nose
As we carried our ladders down the street
With the wrought-iron gate rows
I went home and listened to Jimmie Rodgers in my lunch-break
Bought five Woodbines at the shop on the corner
And went straight back to work.

Oh, Sam was up on top
And I was on the bottom with the v
We went for lemonade and Paris buns
At the shop and broke for tea
I collected from the lady
And I cleaned the fanlight inside-out
I was blowing saxophone on the weekend
In that down joint.

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows (number a hundred and thirty-six)

I heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon
On the street where I was born
Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee,
Muddy Waters singin' "I'm A Rolling Stone"
I went home and read my Christmas Humphreys' book on Zen
Curiosity killed the cat
Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" and "On The Road"

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide
I'm a working man in my prime

Indigo Bunting said...

Well, here it is, June 9 at 9:15 am. Day started out overcast, now getting a tad sunnier. Thing is, there is pollen galore. I have been advised from various, more experienced window washers to NOT wash my windows today. Which likely means another two weeks until it happens.

What a strange June. I've never seen such pollen so late.

Instead, I will likely wash the floor of my front porch. A small porch, a big chore. Pollen will still get to it, but at least the winter's dirt will be washed off.

Then it's likely back to textbook work so I can go away for the long weekend on Thursday.

Helen: I heard that Prince went back to Prince. Who could pronounce that other thing? I believe he was called Prince when he recently performed at the Superbowl.

Preston: Well, SOME of the windows would have been washed, for sure. I'll comfort myself by saying not all.

Helen: Maybe it is dark because the windows are dirty. But I don't notice a sudden blindingness of my surroundings after this chore. After Z, I was thinking of heading backward once through.

D: Thanks for the link. I'll have to play Van this time around, whenever this time around actually gets here.

CW: Hi!!!!

Bridgett said...

This is wonderful.