The Squeegee Man

Housework has held no appeal for me ever since I learned that you can't do it sitting down. There is, however, one exception. In our household, I am the squeegee man.

This unique distinction came about when my wife and I bought a new home. We had lived for years in a Victorian townhouse where the rooms for living, dining and sleeping were large but the bathrooms were tiny as closets and the closets were less than hanger deep.

From there we moved into an old farmhouse where charm far outweighed convenience. The original owners must have bathed in the creek because there was barely room to turn around in the shower without bruising one's behind.

The new home was almost like entering a new century. The living room and bedrooms seemed the size of the barn at our former place in the country. They could accommodate two or more of the baths we had been accustomed to using. The bathrooms could easily contain one of the old closets and still have room to spare. And the master bedroom closet could serve as a guest room for visiting children.

The master bath is a jewel of sparkling beauty, with twin lavatories and a large oval tub. The star attraction is a huge glass-enclosed shower. Not entirely, mind you. Two walls are tiled. But one side is floor-to-ceiling glass with a glass door, and the remaining enclosure is a picture window overlooking the tub. Modesty doesn't have a chance.

It's a law of physics or a maxim of Heloise that water streaks glass. Therefore, the glass walls must be addressed after each use. The tool for this task is a squeegee.

For the uninitiated, a squeegee consists of a thin rubber blade mounted in a holder with a handle. The secret for using the tool successfully lies in the technique. I take some pride in saying that I have developed a technique that is flawless. I regret that my morals dictate that I not offer a public demonstration. A description will have to suffice.

I begin on the short side, facing the tub, to limber up in preparation for the larger challenge. Starting at the top of the glass I perform a smooth, unwavering downward stroke, forcing the water clinging to the glass to disappear. This maneuver is repeated until the smaller area is sparkling clean.

Turning to the full size wall, I follow the same procedure, except that it requires drawing the squeegee the full length, from top to bottom. This naturally requires bending from the waist, and thus I get my morning exercise.

I have noticed of late that I'm having to repeat my strokes to catch all the drops on the glass. And while this additional bending no doubt is beneficial to my body, it also adds extra time before I'm able to dress and get on with the day.

I do believe I need to invest in a new squeegee.