Whisky and the art of cleaning closets

By Laura Grimes

Lonely Girl by Julie LondonDear Mr. Scatter,

I see you have delayed your return to the Scatter front for another day. Be assured that this does not reflect poorly on your dedication as a loving father and husband, though I did have to clean out the little black skillet again, contrary to what it says on our marriage contract.

Everything is fine here. Really. Take as much time as you need.

The Large Smelly Boys have called a truce at the dining table, but only because they know that the new Lego catalog will be mine if they don’t.

We are out of leftover pizza.

The Large LSB got a buzz cut. I have figured out the trick to the haircut enticement. It’s called a 20 dollar bill. The Large LSB takes the bill, gets a haircut, leaves a $2 tip and keeps the rest. He has learned that a buzz cut is the cheapest cut and therefore he gets to keep more.

Strangely, however, one sideburn is now fuzzy and one is not-so-fuzzy. He has lopsided cheeks. When I pointed this out to him, he surprisingly demonstrated a rare moment of affection. He told me to kiss his cheek.

He is at the Oregon State Fair today, which explains his zeal for cleaning up the clothes in the middle of his floor this morning. He even gave the cats fresh water and brushed his teeth. It was a proud parent moment. I wish you could have been there.

We are out of ice cream.

I figured out the coffee pot contraption, even without directions. The upside is that I beat you to tossing out the used grounds — two days in a row now.

The Small LSB started typing his wish list, even though his birthday is almost two months away. I can recite from memory all the coveted items in the new Lego catalog. Also, he has been trolling on the interwebs … for trolls. He tells me that troll wives often use their noses to stir the cooking pot when they make soup or porridge. I told him that part is made up.

We are out of Rolaids.

The first day of school this year falls on Tuesday, which is in 5 days, 4 hours, yadda yadda, but I’m not counting.

The Small LSB and I went shopping today. I have already apologized to the store management for the blood-curdling scream in the school-supply aisle. Also, I did not mean to kneecap the lady who parked her cart in front of the row of folders.

It is not my fault if stores stock an improbable number of folders that are pink and purple.

It is not my fault if stores stock an improbable number of folders that have butterflies and flowers.

I see from the contents of your recent missive that you are not aware of our strict procedural policy for cleaning out closets. This is a celebratory event on the first day of school, otherwise known as The Mites Aren’t Around to Know You’re Tossing the Lego Catalogs From a Decade Ago.

Herewith is the strict procedural policy for cleaning out closets (on the first day of school). Please save this and post it in a highly visible area.

Closet Cleaning (on the first day of school)

  1. Drop off kids at school.
  2. Drive to the liquor store.
  3. Buy a new bottle of Maker’s Mark.*
  4. Drive home.
  5. Open closet.
  6. Gather trash bags, recycling bins and cardboard boxes, preferably ones that refrigerators came in.
  7. Unscrew new bottle of Maker’s Mark.
  8. Throw away cap.
  9. Empty contents of closet and sort into appropriate bin.
  10. Do not stop until new bottle of Maker’s Mark is empty.
  11. Move on to other closets, garages and the ragged underwear drawer of mates as necessary.**


* Be informed that this is not a safe procedural policy to follow if you are going to the office or picking up children after school. Ordering pizza for home delivery is highly recommended. Ordering the pizza early in the morning is also highly recommended.

** It is advisable to either buy new underwear first or take your chances that it will be taken as a sexy message. Management does not offer an opinion on which route is the right course of action.

Air kiss,
Mrs. Scatter


Find a previous letter to Mr. Scatter here.