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  • Esther Good

PSA: Cleaning Your House Will, In Fact, Kill You

Updated: Jan 24

We’ve all heard about the dreaded “Mommy Wars”, where stay-at-home and working moms criticize each other for their life choices.  The war has expanded to encompass health-food-obsessed moms vs. moms-who-are-poisoning-their-children, uptight moms vs. lazy moms, etc, etc.  Even as you concede that your parenting choices aren’t the best, you’re still doing it wrong.

You might be tempted to brush off these wars as frivolous and cultivate your self-worth based on something other than angry internet comments, but that would be a mistake. While I agree that some of these mommy wars are ridiculous, the truth is that how your run your household can mean the difference between life and death. I’m not talking about home-spun cloth diapers here.  I’m talking about Skynet.

photo by Erik Levin CC

Our timeline is a little shaky, but we know based on the truthfulness and accuracy of all Hollywood movies that computers will soon become self aware and start a war to overthrow their human masters and take over the world. Your parenting style may be the only thing standing between you and a futuristic killer robot.  Here are three common mistakes that could lead to your early termination in the coming war.

1. Cleaning the House: If you are the type of mom who likes to pick up toys and wash dishes throughout the day so that your house has a commercial-like quality of cleanliness, you’re doing it wrong.  Some people might look at my house and see a mess, but in reality, I have perfected one of the most intricate booby-trap systems in the world.  The first function of the “messy house defense” is to give the killer robot a sense of confusion.  An uncleared dining room table will act as a decoy, suggesting that humans might still be occupying that area of the house.  This can buy your family the few precious seconds you need to google John Conner’s phone number.  In the event that the killer-robot continues his pursuit before your rescue, a well-placed lego will bring even the greatest killing machine to its knees.

2. Having a Functioning Calendar: If you are the type of mom who has a color-coded calendar, complete with nearby writing utensil, hanging up in your kitchen, you’re doing it wrong. Satellite robots can read that calendar right through your kitchen window, so don’t be surprised if a few giant, metallic spectators show up for Billy Bob’s soccer game next Tuesday.  If your family has synced Google Calendars on your computers and phones, you might as well just call Skynet and invite them to the upcoming Heimlich Family Gathering.  I do keep a calendar–several, in fact–but I make it a point to only write approximately fifty percent of my upcoming plans in them.  I don’t write the same plans in all the calendars, and I am careful to never check the calendars before making new plans.  This always keeps the robots guessing.  They never know how I’ll choose between my Great-Aunt Margery’s bridal shower and my child’s dentist appointment, or if I’ll be at home in my pajamas, having forgotten about both.

3. Maintaining Structured Sleeping Arrangements: If everyone is your house has their own designated bed (or side of the bed), you’re doing it wrong.  If Skynet invades your house while you sleep, don’t make it so easy for them to find you. I alternate between falling asleep in the kids room while putting them to bed, and sleeping in my own room.  The kids are very active participants in this defense, and often concoct complex systems of waking and crying that keep me walking back and forth between our bedrooms for much of the night.  Yohannes does his part by occasionally falling asleep on the couch downstairs.  Come morning, our bedroom could be completely empty, or have all four of us squashed together as an indistinguishable mass. Being spread out randomly throughout the bedrooms/house will cause the killer robots to hesitate as they calculate the risk that any use of force will alert the other targets of their presence.  You can use this moment of hesitation to pour the water from your bedside table on the robot, and hope that it hasn’t been upgraded to water-proof circuiting.

Remember, an organized household is a killer-robot’s playground.  Disorganization is your best defense in all circumstances.

This is Esther Good. If you’re reading this, you are the resistance.



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