|She began calling herself Mary Poppins!|
The phone was ringing off it’s hook. A girls voice could be heard from up stairs. A man came running and picked it up. “Yes this is he. Who? Etta? No? Oh, she gave you that name? No, no, Mary Poppins does not work here anymore.” As he hung up he mumbled to himself, “We had to put her in the home. Now we have to pick up after ourselves!”
We had begun calling it The Hotel because they lived like guests. She really was a very competent woman but we said she had to work just to keep her sanity. She told us she had thought of hiring a maid but nothing ever came of it. The people she lived with would do just enough to deter her from actually looking for her very own Mary Poppins.
We heard all about what was going on in her mind so we knew she worried about the cost. After all, there were really not enough magic maids to get the job done. A quick survey left her with a count of at least 3 housekeeping fairy maids…an upstairs fairy to make beds, pick up dirty laundry, return food containers to the kitchen, dump garbage and clean toilets, sink and showers. A truly magic fairy would be needed to clean up after the tall big ones. There was some question as to whether a floor actually existed in their rooms. There was a hamster cage that the girl renter cleaned but the litter left behind needed to be tended to. The upstairs fairy maid was going to be hard to find.
A downstairs fairy would pick up the common rooms, vacuum up after the children, three cats and an unruly dog. This maid would require an employee of her own to cook fresh meals and clear away the clutter in the kitchen, refrigerator and pantry. They would have to draw straws for the computer desk and dumping ground by the front door/living room. One of these three fairies would need to do some supervision of the children.
Yes, there was no doubt, 3 or 5 fairy maids would be require for inside the house.
She had not even thought about the garage or the lawn work. The lawn was looking like a wheat field and the youngest renter said it was beautiful. The garage was dangerous in so many ways a fairy might refuse to enter through the door. She was very diligent about recycling and all the cans, bottles and milk cartons were tossed casually through the door toward the bins. Another fairy would be required to sort and classify those items. She didn’t mention the laundry room so we were very quiet. She was already up to the magic number of 3 or 7. We thought an organizer fairy would need to be hired but that would bring the count to 8 or even 9. “Keep out of it,” we whispered to each other.
She told us she had begun dreaming of fairies…a kitchen fairy, a bathroom fairy, an ironing fairy, and a washing fairy, a lawn fairy, a garage fairy, a desk fairy…. She may have even prayed a little bit…we weren’t sure. The thing was, one day she snapped and began dressing in a white blouse with a tiny red tie and a big brimmed hat tied down with a scarf. They had to take her away. It was very sad.
The house finally burned. “Spontaneous combustion,” the investigator said. How the her people survived was a mystery to us all. The popular conclusion was that they had gone to live with another Mary Poppins. As you know there are plenty of them to go around.
We did hear from her later. It seems that when she had recovered, they all came to bring her back. We were told the reunion was very emotional. She sat down and one of the children actually brought her a cup of tea. (The tea was an unsubstantiated rumor. We were doubtful.) We could picture her clucking as she looked around the room and beginning to picking up the dirty dishes and wiping counters.
“What’s for dinner?” one would have said, “Can we have pizza?” When we talked to her we were surprised that she had no memory of fairy maids or recycling bins. We think she was given electric shock or locked in the freezer. We all knew that institutions could do that…someone told us. At any rate she was never the same.
The insurance company replaced the house.
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