Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To my children: Just pick up the blanket

I was down in the basement a few minutes ago, and I was disheartened to find that one of you has, yet again, left a blanket on the floor.

You know the blanket I'm talking about. It's the one that has a green and blue plaid design on one side and white fleece on the other. I won it in a work raffle, I think, 15 or 20 years ago.

At least three times a week, I will come downstairs and find this blanket in a heap on the floor. And I know how it happens: One of you wraps it around yourself as you sit on the couch and watch TV (which I totally understand, given that it's a perpetual 27 degrees down there).

Then, when you're finished watching TV, you simply fling the blanket onto the floor, get off the couch, and go upstairs to attend to other things.

And there sits the blanket, which you got out of the storage cabinet in the entertainment center.

My plea to you is simple: Pick up the blanket.

It's not hard. When you're finished using the blanket, just fold it up and put it back where it belongs in the cabinet.

Heck, you don't even have to fold it if you don't want to. You can just crumple it into a big ball and throw it in there. But the important thing is that you pick it up and put it away.

Got that? Just pick it up and put it away. I've asked you to do this before and you have repeatedly failed to comply. All you have to do is pick it up and put it away. That's it. That's all I ask.

If I go around and ask who left the blanket out on the floor, chances are that all five of you will say it wasn't you. And since I know it wasn't me, and I'm 99.9% sure it wasn't your mother, then one of you either has a very bad memory or is outright lying.

Speaking of your mother, you need to think about her when you leave the blanket on the basement floor. She spends her days cleaning up messes you created, and she is now at her absolute limit. If you leave the blanket on the basement floor again and fail to pick it up and put it away (which, you'll recall, are the simple instructions I gave you earlier), she may snap.

I'm not kidding. She may lose it. And by "lose it," I don't mean that she might yell at you or anything. I mean she may literally murder one of you.

Again, you think I'm joking. I'm not. If she walks down into that basement and finds the blanket on the floor one more time, just one more time, I think it will be enough to push her over the edge. It won't surprise me in the least if she grabs a screwdriver and plunges it into one of your skulls.

I'm not condoning this behavior, mind you, but I'm also extremely sympathetic to her frustration. And when she goes on trial for this crime, I promise I'll be testifying on her behalf.

Because there's not much you're required to do here. This is maybe a 12-second job. When you're finished using the blanket, you just need to put it back into the cabinet. Don't leave it on the floor. Pick it up, then put it away. The folding part, as I mentioned before, is completely optional. Just put the blanket away.

I'm not home as often as your mother, seeing as I spend my days off working so as to earn enough money to buy products for you to leave on the floor. You don't only do this with the blanket. You leave everything from cups and plates to toys and chip bags on the floor. Where did we go wrong with you?

Seriously, at what point did we convey the idea that using something, then leaving it on the floor and walking away is OK? When was that even implied? Because it's not acceptable. Not in the least. Pick up the blanket. After you use it, pick it up and put it away. OK?

The temptation, of course, is to just put the blanket away myself when I see it. But all this does is perpetuate the problem. You'll just keep doing it unless we point it out to you and make you go back downstairs to put it away. Experience suggests you'll keep on doing it even then.

Which I don't understand, because I fail to see any complicating factors here that would prevent you from performing this small task for us. I will break it down into three steps, in case that helps:

Step 1: Pick the blanket up off the floor
Step 2: Fold the blanket (AGAIN, OPTIONAL)
Step 3: Put the blanket into the cabinet in the lower left corner of the entertainment center

Aaaaaaand, you're done. Finished. Nothing more to see or do here. Just put away the blanket. Please, when you're finished with it, just put away the blanket.

Put away the blanket.


  1. Good Lord, man! Someone has turned into quite the taskmaster in his old age, eh?

    That being said, I believe it to be most apropos at this juncture, to quote the great 20th century scholar, Christopher Tamer, after reading this piece:

    "Pick it up yourself, Snap, snap boy!!!!"