I woke up one recent Saturday morning ready to clean.
That's about as common as me waking up ready to dance.
Most Saturday mornings, I wake up ready for more sleep. But for some reason I still can't fathom - possibly brain damage - I wanted to clean up that particular Saturday morning.
My wife and family were out of town. For the first time in seemingly forever, I had the house to myself. History shows my M.O. on such occasions is that I live like a complete slob until 22 minutes before my wife is scheduled to be home. Then I feverishly straighten up the massive mess I've made, finishing in a fury and jumping on the couch as she walks in, nonchalantly watching television with sweat beading on my forehead.
But Saturday, my mood was different. I vacuumed. I washed clothes. I painted the trim around the windows that I was supposed to have completed in 1999. I washed windows. I scrubbed toilets. I did some electrical work (What I'm I doing?! I don't know anything about electricity!) I was a man possessed - although at one point, while washing dishes, I was wearing an apron, which places my manhood in serious doubt.
I cleaned and straightened and organized and rearranged from sun-up until sundown, only electrocuting myself twice. I watched some football games in the clean comfort of my couch with nary a spilled drink stain or empty Fritos bag in sight.
The next morning, I awoke to the horror of what I had done.
It was then that I realized that in my cleaning fervor, I had forgotten one of the many life lessons taught to me by "The Andy Griffith Show" - you can clean too much.
In one episode, Aunt Bee goes out of town and right before she comes home, Andy and Opie have the house spotless. But then Andy realizes that if everything is perfect, Aunt Bee will be disappointed, because she wants to feel needed and believes that Andy and Opie can't do without her. So, moments before Aunt Bee walks in, Andy and Opie have to mess up what they've cleaned up.
And while I don't think my wife would be upset if the house was spotless, I don't want to set a dangerous precedent - her expecting this every time she leaves for a couple of hours.
So I went to dirtying.
It wasn't hard. In fact, it was a lot of fun. I made some popcorn, stuffing as much as I could in my mouth - letting whatever I couldn't fit in my mouth fall on the floor as I walked around the house in boots that I had just traipsed through a mud puddle with. I read three Sunday newspapers and left parts of them strewn throughout the house. I found a wet, smelly dog on the street and wrestled with him on the living room rug.
I didn't go back and unwash the windows or scrape off the paint. No, you have to find a happy medium - clean up just enough to show an effort, but not so much that there is no room for improvement.
Gentlemen, remember your lessons from Andy - before you do something foolish like clean up.
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News.