Well today came and she didn't wash her clothes. She flies around the house making a new-within-dress-code-gym-outfit and stuffs it in her bag. And promptly leaves it in the foyer by the front door. No clothes. Do I take them to school? I am driving past it later. I could be nice. But I won't. She needs to learn there are consequences for forgetting things. Let the gym teacher deal.
She comes home after school and sees her gym bag on her kitchen chair. I asked, casually, and all cool-mom like, so, how was gym? Did you get in trouble for not having your clothes? Nope. Mrs. G lent me clothes. Groan. So another set of school clothes I have to wash and return (we are always getting “loaner clothes” from the nurse for her younger sisters.) Nope. She went into Mrs. G's office, picked clothes out of a box of other assorted clothes and returned them to said box after class. I asked her what she thinks happens to those clothes. Are they ever washed? Do they look new? A dawning look of horror creeps across her face.
Let's just say her shower was 15 minutes longer than usual. Today's poem is in honor of the horror that is her:
"SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT WOULD NOT TAKE THE GARBAGE OUT"
- Shel Silverstein, 1974
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out!
She'd scour the pots and scrape the pans,
Candy the yams and spice the hams,
And though her daddy would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceilings:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That it finally touched the sky.
And all the neighbors moved away,
And none of her friends would come to play.
And finally Sarah Cynthia Stout said, "OK, I'll take the garbage out!"
But then, of course, it was too late. . .
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate.
And there, in the garbage she did hate,
Poor Sarah met an awful fate,
That I cannot now relate
Because the hour is much too late.
But children, remember Sarah Stout
And always take the garbage out!