The theology of good old-fashioned dirt |

The theology of good old-fashioned dirt

My mom used to always say that cleanliness is next to Godliness. I say perfection is next to impossible. Thank God for dirt or we’d all be going to Heaven a lot sooner.

Regular sanitary negligence in my household is the main reason I haven’t been sick in years and I am as healthy as an ox. See all the black gunk in the track of my sliding glass doors? Those are the pearly gates baby. Dirty or clean, I have a free pass.

I try not to be too clean. That’s what keeps my immune system so strong ” good old-fashion dirt. Don’t get me wrong. I do not like a filthy house. I just appreciate the benefits of germs. I vacuum every spring. I do a major cleaning of the whole place a couple times a year. The rest of the time I just wipe things off with a paper towel when I get tired of seeing brown where I am pretty sure I am supposed to see white.

Thank God for paper towels. They are much cheaper than a maid. Avoid maids. They are the devil in disguise.

I take the garbage out pretty regularly, although I am afraid that by doing so my home might be too clean and I could get cancer. So to be safe I ignore it for as long as possible. I don’t worry too much about cleaning the inside of the garbage pail, which seems to get nice and rancid no matter how good I am at keeping a plastic bag in it. I relish the repugnant task of finally cleaning it, knowing that the fumes will add years to my life.

Have you seen the advertisement on TV for the Ionic Breeze air filter by Sharper Image? It says that the air inside your home is 5 percent more polluted than the air outside. Now if that isn’t a scare tactic to sell a product I don’t know what is, especially if you live in Los Angeles.

I have a built in ionic breeze air filter. It’s called nose hairs. They work better than any man-made invention and are extremely quiet, well, most of the time. They could do a better job of keeping out the pine pollen though. Sometimes I feel like I have a sugar pine growing in my nostrils.

Right now I am staring at a little ledge above the baseboard of the wall under my desk. It should be off white like the rest of the wall, but is actually black, or at least a very dark grey. I could probably clean it in less than 30 seconds but I would have to move my chair, bend over and crawl under the desk. Besides, That could be the very part of the room that is keeping me from getting bird flu. Laziness and dirt is great health insurance.

Fortunately, hidden from view on the other side of the refrigerator, is my stove top. It is a mini, arid wasteland of petrified rice, potatoes, pancake batter and some unknown black substance that looks like it should be growing on a tree or a rock.

That stove top may be the only thing keeping me from certain death. I cleaned it the other day and got a little nauseous, proving my theory that cleanliness is unhealthy.

The Venetian blinds on my windows are pretty much beyond cleaning. It would be easier just to replace them, and the heater vents, oh my. Excuse me, I think I’m going to sneeze. Ahhh, that sure felt good. But why risk it? Dust is such a beautiful, mysterious thing, one of the many mystical wonders of the world. It seems to come from nowhere and ends up everywhere. It’s like the paste that holds my whole world together. Why dust? It just gets dusty again. It’s nature’s way of keeping us strong and healthy.

Cleanliness is a danger to society. Parental obsession with cleanliness is actually making our children sicker. It’s true. My siblings and I were lucky. We didn’t listen to mom. We used to cover ourselves with mud at every opportunity.

Praise the Lord. Get dirty.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived on the North Shore of Tahoe for 25 years.

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