Online Writing Lab

Roane State Community College

Diller's Dilemma

by Joyce Goodman

Student Sample: Descriptive

As far as I am concerned, the unpardonable sin is someone dropping by our house before noon on Saturdays.

Since I go to school and work too, Saturday is the only day of the week on which I can be lazy and sleep late. Therefore, I am late getting my housework done. By Saturday, my house is completely in ruins; anyone who is blessed with a six-year-old boy can understand what I am talking about. As an example, it is not uncommon to walk into the living room and find an old ragged sheet or quilt stretched across a couple of chairs—this serves as his tent. This is the exact time some people decide to come by to see us. As the visitors come in, I hurriedly snatch the tent down, but immediately wish that I hadn't for under it are Chewbacca, Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker, C3PO. And R2D2. Trying nonchalantly to push these Star Wars creatures aside with my bare foot, I suddenly stop. My foot has come in contact with some unknown substance—it is oozing up between my toes. I look down and silently blaspheme the makers of Green Slime. As I gently remove my foot from this green wad, some of it continues to cling between my toes. Pretending that it doesn't bother me, I lead our guests into the dining room, hoping it will be more presentable. Much to my dismay, it does not look any better, for there, on the table, are the remains of my daughter's midnight snack. The remains include a black banana peeling that looks like a relic from The Dark Ages; an empty glass with a dried milk ring; two stale blueberry pop-ups; and a pile of orange-red carrot peelings. My daughter is a border-line vegetarian, so the latter does not surprise me.

Having removed the residue from the table and seated our early birds, I am brought to the second reasons why I dislike having company on Saturday mornings. Remembering my in-bred Southern manners, I ask if I can get our guests something to eat or drink—when it hits me like a two-by-four—I have nothing to offer. This is grocery shopping day. I scrounge around the kitchen and find a piece of molder cheese and a box of stale Ritz Crackers. As I humbly set this before my guests, I am wondering if they like grape Kool-Aid. I fix a pitcherfull—all the while limping along and hating the slime that ha "set up," like concrete, between my toes. Finally, I sit down with my friends and try to start a conversation, wondering why they are staring at me.

As their gawking continues, I take a quick inventory. No wonder they are staring at me—I would finish in first place in a Phyllis Diller look-alike contest. A slow red begins creeping up my neck as I realize that I'm still in my gown and housecoat, hair in disarray, no makeup, and green slime between my toes. Yet, I have no alternatives but to sit and endure, because my children are still asleep, and my husband left early to make hospital rounds (or was it to get away from home?). My company doesn't stay long—they have already seen enough. I smile and say, "y'all come back now, hear?"

Since the morning is already ruined, I think I'll finish up the cheese and crackers, drink another glass of Kool-Aid, leave the slime between my toes, and go back to bed.

Instructor: Howard