Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

June 07, 2005

Aren't you a little cold?

Thanks to my older son, my wife and I have discovered Craig's List, a website that has mostly free classifieds. (The Washington, D.C., listings are here.) We used it to offer up a large kids' playhouse and sandbox for free and got 30 or more responses within an hour. We're using it now to help find a summer job for my daughter.

And there are always interesting listings. Just today, my wife e-mailed me an anonymous listing seeking a nude house cleaner. (You read that right.) The key part of the ad was this:

Nude House Cleaner

Reply to: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 2005-06-06, 10:23PM

I am looking for a nice lady to clean my apartment in the nude. If you are interested please reply to this. I will play for good money for your time.
I forwarded the ad to a colleague, who responded, "Thanks for contacting me about this. I don't hire minors." What a comic!

I remember reading a book called Municipal Bondage by Henry Alford, a collection of essays about his experiences doing unusual jobs or trying out unusual things. In one essay, he writes about his experiment in hiring a nude housecleaning service.
HYPOTHESIS: Possessed as I am of an endless fascination with the classified sections of small newspapers, I often come across ads placed by nude housecleaning services. Such a profession, it has always seemed, must be slightly . . . imperiling.
So he conducts his experiment by hiring a man and a woman on separate occasions and asking them to do not only traditional cleaning tasks but also a few chores that "might prove especially challenging to those in nature's garb," such as cleaning his blinds-less windows that looked out on a busy residential street (the man said, "I don't mind. I mean, hey -- you live here," but the woman declined), carrying newspapers ("POTENTIAL OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD: Bodily besmirchment") and firewood ("POTENTIAL OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD: Splinters") , and -- my personal favorite -- unclogging a bathtub drain with an industrial-strength drain opener containing sulfuric acid.

Along the way, Alford assures us that the housecleaners had no desire to render him "pants-less." "'The visual is okay,' one of them explained to me, 'but it's a hands-off policy.'" And at the end, Alford is persuaded that his doubts about the service are unwarranted.

That said, this is no summer job for my daughter.