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Mom always did laundry on Saturday. So today she would be poking around in my room to check for soiled clothing and to put away fresh ones. I was in huge trouble if she smelled what I had smelled.
I opened my cupboard and a mound of clothes cascaded down like a waterfall.
‘Damn! I should have cleaned this out earlier as Mom said.’
Muttering, I fished in the fallen heap for the dress that I wanted, picked the rest and stuffed them back in, as best I could.
‘Later.’ I thought, as usual procrastinating.
I was about to shut the door when…
‘Ugh! What’s that smell?’ I wrinkled my nose.
I sniffed my armpits. Disgusting, I know. But, I am a teenager. I am messy, unkempt and disorganized. However, I am pretty fastidious about personal hygiene.
‘Sniff.’ Nope, it was not my armpits. ‘What then?’
Whatever it was, it smelled pretty rancid. Warily I contemplated the bursting seams of my cupboard.
‘In there? God, I hope not.’ I thought, ‘Mom’s going to kill me if it’s something decaying in there.’
Bemoaning at the injustice of this happening to me right when I had to get ready to attend a party, I looked at my cupboard. I knew I had to clean it. Mom always did laundry on Saturday. So today she would be poking around in my room to check for soiled clothing and to put away fresh ones. I was in huge trouble if she smelled what I had smelled.
You see Mom’s pretty big on – ‘Time and tide wait for no man’ and ‘Tomorrow never comes’ and all that crap; while my philosophy is pretty banal – why do something today when you can put it off till tomorrow.
‘Shucks! Now I understand why Mom’s always on my case to act now.’ I despaired, chewing on my lower lip.
‘Well, I better get on to it then. No use dilly-dallying.’ I concluded unhappily. A mammoth chore waited.
You see, when enraged, Mom puts even our ferocious German- Shepherd to shame. So I called my friend, shelved the plans for the evening, and started sorting out my stuff. I admit, once the cupboard was arranged, it looked right out of a catalog. I even found a few sets of clothing that I hadn’t seen for ages. Amazing…right?
‘Sniff…sniff.’ I sniffed again.
Damn! The malodor was still there. Belatedly I realized that it was not emanating from my cupboard.
‘Where then?’ I pondered stumped. My messy room looked like a tornado had ripped out its innards.
‘Oh darn! I guess I’m going to have to clean the whole thing out.’ I concluded mournfully. ‘The smell has got to be coming from somewhere.’
Resignedly I set upon the task. It took a good two hours of dusting, arranging and cleaning until I found the offending and rotting potato under my bed.
“Ah! There you are,’ I thought triumphantly, throwing it away.
Finally, my room was pristine. I realized that Mom was right. Procrastinating never helps. It’s always better to tackle things head on and act in the present.
Outside the room, Mom smirked slyly. Her ingenious plan had taught her daughter a lesson – ‘act because the time is now’.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: shutterstock
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