Taking up the Carpet

Program note: If you're looking to read a synopsis of "Das Rheingold" from Wagner's "Ring" please see my earlier blog entry. If you're looking to hear about how I took up the carpeting at my house, read on. (If you're looking for breakfast, get it yourself!)

Wall-to-wall carpeting. It gets dirty. It needs to be vacuumed constantly. It gathers dog hairs, and food crumbs, and dirt from outside, and pine needles, and micro-organisms. It needs to come up! Thus was the decision for the one bedroom in our house with carpeting. And with Sunday wide open -- the Patriots game was not until evening (don't get me started on that game!) -- this seemed the perfect project for the day. Of course, I went about it the lazy way. Instead of moving all the furniture out, which would have meant breaking down the bed, emptying drawers, etc, I decided to cut around the furniture, which probably added about four hours to the job ... in fact, it's still not entirely done and I plan on pulling up the rest today (maybe).

Fortunately, I found that under the rug was a perfectly good hardwood floor (as the realtor had noted on the listing sheet when we bought the house last year). That's a good thing. Yup, a mighty good thing. Hmmm? Huh? What? Oh ... so, getting 'round to the point, as I was taking up the carpet I was reminded of the Marx Brothers' movie Duck Soup and of the scene when Groucho, playing Freedonia President Rufus T. Firefly, is addressing his cabinet. He asks his cabinet ministers if they have any new business to discuss. One minister replies: "We need to take up the tax." Groucho responds: "I say we take up the carpet." The cabinet minister says again: "I still insist we take up the tax." Groucho then says: "He's right ... you've gotta take up the tacks before you can take up the carpet!" (If you don't get it, try saying it aloud.)

Duck Soup is the greatest parody ever made ... and it was made back in 1933, the year Hitler came to power, which makes it even that much more special. At the library we have a five-DVD set of Marx Brothers movies -- Duck Soup, Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers, Coconuts ... I can't remember the fifth movie ... they're the five that included Zeppo ... if you can remember the fifth Zeppo movie send a comment. Anyway, stop by the DPL for this great collection, or order it through your local library.

I'll leave you with one more Duck Soup quote. Here, Firefly (Groucho) is talking with Mrs. Teasdale, whom he is attempting to woo (because she's rich):

Firefly: "Not that I care, but where is your husband?"

Mrs. Teasdale: "Why, he's dead."

Firefly: "I bet he's just using that as an excuse."

Mrs. Teasdale: "I was with him to the end."

Firefly: "No wonder he passed away."

Mrs. Teasdale: " I held him in my arms and kissed him."

Firefly: "Oh, I see, then it was murder!"

Jack Sheedy

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