A deal with the Devil

Saint Augustine and the devil—according to other sources: Saint Wolfgang and the devil. (Painting by: Michael Pacher; Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Well, maybe not THE Devil, and I haven’t quite sold my soul, but it is painful nonetheless. “The Devil” (a.k.a Willie) made a deal with me that if he found somebody to fix my computer for me, and restored it to my desk before he went away on a trip, I’d spring clean (or as I’m in the Southern Hemisphere, “Autumn clean”) the house. In other words I’ll be figuratively, if not literally, wearing the “A clean house is a sign of a broken computer” t-shirt proudly! I’ll have to go way beyond the “lick and a promise”* type cleaning I mostly do.

[*One of my mother’s favourite phrases – which gives you an idea of where I get my ideas on house cleaning from! See origin of phrase here.]

For those of you who have only recently started following this blog, let me explain. Willie is a “neat freak” and I’m well . . . not! Although I like reasonably clean and tidy kitchen and bathroom areas, I’m not too fazed by dust (we live in Africa, there’s lots of dust here!). Or untidiness. Although I (to promote the cause of marital harmony) try to keep the living areas fairly tidy, certain rooms in the house (my office being the main one) are quite frankly, a mess. My desk, for example, has a lot of objects on it that have no bearing on the functioning of an office. Looking around me (as I sit at my desk) I can see medication (mine and the dog’s), hairbrushes, various cosmetics, a mirror, a packet of plasters (I’m accident-prone and like to be ready for an emergency!). Reference books I’ve been consulting are piled in one corner. The last month’s mail and correspondence and receipts are “filed” in a piles on top of the printer and next to the monitor. There are lots of little pieces of paper with notes on them. None of these objects are neatly positioned – it’s as if a mini tornado went through my office and dropped all the items haphazardly in its path.

So I do agree with Willie, something does need to be done. By me. I better stop procrastinating and get started . . .

[Wikipedia has a description of where the concept of “a deal with the Devil” or “Faustian bargain” comes from here.]

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Categories: Random


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)


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19 Comments on “A deal with the Devil”

  1. GeoRoMancer
    April 14, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Ummm, did you use one of my fave terms “martial bliss” on purpose? Or was it just a typo of “marital bliss”?
    Apropos neatness: did you know that there is a term in logistics called “chaotic storage”, in which large amounts of goods are stored and retrieved automatically by computer. The system decides “ad hoc” where incoming goods are stored – and it’s usually the closest and most suitable place, i.e. not ordered alphabetically or numerically.
    So you are really doing state-of-the-art logistics!

    • April 14, 2011 at 10:48 am #

      Ah, you’re still reading my blog! Before I saw this comment I’d actually changed “marital bliss” to “marital harmony”, because I think marital bliss might take a bit more to achieve than just keeping the house clean and tidy. Did I use one of your favourite terms on purpose? Not consciously, but you may have said it often enough for me to remember it.

      State-of-the-art logistics? Thank you for that! I certainly believe in “chaotic storage”.

    • April 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      Using “martial” instead of “marital” was just a typo.

  2. April 14, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I like the eyes on Satan’s butt…. I’ve heard of eyes in the back of the head…. butt not this.

    • April 14, 2011 at 11:32 am #

      LOL It is a rather alarming depiction of Satan. And he’s GREEN – looks more like a strange insect.

  3. April 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    your desk sounds like the table I use for that purpose!!!

  4. April 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Man, this sounds so familiar… I totally could’ve written the same blog-post, Lisa. 😀

    Happy Autumn-Cleaning!!

    • April 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      I’m so glad I’ve got company in this regard! Is Richard like Willie as well?

      Thanks, I’ve made a start on the cleaning. Am sneezing a lot because of the dust! 😉

  5. Estie
    April 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Good luck with the cleaning! This ia a very funny story. It also shows how different twins can be. I am more like you than like Willie. Or is it a man/ woman thing?

    • April 15, 2011 at 4:06 am #

      I’ve come across identical twins who have very different personalities, so it’s probably not related to sex, but just individual personality type. What is interesting though, is that I’ve heard several women say that their male partners think they should step away from their computers and do something more “useful” i.e. clean the house, do the laundry, cook dinner. It’s definitely got to be a man who thought up that t-shirt slogan! 😉

  6. April 15, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    Oh, my friend, needless to say, I can SOOOOOOOOO relate! Bless you and your lovely mess! You have my GREATEST empathy– I feel I should send you a hug or some token of my kindred-spiritedness. (Is that a word?)! Hang in there, Lisa!

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      Good thing you and I don’t live in the same house – imagine what a mess it would be then! 🙂

  7. April 15, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    I’m like you, Africa.
    I have notes, books, creams, earrings, journals all over the house…
    Hubby goes insane,
    Loved the title of your blog 🙂 xx

  8. April 17, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Good luck with the spring cleaning (and the computer!). I use the same filing system you do.

    • April 17, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      Thanks, the computer has been restored to health; the cleaning continues . . . Why am I not surprised that you use the “chaotic storage” method of filing?! 😉

  9. April 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I’m with you, I like a clean bathroom and kitchen, but a bit of untidiness is not a bother. My husband is also neat, expecially if somebody else does the neatening. I would rather do almost anything else rather than housework.

    • April 18, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      I think most people hate housework. I listen to podcasts on my iPod while I’m busy, so at least my mind is occupied with something more intellectually stimulating.

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