My parents had a cleaning lady when we were young, and my wife and I have used cleaning ladies for probably 30 years, so we have extensive experience with their destruction of art treasures and archeological finds. This mission is drilled into them regardless of nationality, as past cleaning ladies aka vandals came from Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, Russia, Poland, and Brazil.
What do these indispensable matrons of cleanliness do to our treasures?
- My parents had good friends from Britain who were archeologists and gave us two oil lamps from the holy land. Evidently, these are commonly found and they were about 2000 years old. After surviving years in the ground, our cleaning lady smashed both of them.
- Canada is famous for Eskimo soapstone carvings, and our family has quite a few of them. Any of these with delicate features has been defaced - tusks lopped off, arms removed, flippers de-flipped. One massive roughly hewn polar bear has survived, probably because the artist had a cleaning lady and knew that it had to be sturdy.
- My father ran a small airline in the 1970's to prove in Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) air service for the Canadian government. Before it closed down, he brought home a little diecast metal model of one of their aircraft in their colours. This aircraft was attacked over 5 times by cleaning ladies and then repaired by me. It is now basically a bunch of metal held together by Krazy Glue.
- No plastic model built by me when I was young survived for more than 7 days before its little antennas, machine guns, or other delicate features were smashed by our determined cleaning lady.
- Other objects attacked by the cleaning ladies include a little statue here in Virginia (Krazy Glue to the rescue), our venetian blinds (it sounds like a machine gun when they clean them), my wife's bathroom sink (still trying to get the gunk off my fingernails from that repair), and our furniture (they are weathering and aging the chairs so they look at least 50 years old).
So as a domestic "Monument Man", I salute my foe the cleaning ladies, our weekly sisyphean battle continues!