The Jar of Squalor

When our oldest son was a baby, he attended a wonderful in-home family daycare. I remember the daycare provider commenting, without hyperbole, that she could feed a third-world country daily on what she swept off of her kitchen floor. I saw her sweep it once. She was right!

I was remembering last night as I swept my own kitchen floor, and dumped unspeakable piles of filth from the dustpan into the trash can. The filth-pile contained pet hair, food crumbs and bits, dog kibble, broken bits of leaves and stones dragged in from outside, and plain old garden-variety dirt. Where does it all come from? Why does it end up in my kitchen? And how much of this filth have I swept and discarded over the past weeks, months, and years?

I got to thinking that perhaps this was blog fodder. What if I collected and kept the dirt? How long would it take me to fill a one-quart Mason jar? Would this be compelling or merely insipid?

Well, Readers, let’s find out. Behold: I present to you, the JAR OF SQUALOR!

Jar of Squalor

Follow along in my never-ending quest for cleaner floors. Feel the suspense as we attempt to quantify the nasty bits that land on my floor. How long will it take to fill a quart jar? I will collect whatever I personally sweep up, from the kitchen floor only. I will only use my broom – I will not vacuum. Too easy.

Today’s installment is pictured here in all its filthy glory. Can you see it? Here, come a little closer, dear. Click the photo. Those red things? They are racecar-shaped sprinkles, which I put on the three-year-old’s oatmeal. There is, of course, dog and/or cat hair. Possibly pepper and/or salt, too. A piece of trampled leaf that became detached from the dog’s paw, or a kid’s sneaker. Bits of egg shells that hit the floor during the three-year-old’s recent attempt to peel a dyed Easter egg.

Jar of Squalor Contents

I know you’ll want to check back again soon for the next installment!

3 thoughts on “The Jar of Squalor

  1. Are you friggin’ kidding me? That much squalor is beneath my left shoe as I type this. If I were to copy this experiment of yours that teeny jar would have to be replaced with an empty beer keg. The beer keg I just drank. Except it was wine.

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