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It's that time to spring into cleaning mode

By A. Thomas Pasek | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-28 06:10

A. Thomas Pasek. [Photo provided to China Daily]

It's impossible to state it without sounding cliched, so here it goes: Spring officially began on March 21 — in Beijing and all destinations north of the equator — with the season often synonymous with a sense of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. There. Hackneyed phrases exhausted already. Ouch, another — it's "spring-cleaning" season as well. Yup, it's that time of the year when bachelors worldwide whip out the broom and dustpan. I believe the thinking is that after a winter of being holed up with windows shut and heating blaring, it's time to unfetter the windows, defenestrate a yearlong accumulation of dust and detritus, and get your shine on, John.

Single men have no one to impress, so the annual housecleaning and floor-mopping is at least an excuse to get some cardio work, while minding the slippery floors. To make it worth my efforts, it's advisable to clean out the fans, which have been blowing the same dust around all season as they assist in sock — and scarf-drying duties. Remember back in the day when you had backbreaking homework assignments from three different subjects, say, chemistry, calculus and history?

Well, using the calculus of deferred gratification, I would always choose getting the calculus homework out of the way first, as it was the least pleasurable for me and saving it until midnight meant a blurry-minded or foggy-brained stab at what at that point looked like numerical cuneiform, hieroglyphics and an admixture of Roman, runic and Ruby coding languages.

So I'd leave the history for last, kinda like tiramisu after a full plate of Brussels sprouts and gluten-free wheat thins.

So I decided to do the same with my spring-cleaning this year, in other words, clean the stupid electric fans first. So my table was quickly covered with the following: bracket cage assembly (2), canopy (1), down-rod assembly (2), setscrew (8), switch/housing assembly (1), blade set (1), screw/blade armature (8), balancing kit (1), washer (installer's choice) (8), screw (canopy) (4), screw (low profile washer) (4), blade grommet (6), screw blade assembly (1), flat washer (4), screw (machine) (4), wire nut (2), mounting oscillator (1), thumb screw (1).

I admit, I just caught myself nearly keyboard face-planting with ennui just now during the fan-parts "listathon", but the neck snapped back to attention just in time.

Analogous to my near nod-off, famed classical poet Meng Haoran (689-740) wrote of the danger of spring naps leading to Ichabod Crane-like extended restful reveries with his Spring Dawn:

"In spring one sleeps, unaware of dawn; Everywhere one hears chirping birds.

In the night came the sound of wind and rain; Who knows how many flowers fell?"

To temper the tedium of annual apartment-tidying, I simply dream of a few months ahead, when the spring-cleaning is finally wrapped up — usually in October. At that point, the fans will be whirring nearly noiselessly, the mosquitoes will have taken their requisite pound of flesh from me in lieu of summer's rent, and I will be enjoying an extended National Day holiday when mid-autumn chills make fans redundant.

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