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Posted by on May 5, 2021 in Retirement Humour |

Living Retired – ‘Window Washing Woes’

Living Retired – ‘Window Washing Woes’


Ohh, the woes of washing windows with your wife!

Saturday started with Jan standing in our dining room beside the large window. I was outside, perched precariously on top a wobbly ladder stretching overtop soon-to-sprout prized peonies. The only thing between us is a friggin’ pane of glass. What could possibly go wrong!

“Gary, why do you insist on cleaning the windows standing up there on a ladder that teeters?”

“Dear, all ladders teeter. That is how they make them. Besides, don’t worry I am a lean mean window washing machine. I wish I were Italian so you could call me ‘Squ-eegi!’”

Before beginning, I Googled ‘washing windows’ and the first suggestion said, ‘married couples cleaning windows together should have a dispute resolution therapist on speed dial.’ Just saying…

Where we warehouse window washing wares is our wandry room – sowrry, I got carried away. I figure if we took all the ammonia in these products we could clean our oven – even get the gunk off the racks, make the crystal sparkle, clean Jan’s jewellery, and still have enough ammonia left over to start a fertilizer plant!

Our cleaners include, ‘Original Glass Cleaner’, ‘Vinegar Glass Cleaner’, ‘Ammonia Glass Cleaner’, ‘Foaming Glass Cleaner’, ‘Wipes’, and ‘Concentrate.’ We also have containers of sprays and foam that promise ‘Cleaning Power’, ‘Streak-Free Full Shine’, ‘Spray & Wipe Clean’, ‘Leaves No Film’, ‘Unique No-Residue Formula’, and ‘Safe for Tinted Glass.’


“Gary, some people swear their windows sparkle when they use crumpled newspaper soaked in vinegar.”

“Jan, washing windows is all it takes for me to swear.”

To begin, I stuff rolls of paper towel in my pant pockets, slip the spray handle of the glass cleaner bottle over my belt, stick the squeegee in between my teeth, pray, and climb up the teetering ladder to clean the outside of the windows – seemed clear to me.

Jan’s job is to remain inside the dining room and let out bloodcurdling screams, “GARY, YOU MISSED A SPOT OVER HERE! NO, I MEAN OVER HERE! LOOK, HERE IS ANOTHER SPOT RIGHT WHERE I AM POINTING!”

It turns out our neighbours on both side of the house – and in the adjacent County! – can also hear Jan. “What on earth is happening next door at the Chalks? I can see Jan behind the window flailing her arms, pointing, and screaming at Gary.”

I climbed down the ladder. “Jan there has to be a better way than communicating by screaming. I will take my iPhone with me and you can call me. How’s that.”

Minutes later I am back up on the teetering ladder. Jan is looking at me through the window calling me on my iPhone – the iPhone I left on the kitchen countertop. So, back down the ladder.

Soon, I am back up the teetering ladder. I am shaking like Richard Simmons with one of those old-fashioned electric vibrating exercise belts wrapped around his waist. My iPhone rings. I reach for it and drop the squeegee!!

“Hi, we are in your area. Would you like your furnace ducts cleaned?”


The iPhones work well. In one hand Jan holds her iPhone to her ear; the other hand points to spots I have missed. Even though we are mere inches from each other she still screams, “GARY, YOU MISSED ANOTHER SPOT. NO, NOT THERE. OVER HERE! OPEN YOUR EYES!”

Somehow, with one hand tightly grasping the eavestrough and holding the iPhone in my other hand, and gripping the squeegee in my teeth, I dropped the window cleaner spray bottle. “Jan, you don’t need to holler. It scares the bejeebers out of me and I may fall from the ladder. Can you come out and toss the window cleaner bottle back up to me?”

Jan is standing knee-deep in the peony bushes. She tosses the bottle up to me on the ladder. Once, twice, three times. Missed each time!

That is when it happened. My plan went out the window!

The teetering ladder stretching up to the eavestrough verry slowwly turned into a leaning left ladder. Then, the leaning left ladder left me in a lurch! I didn’t want to be left hanging! Now, it is ME who is flailing my arms, shouting! “WHOAA!”

Safe to say, no prized peonies this summer.