JV: What do you live with John?
John: Well my lovely wife has a sponge...I don’t want to call it a fetish but...when she goes to the grocery store she brings back a dozen or more sponges each time. You know the thin ones that are in the pack? There’s a green, a red, a yellow and a blue.
John: So she’ll bring bunches of those home and store them underneath the sink. That’s fine, but she has a different purpose she wants me to use each one for and she has a chart above the sink to tell me which items I’m allowed to clean up with which sponge. She’s laminated it.
JV: Wow. There’s a laminated chart referring to ‘red sponge = kitchen bench.’
John: Well, yeah. Red sponge = benches and tables.
JV: That does seem extreme to me.
John: Kitchen floors is blue.
John: Hands and face is yellow.
JV: Gee. How long do these sponges last? Are they changed every week?
John: Well, I’ll use them two, three, maybe eight times and she’ll do the opposite. She’ll see there’s a bit of discolouration, throw it out, and there’s a brand new one. Especially with the green, which is bathroom surfaces. They don’t last long at all.
JV: And have you tried to talk about the overuse of sponge? The pressure on the sponge population of the world?
John: Well that’s it! I think we’re using more than our share, in this age of share it round, because you can’t donate them y’know? No one will take the ones you’ve used.
JV: I think we’re just talking landfill. Do they degrade quickly? I don’t know.
John: That’s a good point. And what are you actually throwing in landfill with them? What’s caught up in all that sponge that I would normally have just rinsed out?
JV: How much trouble do you get into when you use wrong sponge on wrong surface?
John: (laughs) A short, sharp look. It’s a stern one.
JV: Oh, I hate that look.
John: And maybe an uh-uh-uh-uh!
JV: Oh you get the uh-uh-uh!
John: It’ll stop you in your tracks and then you’ll slowly put that one down. Step away from the yellow sponge and grab the red one.
JV: Wow. John, are there children subjected to this regime?
John: Well, yes, but they get a little bit of leeway. As they get older they’re going to be under the same regime as I am and I don’t see why not, if I have to do it.
JV: Exactly. It’ll be one of the first things that they learn. I’m hoping at show and tell they’ll take the full range of sponges in.
John: And a copy of the chart! Which I’m about to post on your Facebook.JV:If you would. Thank you.