Day 66: A song you like to clean the house to.

“Cosmic Thing” – The B-52’s*

Cosmic ThingLet’s get one thing straight right from the get-go: I do not enjoy cleaning house. It’s a necessary evil, and I’m not good at it.

I’m the type that lets clutter build up until at some point (well before hoarder stage… at least I hope it’s before hoarder stage) I crack and have to clean. (My home office and desk are very near that point, actually.)

But there does come a time in the spring where it does kind of feel right to clean. So I have to jump on the impulse as soon as it hits, otherwise I’ll just let it go and an opportunity will be lost.

It was my freshman year of college when I discovered the cleaning catharsis of Cosmic Thing.

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At the time, “home” was a dorm room in Stoddard C. (And “home-home” was still my parents’ house, as anyone will tell you.) It was a small room, but it still needed cleaning.

Because every once in a while we’d stumble upon something like an onion dip container that had been “lost” but then recovered from under a bed after 2 months. We were filthy college students, what do you want? (To this day I have no idea why we thought it would be a good idea to wash that instead of just tossing it. I guess at the time the concept of throwing away a “perfectly good” Rubbermaid container was unthinkable to poor college students.)

On one particular day, the temperature was right, it was sunny, and the cleaning impulse hit. Needing music (because you always need music, it’s simply a matter of finding the right music for the situation) I decided to put Cosmic Thing on. It wasn’t planned. It was more of a “I think this will work” moment, but as it turned out, it was a perfect convergence. From that day forward, the combination of cleaning and Cosmic Thing were indelibly burned into my memory.

It was a recent album then. But even today, whenever I think of cleaning, I can picture that day, and I almost feel like I need to put that album on.

Cosmic Thing (the album) is the best thing The B-52’s ever did. It’s by far their most consistent and mainstream album, which some people may think is a bad thing. I disagree. It starts with “Cosmic Thing” (the song) and spends the next 47:12 just having fun. (Since the album starts with the title track, I chose that for today’s topic, although in reality, the whole album really qualifies.) There are no ballads to speak of, (the closest thing is “Topaz” and even then, it doesn’t really fit the criteria) so there’s nothing to bring the mood down, and you just keep moving. It even has an instrumental. (“Follow Your Bliss,” one of my favorite instrumentals.) Perfect for cleaning.

Or, come to think of it, perfect for running away from cleaning. Why have I never thought of that until now?

* I’m forced to deal with the misuse of the apostrophe here since it’s in the name. If I had my way, it would be “The B-52s” but it’s not my band.