“So why do you want a PhD is Custodial Arts?”

Earl clutched his mop-bucket tightly. “I love to clean,” he said. “I do it really well. And I want to do it better.”

Dr. Scrubb shook his head. “Earl, Earl, Earl. A Custodial Arts degree isn’t about cleaning any more than an English degree is about reading books. It’s about what’s beyond the cleaning. What informs it and binds it to the greater sanitary discourse and the world.”

“Shouldn’t it be enough that I love cleaning and I want to to it better?” said Earl.

“It’s a start, but what about custodial theory?” Dr. Scrubb gestured to a full bookshelf. “Your committee will expect you to have a grasp of Freudian custodiology. Sometimes a broom’s not just a broom, and don’t get me started on anal and oral fixation. And what about the Marxist theory of deconstructive custodial analysis? In cleaning up after people, are we committing a revolutionary act, or are we enabling a hollow, materialistic, late capitalist society teeter toward its ultimate collapse?”

“Do you really need all that to clean?” Earl asked.

“Of course not. But to understand cleaning, and the effect your cleaning has on the world, you need a solid basis in theory.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!