OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - "Miracles on 35th Street"


By Tony Russell

Neighbors are flocking to the apartment of Mrs. Eleanor Plymale, 429 W. 35th St., to see her newly restored carpet. "It's a miracle!" enthused Mrs. Plymale. "You can see the lilies and orchids in all their original color and luster! I rented the carpet-cleaning machine and purchased a gallon of the cleanser at Homemaker's Hardware on W. 19th St., but I didn't really believe it could restore life to my old carpet."

Her neighbor, Mrs. Darlene Thomas, 3438 Jefferson Ave., agreed. "It's nothing short of miraculous," she said. "When Ellie called me, I was really skeptical. I rushed right over and stuck my fingers in the pile to convince myself that it was real. The carpet was still damp from the cleansing, and it was spotless. It was like her kids had never spilled pop in the living room, and they hadn't had that unfortunate experience with the miniature schnauzer they never could housebreak. It's completely without stain!"

Another neighbor, Mrs. Audra Bishop, of 3623 Madison Ave, said, shaking her head, "It just goes to show you. I told her for years, 'Ellie, why don't you throw out that old thing and get yourself some wall-to-wall shag carpeting like I have in my living room?'" Mrs. Bishop added, "That carpet was soiled, faded, and had spots all over ita real eyesore. Then she brings it back to life with the help of modern technology. I'm going to rent that machine myself next weekend."

Mrs. Bishop may have to wait longer than expected. According to sales personnel at Homemaker's Hardware, calls have been pouring in since rumors of the miracle began to circulate in the neighborhood. "We only keep three of the machines in the store," said the assistant manager, Vivian Flores, "and two of them are broken at the minute. The other one is booked up from now through Easter."

News of the alleged miracle has spread across the west end of the city by word of mouth, e-mail, and telephone. A line of visitors extends down the hallway of Mrs. Plymale's apartment and halfway around the block. Visitors are asked to remove their shoes before entering the apartment, and may leave an offering in coffee cans placed on stands on either side of the door.

Everyone who tours the apartment is also treated with what Mrs. Plymale describes as an earlier miracle, a square of her fudge brownies. "The company claimed that it was a miracle," she admits, "but I didn't believe it until I tried it myself. You just add water and two eggs, stir thoroughly, and pour the batter into a greased 9 by 9 baking pan, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The brownies are always rich and moist, with a deep chocolaty taste. It never fails me."

Additional miracles reported by Mrs. Plymale include her toilet bowl cleaner, which removes even the deepest and most persistent yellowing; her liquid dishwashing detergent, which cuts grease and removes stubborn food from pots and pans; and her toothpaste, which prevents cavities, freshens her breath, and whitens as it cleans.

... Read more of Tony's columns at readtonyrussell.blogspot.com

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