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Last night I competed in the terrific show Write Club at the HIdeout, where I had to battle it out for the audience's favor as I wrote about the theme "Take" and my opponent took "Give." I personally thought this piece was a scream when I wrote it but I totally got my ass handed to me onstage last night. So now you have to read it too (or I guess you don't.)

Here it is:

Calgon Take Me Away! Today I need to call my alarm company, clean out the basement, get my Volkswagen's mirror fixed, figure out what to make for dinner, and go to Pier 1. Calgon, take me away! I cannot live in this world a minute longer. Calgon, take me away!

Calgon! What are you, anyway. You make bubble bath, I guess, but what are you really? You sound like some sort of evil dragon, or perhaps a wizard? Or maybe a robot? Calgon. Cal-Gon. Calgon, when you come take me away, where are you taking me?

Calgon! Are you taking me somewhere wonderful, like a bubble bath not on this earth, or perhaps a meadow with a handsome gentleman and a horse, or are you taking me somewhere much worse? Kicking and screaming to some dark alley where who knows what will happen to me, but where I'll eventually emerge, thinking, boy my problems were nothing compared to this. Calgon, take me back home! Thanks, Calgon!

And Calgon, if I am taken away somewhere awful, will I want to go there again? Not even because my problems at home are so troublesome, but because I just want to go there, for fun, maybe because some part of me seeks out danger and filth? That seems a little strange to me.

Unless, Calgon, you are taking me away to your foreign planet, or distant castle, a place that is intriguing to visit, interesting and perhaps pleasurable in its own way but after which I'll say, "OK, this is nice but I'm ready to go home now, to where I have nettlesome problems but at least I know where all my stuff is and I can just crash and eat my own food and do laundry and whatever. Sometimes it's just nice to go home." In that case that sounds like the best of both worlds, Calgon, but will I need my passport?

Calgon! Would you believe that I've never even taken a bath in my own bathtub? First of all, Calgon, I have to admit that I don't like baths that much. Always too hot or too cold. Or too boring. And then the mess afterwards, forget it! Wet magazine pages, suds behind your ears, are you clean or just a different kind of dirty? And the cleanup! I am talking right now both about the cleanup in the tub after the proverbial bath but also about the cleanup that needs currently to occur in my tub, hair and soap scum and bits of sponge. There might even be a centipede running around in there right now, who knows. Oh I am not proud of it but it's true and that is a big part of why I don't feel like taking a bath ever.

And I don't even own any bubble bath. CALGON! What are you going to do about it? So many things to think about, Calgon, perhaps you should just stay out of my business and we'll call it a day. CALGON!