May 2008 - THE POTOMAC

The Dictators' Guide to Good Housekeeping
   Valerie Wallace

by Mr. Mbotu

You need good fertilizer and a lot of it. Get some people to spread down, enough for
a whole field. Get their children to fill in the edges. Over that, you bring in the dirt for
a hard packed covering, but smooth. Keep it smooth. It takes awhile to bring in
enough dirt, so all you hear is the silence of the field and not the things growing,


Caring for Pets
by Mr. Botha

The dogs will bark while they’re chained and there is nothing you can do about that.
I feed them enough to keep them hungry and their teeth sharp. Look for the heft of
the thigh, the shiny flank. You can breed loyalty just like you can breed killing. Give
them permission to do nothing except your command. Otherwise they may be found
dead, no matter how fond of them you thought you had become.


A Clean House
by Mr. Milosovic

You should be able to smell your own fingers and smile. I have three binders of
evidence, despite the locked truck they pulled from the lake. Make sure you dispose
of all your garbage. In the waking daylight, you must be able to show you have scraped
away what is contaminated—even if you’re not tidy, at least have pride in your work.


Appliances in Good Order
by Mr. Pinochet

Sometimes you have to do the job yourself, and for those unexpected or even planned
events, good tools make all the difference. You don’t want to have to rip the doors off
the oven or wrench the dishwasher’s ball bearings loose. You want to move so slowly
you can feel the grease in the air, see the metal entrails on the floor before you even
raise your hand. Make sure you keep the manual close.  Some parts are difficult to put

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