Mona Lott, once again unemployed due to unforseen circumstances is putting her talents to use as a singing and dancing cleaning lady. The Hands-Off operation, the first of its kind in Providence, Rhode Island, will be a joyful alternative to cleaning services that actually clean. “I kind of clean” says Mona. ” I mean, what does clean mean exactly? There’s clean, really clean, clean-enough, and hospital clean. Some people don’t want their house to smell like a hospital, some do. I work with each client on an individual basis.”
Interview with Mona:
What exactly is Burlesque as applied to the cleaning industry?
” It’s a very new concept meant to entertain clients who want to stay home and think instead of, say, go out to a strip joint. Although I do not strip, I wear a Victoria’s Secret outfit and very very high heels. I drink Whiskey and sing as I am, say, wiping out the toilet bowl or emptying the kitty litter. ”
Why would someone want to think while you’re singing in a garter belt?
“Because they don’t have enough time to think as they are often professional people with busy schedules. They are also too busy to clean and too busy to go to the movies. I combine both entertainment and cleaning for a great value. I can also cook dinner for my clients for an extra fee. I sing in French while cooking, in English while cleaning. I sing in various accents and choose one that matches the decor’ of the clients interior.
Do you supply cleaning supplies or cooking spices?
No. I am too busy working on various songs and dances for the client. The client is expected to have a complete cleaning kit available, including rubber gloves and a gas mask. If I am supposed to cook, they must have all the ingredients unless they hire me to shop for them, which I am happy to do, provided they have a recipe in mind and tell me if they have any allergies.
How do you screen clients so that you are not in danger in their home?
The screening process includes fingerprinting and a list of exceptional references, one reference must be someone I know very well and trust. I must also see a copy of their bank statement and social security card. I usually bring my dog with me when I work, and keep a gun close at hand as well as a can of mace. To prevent robbery, my clients must pay a hefty deposit up front, which will be returned after the performance/cleaning/cooking hour(s).
So you clean for parties?
I don’t clean before parties, I clean AT parties. I often ask the guests to help me, throwing them a damp cloth or sponge. Sometimes they just pick lint of each others clothing, but every little bit helps. That’s lint that might have ended up on the floor.
Do you have employees?
At the present time I am doing all the work myself. I have always been a solo performer, except for piano and bass, and find that one person can clean a house in about 1/2 hour if they are dancing a jig and singing “I Will Survive.” If a client requests musical accompaniment for my songs, the musicians are expected to clean during their breaks, usually the bathrooms because they like to search for prescription drugs in the medicine cabinets. They of course ask for permission.
Why did you start this business?
I have always loved to clean, ever since I was a little girl. I also like to sing, so it made sense to me to combine my two passions. I also find that lately, due to the affects of deregulation, I am flat broke, and by that I mean, I don’t have any money. I find that I need money to buy things to eat and pay for a room to sleep in.
How much do you charge?
A flat rate of 100 dollars an hour, the same as a call-girl, except that there is no touching allowed in my business and I don’t think call girls sing and dance and tell funny jokes. I know for a fact that they don’t clean, ever.
How do you know that?
I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might cremate me.