Washing Up is a story by Michael Rosen from his series of poems "Poems and Stories About My Family." The story is from his book Quick Let's Get Out of Here.


In this story, Michael's parents order him and his brother, Brian, to wash the dirty dishes from one of their Sunday dinners. However, things go awry when Brian starts getting into mischief...


DISCLAIMER: This is a transcript for a video of Michael performing the poem/book, not a transcript from the actual poem/book itself.

Washing Up - Kids' Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen

Washing Up - Kids' Poems and Stories With Michael Rosen

Washing Up.

On Sundays, my mum and dad said, "Right, we've cooked the dinner; you two can wash it up." and then they went to the front room. So then, we began. First, there was the route about who was to wash and who was to dry. My brother said, "You're too slow at washing. I have to hang about waiting for you." So I said, "You always wash! It's not fair! HARD CHEESE!" He says, "I'm doing it!" So that was that.

"Whoever dries has to stack the dishes," he says. So that's me; stacking the dishes, while he's getting the water ready. Now, quite often, we used to have mustard with our Sunday dinner, and we didn't have it out of a tube; one of us used to make it with the powder in an egg cup. And there was nearly always... *points into the imaginary egg cup* some left over.

Anyway, my brother, he would be washing up by now and he's standing there at the sink, his hands in the water. I'm drying up and suddenly he goes, "QUICK QUICK! QUICK! QUICK! COME OVER HERE! COME OVER HERE! YOU'RE GONNA MISS IT! YOU'RE GONNA MISS IT! QUICK QUICK! QUICK! QUICK! COME ON! YOU'LL MISS IT!" "What?!" I say. "QUICK! QUICK! QUICK! COME ON! COME ON! COME IN-IN THE WATER!" I'd say, "What?! What do you mean?! What do you-" and he said, "GIVE US YOUR HAND! GIVE US YOUR HAND!" he says, and he grabs my hand and then my finger... "What?!" I say. "THAT!" he says. *PFFFFF!* And he pulls my finger under the water and stuffs it into the egg cup...with leftover blobs of old mustard stuck to the bottom! It's all slimy. Oh, horrible! I was an idiot to have believed him!

So I go on drying up. Suddenly, I feel a little speck of water on my neck. *PT*. I look up at the ceiling. Where'd that come from? I look at my brother. He's grinning all over his big face *Makes a mocking smile and shakes his head*. "Oi, cut that out!" He grins again, sticks his finger under the water in the bowl and *PT PT*. "Oi! It got me right on my face!" "Did it? Did it? Did it?" He's well pleased. So now, it's my turn. I got the drying up cloth, haven't I? and I've been practicing for ages on the kitchen door handle. Now he's got his back to me washing up and *pretends to hold both ends of a washcloth and imitates the sound of wind* and out goes the cloth like a whip *wwWHEW!* And it catches him right on the- "OOOWWW! That hurt! I didn't hurt you!" Now it's me grinning. *smiles and nods his head slightly* So he goes, "Alright, let's call it quits." "Okay," I say, "One-all, fairy squarey."

So I go on drying up. What I don't know is that he's got the empty washing up bottle under the water *Bloop bloop bloop bloop bloop Bloop BLOOP*. It's filling up with dirty, soapy water; and next thing, it's out of the water and he's gone *PFLLLB!* and it squished all over my face! "Got you in the mush!" he says. "Right! That's it!" I say, "I've had enough!" And I go upstairs and I get his old bicycle cape. Yeah, one of those capes that you wear when you ride a bicycle in the rain. So I come down in the bicycle cape and I say, "Okay, I'm ready for anything you've got now. You can't get me now, can you?"

So next thing, he's got the little washing up brush and it's got little bits of meat fat and squashed peas stuck in it and he's come up to me and he's in, up, under the cape with it and he's working it round and round under my jumper and under my chin. So that makes me really wild and I make a grab for anything that'll hold water. Dip in the sink and fling it at him, yeah. What I don't know is that while I want upstairs to get the cape, he's got a secret weapon ready: it's his bicycle pump. He's loaded it with the dirty washing up water by sucking it all in *makes a suction noise with his mouth*. He picks it up it's *PFLLLB!* Squirt again! All over my hair! Suddenly, the door opens *SHEW!* "Have you finished the- *jaw drops*" It's Mum AND dad! "Just look at this. Look at the pair of them!" And there's water all over the floor, all over the table, and all we've washed up is... two plates and the mustard pot. My dad says, *facepalm* "You can't be trusted to do anything you're asked, can you? Hm?" He always says that. Mind you, the floor was pretty clean after we mopped it all up.

Trivia Edit

  • It's the last video from his channel before a very long hiatus.
  • This is the second time that Michael shakes his face side-to-side while smiling after Babysitter.

Usage in YTP's Edit

  • The part where Michael imitates his brother saying "OOOWWW! That hurt!" is used very often in most Michael Rosen YTPs, if not more so than "Nice"; the latter is more iconic though.
  • The line "HARD CHEESE!" is also a frequently used line.
  • Michael quoting his brother doing his "QUICK! QUICK!" line is used a lot for various reasons. Sometimes for no reason at all.
  • "Oh, horrible!" can also be seen in YTPs sometimes.
  • Michael imitating the sound of the soap bottle and the bicycle pump pushing water out is used as a fart sound in poop/fart themed YTP jokes. It can also be used to represent semen being ejected.