Today, as the Enterprise is looking a little untidy, we've had to get the cleaners in to smarten it up.
I'm not surprised. If only there were more wastebins around, sweet wrappers wouldn't be cast around the corridors.
Chocolate wrappers seem to be all over the place; I'm suspicious of Deanna on that one.
Anyway, we go to Transporter Room 2 to welcome the cleaners.
Three middle aged women beam aboard. They each have an old vacuum cleaner, their hair is wrapped in a scarf, they have a dirty pinafore over each of their dresses and each are smoking a cigarette that is hanging limply from their mouths.
The lady at the front approaches me.
"Hello dearie, where would you like us to start?" she says, before coughing.
"Smoking is not permitted on the Enterprise!" declares Worf in his best Security Officer-type tone.
"Ah, put a sock in it!" says one of the other cleaners as the trio march out of the Transporter Room.
Data is looking confused. I know he's going to ask a question.
"Captain," he asks, "What does a sock have to do with smoking on the Enterprise?"
"Err, ask Geordi, Data."
We go outside and find the cleaners looking around, shaking their heads and talking to each other. All are coughing away at some point.
"Look at the sight in here!" one says to the others, "They just can't keep a decent place tidy, can they?"
The head cleaner turns back to me.
"Where's the powerpoint?" she inquires.
"The Warp Core is in Engineering." I tell her.
She rolls her eyes, has a retching cough.
"No, dearie!" she irritatingly says, "The powerpoint where we can plug in the vacuum cleaners so that we can clean this filthy starship."
"We don't have any." mentions Geordi, "As the ship is meant to be self-cleaning. That function has been inoperative for some time."
"Can't you repair it, dearie?"
"Err, well, we've never had the instructions for that; we never thought it would go wrong."
"All right, dearies." says the Head Cleaner, "The vacuum cleaners can run on batteries, so we'll get this mess sorted out."
We leave them to clean the ship up. The sound of retching coughs can be heard in the distance.
Later, we are all On The Bridge.
"Ship approching" declares Data, "Weapons primed for the Enterprise."
"Shields up!" Riker announces. He likes to be the one to say that.
The hostile ship lauches a missile.
"Shields at 80%" declares Worf.
"Aim for the weapons system" I say in my authoritarian voice. Everything is going as it usually does in these situations. We'll soon have it all under control.
Suddenly the sound of vacuum cleaners fill the air.
The cleaning ladies walk on to the Bridge and start polishing and using their cleaners.
"Look how filthy this place is!" one says to the other. They continue to clean away.
"This is not the time!" I say to them, but they fail to hear me because of the noise/
"I SAID THIS IS NOT THE TIME. PEASE LEAVE!" I shout at them as loud as I can before my voice croaks.
They look at me in puzzlement, then at each other.
"All right, dearie," the Head Cleaner says, "Leave the place in a mess if you like. We don't like being shouted at. We'll take our leave of you. Come, ladies. I've heard Deep Space Nine is a shambles right now."
The three all heave a retching cough and depart.