I found the following sentence when reading:

Just as a priest absolves believers of their sins, you may absolve your brother of blame for a household disaster, or you yourself may in time be absolved for that scrape on the car backing out of a parking space.

Here what does "household disaster" mean? Does it mean his brother messed up the house?

  • Yes, as you state. Anything from spilling a container to accidentally setting the house on fire might qualify. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


There is no common saying "household disaster". A common phrase that the writer seems to be playing with is "natural disaster", which is something like a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc.

The writer seems to be exaggerating for comedic effect. A household problem would usually be something small - not a disaster. Likewise, you usually need to be absolved for a major sin like murder. You would not ask for absolution for scraping a car bumper.

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