Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Total Breakdown

My vacuum-cleaner broke today.

For those of you who know me (and I now have 5 'followers', one of whom is me, and one of whom may know me, but without a photo or biog, is just a name) you will know that my vacuum-cleaner is my life.
It's difficult to refer anthropomorphically to a household cleaning object, but my hoover is the nearest thing I have to a wife. We spend everyday together, sometimes for long periods. I care for her over & above the level of care I administer to dishcloths, or the washing-machine. Her bags are regularly emptied with nothing but a sense of duty on my part. I have searched high & low for replacement bags that compliment her foreign nozzle, and have immortalised her in verse in my last show "Yanny Mac -Domestic Goddess". And, despite being a cheap cylinder option from Argos with a wet/dry function that has never been utilised, I love her unconditionally.
As a team we suck.
Everyday, without fail, we wade through (and dispose of) the waste-products from a duo of houserabbits (litter-trained, but clumsy), a trio of degus (possibly the dirtiest bunch of shit-flinging rodents ever to bear the names of BBC regency period drama queens), a very white kitten called Richard, and a hamster with a penchant for kicking-up sawdust (probably as way of impressing the degus, but more likely just to piss me off).
At least an hour & a half of our day is spent tackling animal mess, and that's before we engage with the everyday dust & detritus produced by a rural Victorian property with a constant throughflow of horse-lovers, builders & children.

My hoover broke down today.
And with it, I broke down too.

Now let's deal with the semantics here. A hoover is the infinitive verb of vacuum-cleaner. Like Google, Xerox, Velcro & Kleenex, Hoover should always really have a capital H. I was brought up to say "doing the vacuuming", but this was soon kicked out of me at boarding-school, along with the short, harsh A's in my baths, glass & grasses.

"What do you intend to vacuum McKenzie?
The space in your empty head!?! Ha-huh-ha ha!
Now clean my shoes"

I have since learnt that it is grammatically correct to vacuum-clean, but not to do the vacuuming.
In a world full of LOLs, LMFAOs, kids that can't spell 'definitely' and mass confusion over the words their, they're & there, I make no apology for using all forms of reference to a machine that sucks proficiently.
Until now.

We have no money. The thought of having disposable-income to buy a new hoover leaves me with a giddy-sick nosebleed.
I go through the checklist.
Everything else works in the room. The fish are bubbling, the man from Classic FM is desperately trying to be heard in between adverts for Tena Lady confidence and obese-dog insurance. The washing-machine hums an assurance that my net-curtains will be sparkling clean before the rain comes to spoil our day-glo garden party.
I open the lid.
The lid covers the mechanics that none of us understand, yet men pretend & women pay good money not to comprehend. The kitten gets inside the cylinder and reconnects with her winter coat. I think I hear her scoff at my inability to fix the useless piece of mass-produced, mass-marketed, built-in obsolescent, foreign shite, and I find myself explaining that I left school in the 80s, just before compulsory Computer Studies, and just after compulsory Latin. I can spell y'know!
And I once made my mum a jewellery-box in woodwork!

And I don't lick my own bum!
Richard! Stop it!
And get out of there!

I make a coffee, tug on a lungbusting cigarette, and decide to change the fuse in the plug.
The vacuum-cleaner starts up first time, and literally scares the shit out of the kitten!

Tomorrow we dust with feathers................

1 comment:

  1. Hurray! A happy ending. I love a happy ending.

    Unlike Mr and Mrs Williams who ran the first school I went to. I remember one sports days we had a few plays and shit after all the running. Mr and Mrs Williams performed a hilarious, if unoriginal, two person play: a husband and wife across the breakfast table having a strained and cordial conversation. A voice over would then play their 'thoughts,' revealing their true feelings. The St Margaret's mothers and fathers in their floral dresses and Sunday suits howled like broken vacuum cleaners. Mr & Mrs Williams were hits. What a sense of humour! Wasted in education!

    Two years later Mr Williams fucked some blonde twenty-something from his am-dram group and they sold the school to a Japanese consortium.

    Your story has a happier ending.