ABTD is an oft-used acronym in this household for Ah Bollocks, That’ll Do. Abbreviating it in that way is not for any coy censorship reason but because it saves two syllables, and when you’ve already reached the Ah Bollocks, That’ll Do stage, every millisecond of unnecessary effort you can save counts. So, having finally decided which new vacuum cleaner to buy out of the twenty thousand I had spent the last three hours scrolling through on my PC screen, I had an ABTD moment. I felt beaten into submission and added it to my basket.
Life seems to have gone a bit pear-shaped here lately. I know things could be worse - but there seem to be more aggravations causing us worry and needing money spending on than usual (at the same time that there is less coming in, so it feels amplified). When the vacuum cleaner packed up it just seemed to be yet one more thing in a long line of problems. And I hate having to make decisions on new purchases, especially ones that I really don’t want to have to spend out on in the first place, like household appliances; I have a Quentin Crisp attitude to dust and would rather not have to clean at all. At least now we're spared the type of death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts torture of traipsing around soulless retail park shops on wet afternoons, trying to narrow down the choice whilst well-meaning young men with gelled hair and nylon shirts, tanked up on the promise of commission, await the moment of visible weakening to go in for the sales kill. I’m grateful that now we can 'pop along' to Amazon, for example, to peruse the items from the comfort of the living room.
Well-meaning young salesmen?
But it still does get a bit much. There’s too much choice. We just need (as opposed to want) a simple vacuum cleaner. I think I’ve found “The One” and then I make the fateful error of looking through the customer reviews which only muddy the water. One customer says "the lead isn’t long enough", but who knows if she’s neglected to mention that she lives in a sixteen-bedroom country pile? Mr E from Peterlee raves about it and then confesses that he’s never used it himself as "it was a birthday present for the Missis". I wonder what Mrs E got for Christmas.
Reviews can be revealing, though. I was recently sent a link to a product for sale on Amazon, just for the, ahem, entertainment provided by the customer 'reviews'. If you're curious then scroll down to the handy write-ups at the bottom (no pun intended) of the following link and: see for yourself - although maybe don't go there if you are squeamish, or easily offended…
I should also add that the wince versus rolling-on-the-floor-laughing ratio of your reaction to them may depend on your gender, and your general hirsuteness / attitude to depilation.
Anyway, the chosen vacuum cleaner arrived the other day. It’s just the usual fairly flimsily made plastic job but it sucks up dust. ABTD.
I had to laugh at this somewhat over-the-top warning that came with it, though. Sounds almost as dangerous as Veet For Men.