Thursday, 14 June 2012

The damn hoover

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. 


  1. Given some of the stories about vacuum-cleaner related injury I've heard from my friend who is an A&E nurse, I'm not surprised they've had to resort to printing health warnings. It's amazing how many of those injuries seem to happen to people while they're naked, too...

    Sorry to hear things have been a bit grim and gritty recently. Hope the new addition brings some cheer (I'm joking)

    1. Ah, thank you - I can at least do a bit of manic vacuuming now anyway, if it all gets too much!

      Oh I bet you've heard some stories - household appliances and nudity sound like a dangerous combination...(although they do neglect to say that on the health warning - maybe they'll have to spell that out in time, too?!)

  2. The best thing about this post was being introduced to Veet for Men - a product I was unaware until today existed. I almost was unaware of the demand for it... I was born in the early 60s - I think body hair is a natural thing and I've never considered the need for its removal - apart for medical procedures like the one I had after we were sure two kids were enough!

    I can't believe people write reviews like that - Amazon often prompt me and I don't respond! I write reviews on my blog - not of hair removing products clearly! The age of the internet and all that...

    BTW - do I need Veet for Men? Need to find an appropriate moment for that discussion with my beloved! :-)

    1. Being of similar vintage I find the whole apparent obsession with hairlessness, both male and female, completely baffling! As if there isn't enough to do, worry about and take up time than that degree of body maintenance! And personally I find the idea of a (deliberately) hairless adult a bit freaky. I would steer well clear of Veet for Men if I were you (assuming your beloved feels the same!)

  3. I laughed myself silly with those reviews yesterday.

    I had no idea there was such a product for men.

    1. I had no idea either.
      Glad you laughed at those reviews! I had that strange sort of inner dilemma, not really wanting to keep on reading them in a way, but finding I just couldn't help myself...
      Amazing what you can get away with, eh?!

  4. I feel your pain regarding the appliance malfunction. Over the last week our washing machine ceased to function and the electric shower started issuing as much water from behind the control panel as would normally be expected through the head. The car has developed an odd rattle too. That last one could just be me being paranoid though.

    I too zone-out when it comes to browsing and researching household items I have no real interest in, but can safely offer a couple of useful words of advice for anyone about to make an appliance purchase, based on our experience this week....AVOID ZANUSSI!

    After feeling your pain I clicked the link and eye-wateringly felt all the Veet reviewers' pain! Hilarious reading! How did I get to such an advanced age and not know that there was a product like this on the market?

    1. Oh no, sounds like you've had a rotten time of it too lately - it does seem as if, more often than not, problems like that all come at once. Sorry you've had bad experience with Zanussi - I have to say, our Zanussi washing machine is still going strong after eleven years and Zanussi fridge-freezer bought at the same time only died 6 months ago, replaced by another of same make which seems as fine, so I've actually had the opposite experience (so far)! (But I'm now frantically touching wood *clutches desk*)Maybe it's all a bit of a lottery.
      Anyway I do hope it all improves for you soon!
      Probably best you keep well away from Veet for Men though, judging by those graphic reviews...


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