Monday, 22 September 2008

Jimmy and the Hoover: A short illustrative story

This short story illustrates exactly what I hate about hoovering. The story is about a young man named Jimmy. Jimmy is totally made up, and is basically me but featuring in a slightly fiticious story that is firmly rooted in fact a friend of mine.

On this particular Sunday Jimmy's heavily pregnant wife, Helen, asked him to do the hoovering. Jimmy has always hated hoovering. There is something about hoovering that upsets his neat little systematic mind.

He simply hates it, the dust, the chaos, the stupid power cable. It is not as though Jimmy doesn't help around the house - he does - but Helen usually avoids giving him the hoovering to do.

Jimmy doesn't mind neat self-contained tasks, like taking out the rubbish, carrying things up into the loft, or even cooking (Jimmy is a fine cook), but Jimmy despises hoovering more than anything in the world. Apart from being disrupted by elderly gangsters queues.

He hates the way the power cable is never long enough. He hates the way the brush-head always falls with a clatter. He hates the way dust gathers in such hard-to-reach places. He hates the fact that a lot of it is probably his own skin.

One of Jimmy's chief complaints about hoovering is the noise. He can't listen to the radio or music. All you can hear is that stupid whirring, and it is always SOOO loud.

Jimmy spent the morning preparing himself psychologically for the hoovering later. This time, he told himself, he would only scream with frustration once remain calm and calculated. This time, he would complete the task quietly and gently. This time, he would be ready. This time, he would be the model husband.

The idea was that by preparing his mind for the stress to come, and by reminding himself that while he hated hoovering it had to be done, he would be in the right state of mind. Jimmy should have known better. Jimmy did NOT know better.

One thing Jimmy hates is the awkwardness of sofas and beds. Hoovering under the bed is always an absolute nightmare. As it happened, this Sunday he started with the bedroom.

Firstly, it involved taking the boxes out from under the bed, and then getting on all fours and hoovering away all the dust, which was frustrating because reaching the middle is always tricky. Then he had to hoover the underside of the boxes, which meant lifting them up and getting dust all over himself. Jimmy always hates that.

He was already sweating like a badger, and now the dust was sticking to him. Jimmy roared with despair and vowed to spend the rest of his life diligently searching for a way to elimate dust from the world for ever just about held himself together.

He glanced at the football scores on the computer. If this wasn't bad enough already, it was going to be a rotten week for fantasy football. Jimmy almost cried told himself it was only fantasy football.

Reaching the far corner of the bedroom is always a nightmare. With the power cable full stretched, Jimmy was stumbling and grumbling. Why are the power cables always just too short? Who designed these things? He made a mental note to actually find the guy who authorised the production of this thing and to "let him know".

The end of the hoover fell onto the floor with a clutter. "Dagnammit!", Jimmy exclaimed. He hates it when that happens. How the Hellman's Mayonnaise can anyone hoover if the hoover keeps falling apart?

The living room nearly drove Jimmy insane. His systematic mind demanded that the job be done completely. He hates the way dust gathers at the foot of the table and chair legs. To do the job properly he has to lift up the legs and hoover under them.

As he scrambles around on the floor round the table he cannot belief how many crumbs there are. "Aaarrrgh", he cries, and in that moment vows under his breath to live off milkshakes for the rest of his life.

Jimmy swings the sofa round so that he can hoover behind it. He pulls the hoover behind him but it doesn't budge. The stupid thing is all caught up at the dinner table. He kicks it out and pulls again. This time it gets its wheels caught up in the cable. "Aarrrgh", he cries, stomping back to the dumb, inanimate, scumbag of a hoover. He carries it behind the sofa.

Then the brush-head fell down with a clatter. Jimmy retained his cool, just, and snatched it back up, scraping the paintwork. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO", he screamed. And then looking skyward "WHYYYYYYYYYYY?".

"Full manoeuvrability" and "great cleaning results"? Yeah right. For some reason in such moments Jimmy often finds himself wanting to be cruel to insects.

Jimmy took the hoover outside to empty the dust bag, the worst part. He always seethes when he sees how much dust gathers in just a few days. Emptying the bag always makes a mess, which is why he takes it outside. A few weeks back Jimmy spilt the dust bag all over the newly hoovered floor learnt that lesson the hard way, and does not want to talk about it.

And that is why I hate Jimmy hates hoovering so much.

Jimmy wound down by spending an illustrious hour in the park stamping on insects going out for a cheeky beer.

Later he asked his wife to go online and buy a new hoover, the best she can find, money no object.


badly dressed boy said...

I seriously can't wait for your fatherhood related blogs and especially when you realise what hoovering is like with an ever-growing infant around.

If you like things 'neat and tidy', prepare yourself for a shock....

badly dressed boy said...

Why was the 'antenatal' thread deleted I wonder?

No fair!

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!