Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

Random musings

Christmas shopping done and dusted

The gross consumer frenzy of Christmas, which is after all a religious celebration for a large part of the world’s population, takes away the spirit of the season for me. Adverts on TV keep informing us that we need to buy luxury items (things that we don’t need) at prices that will keep us in debt for years to come, just to show how much we care about each other. How does this work for the poor, who are the world majority? However, as I bleat about this every Christmas, and the adverts keep on coming, I will continue with my modus operandi, which is to buy something we actually need. My grown-up children, however, still feel the need to give me extravagant gifts and will not be dissuaded, despite my instructions from October onwards.


For He Who Can Fix Anything, not a gracious receiver of gifts at the best of times, I decided the perfect gift would be a new dustpan and broom for the garage. After all, that’s where he spends all his time and he is obsessed with tidiness and cleanliness. I found one in no time at the houseware aisle of the local supermarket and after carefully considering the colours, chose a subtle metallic grey.


Of course, it did look a little puny by way of a present (I myself expect the usual nothing), and I soon connected the dots to a much better version – a dust buster! Now that’s something I have long desired – a little vacuum cleaner to pick up those annoying poppy seeds that are scattered all over the loaf of artisan bread that never stick to it, onion peels that drift to the ground in the draught from the kitchen window, small bits of kibbles round the pets’ bowls – you know what I mean. And the best use – cleaning out the car. The effort of dragging out the 40-year-old bubble-shaped vacuum cleaner from under the workbench and attaching it to at least two different extension cords to actually reach the car in the driveway has prevented me from driving a pristine vehicle for years now!


So off I go to the local home store from which I have bought every appliance in the last 40 years (I always ask for a longstanding customer discount, but they never oblige) and the first thing I saw was exactly what was required. Sold on the spot. The salesman (there were two) were still trying to persuade me to buy (even though I had already made the decision) and I pressed the ‘on’ button, as we do when holding appliances, and it purred into action. I saw some bits and pieces on the carpet and stepped forward to test the device. Well, you would have thought I was about to push the red button in the White House. They both launched themselves at me in that movie-like slow motion flying, shouting ‘Nooooooo!’ Apparently if I had sucked it up, they would have had to sell it as ‘shop-soiled’.
I told them not to panic, I would buy it, but I was not allowed to test-drive my new acquisition and had to take one home in a sealed box.


Oh, did I mention that it’s probably not going to be allowed in the garage? I’m going to guard it carefully upstairs.

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