POWER VACUUM

12 Mar

If Roland Barthes had lived to see the dying days of the age of Argos, he’d have had a field day with the Dyson DC-23 Animal. It’s a beast of an overdesigned time-saving machine, Spring-cleaning’s answer to the Black & Decker power drill. Using it to sweep the floor of my Mother’s flat this morning, I felt deeply inadequate; it was rolling its dual-action industrial-strength plastic eyes at my light-of-touch vacuum-cleaning habits, its unnecessarily macho suction drive constantly reminding me that it was a product for REAL MEN, men with ambition, driving licences, men with books by Chris Ryan and facial hair- it was, truth be told, a profoundly emasculating experience.

It uses the terminology of military equipment to describe itself and looks like some sort of WarHammer laser gun; it seems to have forgotten that it is not designed for blowing up insurgents in Helmand but for cleaning up sitting rooms in Fulham. It’s absurd and ingenious in equal measure; someone has finally figured out how to make vacuum cleaners appeal to precisely the kind of people who have no interest in them. I can’t be arsed to find the Dyson adverts online (lest they contradict my non-argument), but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they described their product not as an effective time saving device but a REVOLUTIONARY NEW WEAPON in THE WAR ON DUST. There might be blood; there will probably be sweat; there will most certainly be tears; but in the end, the Dyson DC-23 Animal will blast the enemy back to the stone age- or, failing that, to an easily emptied drum chamber made of transparent orange plastic. Yee-Haw!

You can’t help but be swept up by all this crypto-military bullshit; at home sucking up the far-flung remains of Hancock’s toast with my crappy, unbranded Gloster Gladiator of a hoover, I feel like the Polish Army cavalry-charging the Panzers. With my antiquated equipment and half-arsed tactics, I am clearly no match for the blitz of dead skin and Weetabix that defiantly rises up on my kitchen surfaces every morning. Am I tempted to buy into the Dyson Corps, though? Frankly, I’m more than emasculated enough as it is without being further humiliated by my vacuum cleaner.

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One Response to “POWER VACUUM”

  1. positivegreenford March 14, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    I would happily swap our nearly new Vax cylinder cleaner for your macho Dyson right now. It can hardly bring itself to lift a hair off the carpet which is starting to felt. Probably needs Any McNab to make it effective.

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