Weapons of Master Suction

It’s Tuesday and I’m hoovering. I like hoovering. There’s something satisfying about seeing a floor covered in tiny bits and pieces, and running the nozzle over them. Gone! Like they were never there. A complete instantaneous transformation. Sometimes I might clean the table or kitchen surfaces, and brush it all onto the floor, just so I can hoover it all up and, ssshoooshp! Gone. It’s almost godlike.
My wife doesn’t understand. She looks at me over the drone of the hoover as if to say “Are you quite finished shedding your deistic wrath across the carpet?”, and returns to the laptop, terse and silent. What was wrong with a little deistic wrath? It never hurt anybody. Well, okay, that was up for discussion, but hoovering wasn’t quite the same as lightning bolt hurling now was it? Or maybe it was?
I could easily imagine the great Zeus, sitting on top of his mountain, lightning bolt in his hand ready to strike down another foolish mortal, when somebody like me ambles their way up Mount Olympus and shows him their hoover.
“My my, little mortal!” he might say “What a device! Look at its fine simplicity! You could aim it at anyone and ssshoooshp! Gone! Marvellous! What ever have I been doing with these lightning bolts for so long? I miss all the time! Let’s see those pesky mortals shun me now!”
Yes. He’d definitely say that. I’m almost certain of it.
A true god of vengeful suction, however, must choose his weapon carefully. I myself have three different brands, all specifically chosen for particular jobs. I keep the Henry in the shed, banished there for the sheer power it holds within that little red rotunda. When there’s an exceptionally heavy duty job, I bring out Henry, and we share our smile. Together, we can take on any mess, and return triumphant. Sometimes for particularly difficult jobs I press the little red limiter switch on his side, and he becomes an inverted volcano, sucking everything into his nozzle to disappear into nothingness. I must be careful with that little switch. I use it sparingly. Too much, and I wonder if he might unleash a black hole upon the earth, and suck the whole universe into himself. That’s why I keep him in the shed. I sometimes wonder if I should chain him in there. Power like that left unchecked could be disastrous in the wrong hands.
Tucked surreptitiously into the space between the dirty washing hamper and the airing cupboard on the landing upstairs, the Dyson waits with a regal air. The Dyson is my scientist side, the explorer of the conquered. It sucks up my chosen target, and swishes it about in a clear, circular barrel to rest at the bottom.There I can examine it, behind a barrier of protection, and chastise my prey before I empty it out into the street. I’m the Bond-movie villain, standing above it, stroking a nearby cat with my head held high, telling it how it really shouldn’t feel bad, for it didn’t have a chance. The Dyson and I are the torturers of mess. “Spare the dust bunnies!” they might cry, but we will not. No crevice is safe from our combined power.
And yet, even with the Dyson and Henry as my duo of deistic dirt destruction, I will admit that my favourite is my little hand held Black and Decker Pivot Nozzeled Cordless Dustbuster V9410. It’s like a ray gun in your hand. I feel like some sort of futuristic cowboy, the handle firmly gripped between my fingers, ready to consume any stray escaping dust, or dirt, or bits of fuzz. I spot a piece of lint, gingerly interweaved into the carpet in an attempt to escape my wrath, and I shout “DRAW!” (at least in my head) and hit the switch on the back. A great burst of suction comes out, and sucks it up, leaving me to blow away the curling smoke that rises from the barrel. Another duel won. I’m the sheriff here, and I’m gonna clean up this one horse dining room. Me and Decker (which is a surprisingly manly name, for a hoover, I must say) are a two man team like no other. Disorder and disarray fear our low, moaning warcry. No crumb is safe.
As I switch the hoover (my Dyson, actually) off to survey my accomplishments of the day, my wife speaks up over the stunned silence.
“Oh, did you clean out the garage yet? It really does need a seeing to, and there’s that old painting, do you remember? The one of the picnic, it’s in there somewhere, could you get it out for me?”
She doesn’t even look up from her laptop. She pretends it’s a simple request, a little thing on the side. But she knows. She knows really. Framed within that calm, uninterested solicitation is a cry for help. A plea to cleanse the den of scum and villainy and huge spiders that is the garage. A challenge even for me. I’ll need all four of us for this. We shall stride into the garage, and stand in the doorway, the silhouette of our hoses and nozzles and grim determination darkening the entire concrete bunker of debasement against the sunset outside.
“Of course, dear.” I say, and while she doesn’t react, I know that deep inside she’s reassured.
The denizens of the garage may have the strength in numbers, but when they see us they’ll know. The bell tolls for them, now. Judgement day has come.

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