My bestest labour saving invention ever is - Boom Boom! – The Dishwasher! How did I ever retire without one?
Retirement? Is that what it was supposed to be, faced daily with mundane duties that I never had to do when I was working. But now I am retired, what do I get: “As you are doing nothing from now on, you can the do the dishes.” Me! A Captain of Industry, a Team Leader, Master of the Universe? Well, Lower Hutt anyway... Retired, brow mopped, aching muscles soothed, novels waiting to be read, cricket and football on Sky? Dishwashing by hand! Not just dishes, but glasses and saucepans and woody mixing things and black bits welded together by heat, a nuclear wasteland of spoons and forks and baking trays and cake tins. Did I despair, you ask... actually, I did, but out came the old never-say-die Dunkirk spirit (Dunkirk?) and off I went. Purchased the best scrubbers. Evaluated the whole range of dishwashing liquids, from the cheapest to the luxury brands, super concentrated, green, environmentally friendly, phosphate free, dermatologically tested, biodegradable, with recyclable packaging, everything. Took me weeks and considerable expense but at least I got to wear rubber gloves because… Oh, never mind that, just got to like wearing rubber gloves. So after years of this absolute hell - day and night, toiling over a hot sink, up to my elbows in clichés, rubber gloves notwithstanding, ashamed to go out, hands ruined white and wrinkled from being immersed in soapy water all day like two wet dish rags hanging off the end of my arms. Despair - what can I do to get out of this? Tried to go back to work, night shifts, day shifts, anything shifty - offered to provide my own rubber gloves. “Another one of them,” they said, ”Go home and enjoy your retirement.” They laughed as I slunk out of the door. When visitors visited us - Christmas became a nightmare and increased my washing up loads to almost unbearable levels - the inevitable question was always asked, “Why don’t you get a dishwasher?” And in turn the inevitable answer would always be: “We have one - Brian - he scrubs up well.” Ha Ha Ha He He He, ad infinitum, gurgle gurgle.
I took to walking the streets. Alone. Afraid to go home and face the mounting piles of china. Noticed other retirees such as me. Easy to spot with their exhausted, haunted, hollow-eyed, self-conscious demeanour, sitting on park benches in their plastic ‘macs, holding their bottles of Palmolive in plain brown paper bags. And then... I am not religious, but I had one. I had an vision, a glimpse of Heaven. An epiphany. There it was, gleaming in Noel Leaming. A square white one. It’s German. Never mind it’s made in Turkey. It’s a dishwasher. Brilliant. I love it. I love the little plastic sprogs that hold the plates, love the little box arrangement that the cutlery stands up in just like little soldiers going off to war. I lovingly and gently place the wine glasses in their special positions, knowing that they will sparkle again as never before. Oh, the decisions on what programme to use, this one or that one, just push the button and the red light will come on and that is that - all will be done and ready for me in the morning when I will get up early and watch football matches on TV while filling up the cupboards using my repaired hands.
But note, guys, even using these miracle machines always use plenty of moisturiser. There can never be too much moisturiser. And don’t forget to take your rubber gloves off before you go down to the RSA.