take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This weekend I learned that actually, floor sanders are *not* supposed to spew Dyson-defeating sawdust all around the room. However, if all you've ever known is a floor sander which spews Dyson-defeating sawdust all around the room, how are you to know that it's not normal? How are you to recognise that not being able to see what you're sanding due to the thick layer of sawdust is not *right*.

Morally, of course, you know in your heart that the whole thing is not right. Philosophically, you wonder how you have arrived at a point in your life where standing in a room, surrounded by and inhaling large amounts of sawdust while wheeling a dangerous, heavy piece of machinery around in the name of "aesthetics" is a reasonable way to spend a weekend. But you accept it as the lot of the amateur (shouldn't I be amateuse?) DIYer and you soldier on, pausing only to mop the mixture of sweat and sawdust gathering on your brow from time to time.

You contemplate the forlorn dustbag, hanging limply at the side of the sander. You weigh it in your hand and wonder why it has gathered no dust, whilst all available horizontal surfaces in the room have managed to accrue it in bucketloads. The Dyson, choked to the hilt, succeeds only in pathetically pushing the clods around the room or tracing parallel lines in the dust, as if attempting to create some kind of Zen garden.

Curiosity finally gets the better of you and you inspect the sander's vacuum tube which is surprisingly easy to remove from its housing. At the top, blocking the large plug of sawdust waiting behind it, is the residue from the explosion of the previous sanding belt, which made your partner run away swearing from the whole, horrible d├ębacle. He now sits in a darkened room, rocking and muttering.

Once you clear the blockage, operation of the floor sander is *relatively* dust-free and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. The dust-related fuss, that is. There are of course myriad other fusses to be made in relation to floor sanding. The hideous noise, the terrifying sparks which emanate from the sander from time to time, the pain in your back caused by the machine being made for shortarses those who are not blessed in the height department, the way it conveys itself around the room only nominally under your control, the loss of the will to live. Those sorts of fusses.

Which is to say nothing of the edge sander which, like a gigantic, demented, mechanical crab, scuttles sideways around the perimeter of the room, firing out yet more sparks, making tortured screeching sounds and emitting Scalextric smells from time to time whilst you crouch over it, grasping it until your knuckles whiten, holding your breath through tension like you do at the dentist (you don't? Ah, just me then...) and attempting to exert some kind of control whilst trying not to drip sweat onto its electrical bits.

Maybe we should have listened when they said that carpets were back in fashion...

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