Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Collective Sigh of a Thousand Vacuum Cleaners

Easy Clean Dust Buster 5000 was the latest and most sophisticated offering by the UDirtyVClean Corporation (headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts). In fact it had been more or less responsible for resurrecting the fortunes of the almost insolvent Corporation.

The 4000 series with its latest Stick design had failed to fire the collective imagination of the usual suspects who bought the products offered by the Corporation. They complained that it resembled the now obsolete broomstick both in design and functionality. It also didn’t offer any comfort to their sore bottoms, a feature they had deeply craved ever since the High Council had decided to replace broomsticks with vacuum cleaners. This had been done during the harsh winter of the Chinese year of the Green Monkey.

Feeling the heat from its clientele, the Corporation went back to the design board and created the 5000 series. It had a bold upright design with luxurious seating and extra storage space for spells and incantations. They also threw in the brain of a benign logo-phobic (the only one available) to make the new series more user-friendly.

The prototype of the 5000 series, Serial Number H/AL1138 was sold to the head of the High Council. Behind her back, she was known as Her Royal Highness of Prolixity for her ability to stun everyone with an endless barrage of words. This more often than not caused the listeners to drown themselves in a small, unassuming puddle of an anorexic bat’s blood.

Her verbosity meant that in a state of rage she could spew any dangerous spell from her extensive repertoire of dark magic. And this worried the good-natured and humane Easy Clean Dust Buster 5000 Serial Number H/AL1138. Not only was 1138 the official carrier of her royal posterior, it was also the mobile storage unit for all her powerful magic. Countless times it had seen innocent but curious bystanders turn into aardvarks, flamingos, guinea pigs, lion tailed macaques, Caribbean rhinoceros iguanas and even puss and fungus just because they had been interested in listening to the words of an old hag riding a shining brand new vacuum cleaner.

“This had to stop”, thought the simple minded but well meaning 1138 to itself, its one horse power motor making a loud roar - the world must be rid of people who use their lithe tongues and dark words to stupefy others - death to the exploiters of the word. And thus began the great Vacuum Cleaning Revolution in the Chinese year of the Rooster. What had began with a roar ended with the collective sigh of a thousand vacuum cleaners. And only I, the short story writer, am left to tell this horrifying tale of annihilating suction. But no listeners left.

© 2004 Anshumani Ruddra

1 comment:

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