Whenever you go on a package holiday, there is always the meeting with the holiday rep’ to look forward to. Although it’s wrapped up as an informative session to tell you everything you need to know about your destination, once you peel off the paper-thin disguise, it’s a sales pitch. The rep’ will be looking to supplement their meagre income by selling excursions. They will usually cost far too much and will involve being herded around like cattle from one uninteresting place to the next. Some are better than others, but there are always one or two that seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Once, when we went to Malta, they took us to a traditional village in the back of beyond. They showed us an old house. After a short delay, an old lady came waddling out of the house carrying a basket of washing. She walked down to the river where she started to use two big stones to wash her clothes. It wasn’t very convincing. The rest of the coach party lapped it up, giving the old lady tips in appreciation for the show. She made a tidy packet, and I just knew that secreted away inside her humble abode was a state of the art washer stood next door to a tumble dryer.
There seems to be no end of labour saving devices for the kitchen. In order to carve your Sunday roast, you can use a mechanised carving knife. Don’t give yourself arm ache trying to stir a cake mixture, just throw it into the mixing machine. Do you want some bread? There’s a machine for that. When it comes to making coffee, the sheer range of devices on offer is giddying.
But when it comes to washing, we don’t seem to have advanced much further than the rocks in the river. Yes, we now have washing machines, but you still have to sort through your clothes to make sure your favourite red and white top doesn’t come out pink. We have tumble dryers, but you still have to scoop everything out of the washing machine and load it. If you get it wrong, you end up with a jumper that fits action man. We even have new, improved washing powder that still doesn’t manage to get everything clean.
White goods manufacturers haven’t advanced much since the old twin tub. To give them a helping hand, I’m going to invent the ultimate washing machine. I’m picturing a hopper at the top into which you place all your dirty clothing. Inside, there will be a sorting module which will work out what goes with what. Then there will be the washing machine itself. After the washing machine, there will be a scanner to find any clothing that needs another cycle. Anything that makes it through, will be dried, pressed and folded ready for collection at the bottom.
The little old lady in Malta would be proud.
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