The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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2:48pm on Thursday, 23rd June, 2011:
Earlier this week, the doorbell rang and I opened the door to find a cross-eyed, shaven-haired man with neck tattoos toting a large hold-all and holding up a big card with "HAWKER" written on it. My first instinct was "Aii! His partner is right this minute trying to break in through the back door!", but I figured I was probably safe because my father-in-law was round there and he's shot people dead (well, he shot down the bombers they were in, anyway).
The man explained that he was training to be a HAWKER. I took that to mean a door-to-door saleman, rather than someone who sets birds of prey on small mammals. He hadn't had much of an education (you don't say?) and would I be interested in buying any of his wares.
OK, well I'm not one to judge by appearances, so I said yes, I'd take a look at what he was selling.
Unfortunately, what he was selling was a selection of over-priced household goods I either already had or didn't have because they're no use to me ("hmm, a dog-grooming glove, I could use that to groom my — oh! But I don't have a dog!"). They're the kind of thing that might have sold 40 years ago if they were cheaper than what was in the shop, but they're not good for today. They also didn't fit the local demographic here: dishcloths, tea towels — if I didn't have a dishwasher, yes, great. Shammy leathers, car polish — not bad but there's a bunch of Eastern Europeans at Asda that make a much better job of washing my car than I do, and they cost less than the shammy leathers. If he really wanted to sell things to people in this neighbourhood, he should be offering flowers or strawberries or Starbucks coffee from an urn on his back.
Or, of course, he could come with a bag full of pathos-loaded goods and hope that people would buy them not because they needed them but because they felt sorry for him. Well, although I did feel sorry for him (that neck tattoo is not going to come off), I'm not going to buy stuff I don't want purely out of charity. I told him, too; at least that way, if I did buy something it would be because he was good at being a HAWKER and not because he was good at looking desperate.
As it happened, I did see something interesting in his bag. Judging by the state of the packaging it had been in his bag for some considerable time, but it looked OK through the plastic. It was a Sink Wizard.
A Sink Wizard is a length of wire with a bit of velcro on the end of it. Well, the Tub & Shower Sink Wizard is, the regular Sink Wizard has like a pipe-cleaner on the end, or at least it should have according to the instructions; mine had a smaller piece of velcro instead. I got both in my pack, so am able to clean my sinks, tubs and showers with it. It's the shower I'm mainly interested in, because that's where the three female members of our household depost the vast quantities of hair they have no need for, which builds up into a mat in the drain. With my Sink Wizard, I can remove it (note that it's me who has to remove it, even though it's not my hair) (actually, my wife does it sometimes, so that's not strictly true).
But how does one use a Sink Wizard? A bit of velcro on the end of a wire sounds so complicated! Ah, fortunately, the Sink Wizard comes with instructions. Here's the key one:
Of course! You have to twirl it.
I bet you want one now. Well, if you're lucky, a HAWKER will come and flog you a pair for £9.99. Alternatively, you can buy them for £2.50 online.
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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).