Zen & Death in Filth
Once in a while I swap my tray of gemstones for a day of dirt. Such is usually triggered by a bad gem in a new delivery, a software problem or a customer treating me like a crook. Before I loose my temper, calling the miner a cheat or the customer a psychopath, I get out my Kärcher.
For those not familiar with German engineering, a Kärcher is THE high-end pressure cleaner. Costly, but nothing beats a true Kärcher, genius machines. In German, “kärcher” is be used as a verb, meaning to Clean-Out-Hell.
Oh, BTW, this is not a product endorsement. I don’t get paid or see a new one for free. I swear!
Kärcher come as harmless electric household items but go all the way up to industrial monsters drilling tunnels through the Alps. They are based on pumping water out of a pistol with such force that granite turns to butter. Even my midsize household variety will rip toes off feet, wreck letter-boxes or shred hedges in seconds.
Fans of tidiness, sterility fanatics, compulsive obsessive hygienists, and especially men over 40, worship them as the ultimate therapy against the filth of life.
Evil tongues say elderly men love them because of the everlasting irresistible on-command pressure (you know, prostate problems, erectile dysfunction etc.). External Viagra.
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Ex-Prime-Minister is said to have a world class selection of Kärchers. Personally, I can’t claim freedom from primate instincts but I do know I hate dirty houses.
Our business allows buying gemstones but it does not finance real estate. Therefore, a gypsy by heart, I move a lot. We always rent; and rented houses are dirty, especially in some of the places we have lived.
To understand a Kärcher, you need to see what it does to an old house. You think your backyard is laid with red bricks? Think again. They will shine in bright orange tonight. Your walls are whitish? Ha! The Kärcher will peel off yellow soup and leave stripes of real shiny white behind. No comparison. Gray marble? Mossy brown granite? Beware, there are not only color-changing gemstones but also color-changing houses!
A day of kärchering is filthy beyond imagination. Areas usually avoided, that small space between wall and fence, or deep under the stairs, and, oh what pleasure!, the inside of (empty) garbage bins explode in fountains of freed mud. Nothing withstands a Kärcher. Ancient layers of dunno-want-to-know splatter in every direction, including yous; dirt can reflect like a mirror. Appropriate wraparound SAN glasses are a necessity. Decaying matter of smell will take off your hat, fly sky high and then return to stick in your hair or slither down the manly scalp.
Dogs hide, birds flee; so does my wife. Only the flies, they love me. A deadly love, that is. Little remains of a housefly blasted by a stone-eating Kärcher. And who doesn’t hate the little pests? It’s the icing on the, uh, mud-cake.
To enjoy the day, to cleanse your soul, find peace and content, surrender to absolute, final dirt. Become part of the universe! Once you let go, you’ll experience a spiritual freedom, rare in modern life. Zen and the Kärcher.
Surrender also any garments to a Kärcher-day. They disappear in the, then cleaned, garbage bins. Naked, except for the glasses, would be the ideal outfit, but not every climate, let alone all neighbors are suitable for that show.
And praise global distribution networks. I bought my Kärcher in an Asian department store. It is a very German product but you get local reactions:
In Colombo the neighbors again confirmed I was ‘coco’. In Bangkok they wanted to borrow my Kärcher for the annual water festival (accessory to murder that would have been). The Balinese worried stirring the “Buta”, the house demon. In Sydney, I was yelled at for wasting water and Lisbon’s neighbors rolled their eyes as in “those Germans”. One thing you can be sure of, however, are envious looks from elderly men. That never fails.
Be warned though, kärchering is addictive. Once started, nothing will stop you. As only unconsciousness drops the alcoholic, so, once throughout dirty, nothing but utter exhaustion stops you from kärchering the whole filthy house, the street, the block. There always is another corner of dreck to be blasted and flushed down the drain.
Death-by-Kärcher is a common cause of death amongst German retirees. Once they are finished with the house, they turn to the sidewalk, then the street and, unless stopped by a loving other, they continue towards the city and their unwashed ends.