Make a clean sweep of it, men

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Steve Con­sta­ble

NO WO­MAN could ac­cuse me of be­ing a slob. That’s not to say I couldn’t be a slob, just that, with no wo­man around, I could be a slob with­out any­one con­fronting me. And in the years when there was a wo­man around, I could never have been ac­cused of be­ing a slob be­cause she made it her busi­ness to see that I wasn’t. In fact, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by some­thing called Euro­barom­e­ter, men in the Nordic coun­tries are reck­oned most likely to help with clean­ing and iron­ing, so hav­ing been mar­ried to a Finn was ob­vi­ously train­ing from the top. In­deed, such was her ex­am­ple that, when­ever I now per­mit my­self do­mes­tic vis­i­tors, the hours be­fore their ar­rival are spent in con­sci­en­tious, not to say des­per­ate, dust­ing and scrub­bing. Be­lieve me, there is noth­ing like the im­mi­nent pres­ence of a fe­male to get you busy with the Toi­let Duck. (I once told a wo­man that when she came to my house. I think she was touched). Imag­ine my con­fu­sion, then, when this re­search, and more by the man­u­fac­turer Bosch, com­plains that men are still fail­ing to con­trib­ute enough to house­hold chores. The usual sta­tis­tics fol­low: a Bri­tish wo­man will vac­uum the equiv­a­lent of go­ing to New York and back in her life­time (pro­vok­ing bizarre men­tal images of Mrs Richard Bran­son set­ting a record for cross­ing the At­lantic on a Dyson). While I surely beat their claim that the av­er­age man only spends half a day a year on the task (in­clud­ing, I ad­mit, stop­ping to check the foot­ball re­sults), I was chas­tened to learn that, as sole oc­cu­pier, I was fail­ing to meet a wo­man’s tar­get of shov­ing the Vax around for at least an hour a week. Per­haps Bosch, or Dyson, could in­vent a gad­get which al­lows the sin­gle man to cal­cu­late how much Hoover­ing a house re­ally re­quires, with­out a wo­man in at­ten­dance. Make it in Fin­land, and call it the Slobo­barom­e­ter. I bet you would clean up.

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