Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Is Matthew Parris Trying To Tell Me?

From Matthew Parris's column in today's Times...

Matthew’s little helper

Dale has come to live at my London flat. Dale (I christened him) is a robot vacuum cleaner about the size of a very large dinner plate, who looks like a grounded flying saucer. At the press of his button he departs his battery-charging docking station and noses around the floor, dusting and sucking up dirt. He can handle rugs and chair legs; whenever he bumps into anything he reverses and goes off in another direction. After about an hour, when he knows his batteries are getting low, he returns without assistance to the docking station, to recharge. Dale isn’t very powerful, but he’s persistent, and (to judge from his filter compartment, which I empty regularly) he’s gradually getting everything up.

Sometimes I feel rather lonely in my big flat. But with Dale scurrying around and busying himself, I now feel I have a little friend. I hope he likes it here, and doesn’t ask to be taken back to the household appliances department at Peter Jones.

Now I could be reading too much into this, but...

21 comments:

DespairingLiberal said...

Peter Jones? I might have guessed - not John Lewis, that's a workers state!

It must be a sign of old age, but these days I more and more enjoy all those long-serving Tory commentators like Matthew Paris, Michael Portillo and Andrew Neil doing their various things on radio and TV. I genuinely think the Tories have mellowed since the days of Maggie into something almost bearable.

My word verification was chingford!

Hugh said...

Whenever I read a Matthew Parris column now I'm reminded of the parody by the Public Interest Blog:
http://www.publicinterest.blogspot.com/2008_04_01_archive.html

"From the window of my penthouse overlooking the Thames I watch the dockers on loading their boats. The gentle breeze causes a succession of ripples across the water. A seagull nestles on the top of a riverboat, toying with a piece of bread thrown at it by a pensioner wrapped up to the nines, fighting defiantly against the unseasonably cold March weather.
The docker bends over to take out the yard arm, thus revealing a three inch crack between his buttocks. Slowly I sense a growing anger. I stroll back to my chaise longue, turn on my laptop, take a sip from a capuccino and contemplate the mayoral election.
Superficially, on the surface, all is well with the docker. But perhaps he is volcanic with hidden fury, a boiling festering hatred aimed squarely at our political elite.
Gordon Brown may jostle with David Cameron across the despatch box every Wednesday. Sometimes he wins. More often he does not. The political class gets excited. Vince Cable delivers a witty put-down on Channel Four News. The political elite starts cheering from the rooftops.
But does any of this matter to the docker? Does he know who Vince Cable even is, I wonder, as I thoughtfully stroke my llama."

strapworld said...

Iain, perhaps you will discover, by going to the Peter Jones website,that they do, indeed, sell such machines.

You could retaliate, if you still feel that Parris is having a go at you, by calling your waste bucket 'Matthew'

Bill Quango MP said...

My mum has one. Noisy bugger it is. Can only use it when you're not there.

JohnofEnfield said...

..you missed out the "incident" with the lodgers hair dryer.

Was this accidental, deliberate or just another example of paranoia at work.

Just be aware that even paranoiacs have real enemies!!!

Benny said...

Ooh I want one!

Michael Heaver said...

If I had been in the Union Bar for more usual sharpener my comment on this post would have been a lot more interesting. And probably very very wrong.

Richard Wells said...

DespairingLiberal, isn't Peter Jones part of John Lewis?

I don't think its that the Tory commentators have mellowed. Its just that they are commentators now and are not having to be on the defensive all the time. They were probably always just as mellow in private!

The Purpleline said...

As we approach the hot British summer trips to the seaside. I believe Matthew is returning to these times and using his column to show his appreciation of the naughty British postcard.

If you were not happily in a relationship I would say this is a little tease.
You only live once go for it

Skittler said...

It's no big deal.

Suck it up, Princess ;)

Matt Wardman said...

You missed a bit:

>Oh crikey. Screams from the bedroom. Dale has had a run-in with my lodger’s hairdryer.

Sean Haffey said...

"You are overqualified for this position."

DespairingLiberal said...

Oh yes Richard - didn't know that!

Hilarious scenes on the Daily Politics just now - John Redwood disappeared in the middle of one of his tax-cutting rants! Only to reappear a few seconds later. All very Vulcan. Pickles is now on, acting his usual semi-insulting self.

trevorsden said...

Is he a fan of Mr Winton?

Alan Douglas said...

"he’s gradually getting everything up."

Whatever could he mean ?

Alan Douglas

neil craig said...

Life following art. Robert Heinlein wrote of this in The Door Into Summer partly set in 1970 so probably written in the 50s.

Nigel said...

Wanders round, apparently aimless, sucking up dirt...

.. should have called it Guido ?

George said...

Must have you mixed up with Dale Winton.....!

Cynic said...

If you don't know a pass when you see one ........

markmclay18 said...

The first step to realising 'the terminator' prophecy.One morning you will wake up and it will be sitting on your chest with a knife.Smash it with a hammer,before it is too late.

denverthen said...

Oh dear. Blogging luvvies.

Only in Britain could there emerge so swiftly an incestuous blogger/commentariat hybrid 'establishment' that ultimately talks only to itself, assumes a loyal readership, but basically takes the whole bloody thing for granted.

Nice work. Parris should be ashamed of himself, right?