Tuesday 17 September 2002

An abundance of -matiqueity

AKMA conceived the term “-matiqueity” while simultaneously agreeing with my theory that its essence lies in the device’s “automating the manual dishwashing process in some way—most obviously by dispensing detergent from a hollow handle.”

This breakthrough in the semantics of dishwashing seems to have precipitated the discovery of two more devices, one of which extends the power of matique technology outside the kitchen.

Kevin Laurence reports:

Just when I thought the UK might be losing ground in the washing gadget wars, my wife spotted the Easy-Do Bathmatique in our local hardware store (could the Sudsy Studs Calendar have been her motivation?).

Easy-Do Bathmatique, courtesy of Kevin LaurenceFor the sake of your marriage, Kevin, let’s rather hope that she was motivated by a selfless desire to raise her husband’s matique-cred.

Kevin is correct in assuming that, by virtue of its being fillable, the Bathmatique qualifies as a true “matique”. Intriguingly, as well as coming in “at least two colours,” the Bathmatique can be switched “on and off by rotating the sponge head by 45 degrees.” (From the product packaging, it looks like the sponge head might also be topped with a non-abrasive scourer.) I can only assume that the ON/OFF switching controls the detergent flow. Fillable, switchable, available in two colors, designed to clean an entire bathroom—it would appear that, with the Bathmatique, the UK has returned to the forefront of matique technology. Only fitting, many would say, since my own Dishmatiques are proudly labelled “Made in England.”

As we await Kevin’s photographs of the Bathmatique in action (preferably in the bathroom and the kitchen), Steve Himmer brings news of an American matique device called the Quickie. Steve describes it as “a hollow, transparent plastic handle with a screw-cap at one end and a sponge at the other, perpendicular to the soap-filled shaft.”

Gadzooks, indeed. The hollow handle, screw-cap, and sponge immediately qualify the Quickie as a genuine matique product. But it’s the perpendicular relationship of sponge to handle that’s really exciting: imagine the force you could apply to a dirty surface by pushing perpendicularly instead of pressing laterally. Steve has also promised photographs of the Quickie. My dream of selling dishwashing kits online is looking more and more practicable.

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