For reasons known only to Mom Red, a new dustpan and handbroom appeared. These are not just your basic plastic “gets it done” cleaning things, far from it. They are German-made with nice turned wooden handles, a solid metal pan, and horsehair bristles. I got to try them out tidying up after I changed the cat litter pan. It was . . . different. The floor of the bathroom is smooth tile. The cat box tucks underneath a shelf/bench/whatever you want to call it, which keeps the pan out of the way, gives the cat some privacy, and allows dust and litter to collect because no one ever gets down on all fours, moves the pan, and looks back in there. Well, almost no one.
While the pan was sunning and air drying after the empty and rinse phase, I swept out the enclosure. The horsehair brush needs a little thicker handle, in my opinion. But there is definitely a tactile difference between using the new “foxtail” broom and Ye Olde Cheap-ee. The rubber lip of the dustpan fits into the grooves between tiles so you can get all the dust et cetera up, and the smooth flow, for lack of a better word, of the horsehair over the floor felt rather nice.
I know, it sounds terribly silly. Who cares what you feel when you sweep the floor, so long as it isn’t grit or the bristles suddenly sticking to the tile or wood? But there was a certain tactile pleasure in using a good tool to really clean up the dust and bits of litter.
I think it may be in part the difference between “it works” and “the right tool for this job.” A bit like when I was working in the shop doing aircraft restoration, and one of the guys loaned me his depleted uranium bucking bar. It was the same size and shape as your standard metal bar for bucking rivets, but weighed at least twice as much. You knew the instant you grabbed it that this was not standard. But oh, it worked so well! You want a good, solid mass against the tail of the rivet when the “gun” hits the head so the body and head fill out properly and lock the pieces of metal together. Normally, this required Alma’s mass against the bar to keep it properly seated, something that is a challenge inside the fuselage of an aircraft, even a comparatively roomy space like a dive bomber’s wing-root and just aft of the cockpit. But with “superbar,” I had the mass in hand, and could work a lot more comfortably and faster, with better results. Ordinary bucking bars worked fine, but “superbar” was the perfect tool for the job. I still regret not “borrowing” it when I moved, but I suspect the owner would have noticed.
Likewise the horsehair-bristle foxtail hand-broom. It is the perfect tool for the job, and I can feel the difference. The floor is also a lot cleaner, without that little skin of dust left.