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Thursday, June 12, 2008

We Will Stop at Nothing to Acquire Your Swiffer Technology

Daniel McArdle

A Proclamation from Three-Click-Pause-Two-Click, Fifth of Many

Take Me to Your Swiffer, by Sebastian Alappat

Your species thinks itself so clever, so superior to the myriad life forms on your insignificant planet, especially the insects, those closest in form to the First, progenitor of the Many. Endoskeletoned fools! Do you not know that your most advanced scientific breakthroughs—Gore-Tex, fiber optics, Post-it Notes—were reverse engineered from one of our lost ships, and a mere scout pod at that! How you would unintentionally release foul-smelling waste fluids, were you to gaze upon one of our glorious hive ships with your pathetic single set of eyes!

Our lowliest sanitation caste possess intellects far surpassing those of your most brilliant scientist caste. And your paltry attempts at hive defense make us click our mandibles in contempt. Do we not routinely abduct you from your tiny hives, conduct experiments on your various orifices, and then return you without a trace of our passing? Are we not the Many, conquerors of 23.86% of this galaxy, which you mammals refer to as the “Milky Way” with the hubris so typical of vertebrates?

Yet even we, the Many, descended from the First, must concede that you outdo us in one critical area: Easy and convenient cleanliness And no innovation in your species’ pitifully short history can match the uncanny abilities of your Swiffer implements.

How it maddens our overlord caste, makes us twitch our antennae in furious agitation, forces us to release searing clouds of pain pheromones! Despite our overwhelming technological prowess and supremacy, we cannot sufficiently replicate the Swiffer, Swiffer Sweeper, Swiffer SweeperVac, WetJet, or Swiffer Duster. Not even the simple CarpetFlick! We cannot trap and lock dirt with such minimal effort! We cannot begin to achieve such brightly shining surfaces! We cannot produce molecules to match the clean, fresh scent! ARRGGH! The pain cloud, my sisters! It burns!

And why, despite ready access to Swiffer implements, do so many of your solitary young males live in such filth? Why do they not heed the advice of their female progenitors? Such paradoxes only add to our frustration!

How our hives would sparkle with such access! How our nurseries would erupt with storms of pleasure chemicals and deafening clicks of joy, as our caretaker caste quickly “swiff” up the common areas, effortlessly dispose of the contaminated wipes in nearby waste chutes, and return to lavish additional attention upon our eggs and larvae!

We must amass examples of the various Swiffer products so that we too will have “The Five Signs of a Great Clean”: Trap and Toss—Smell—Feel—Shine—See! We will stop at nothing to acquire your Swiffer technology! No! The pain cloud returns! Make the pain subside, my sisters! MAKE THE PAIN SUBSIDE!

Daniel McArdle is a freelance graphic designer/trailing spouse/kept man living in Hong Kong with his wife and two daughters. He presently finds solace in short story rejections, and on soccer pitches, exhibiting a surprising knack for goal. He also amuses himself by correcting those who believe him to be Canadian (he is not, but he generally takes it as a compliment). His latest work can be found in print and online at sites like Pindeldyboz, Hobart, and Monkeybicycle. His expat ramblings can be found at