Keep Up With The Joneses – On A Budget

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

There’s no denying it. Space is at a premium. If you want to live in a large house with manicured lawns, double garage and ample room for a family and guests, you need to work on getting some government tenders. But it’s not just the big house that many of us want, but all that goes with it – a large place to entertain guests, indoor pools or a library.

Most of us will never be in such a position so we have to compromise. We might stay in the more affordable, smaller homes (and I do realise that “affordable” is a subjective term) but it doesn’t mean that we can’t at least enjoy some of the luxuries afforded to those who have friends with blue light brigades.

If you have an ear for music but have neither time for cleaning nor space for a baby grand piano, why not buy a combination piano-vacuum cleaner? Inventor Max Rothfeld found a way to use a piano’s bellows to create suction and therefore be used as a vacuum. I have no doubt that the piano is far more pleasant to listen to than an ordinary vacuum, though I should imagine it is far more difficult to manoeuvre up stairs. All the allure of a baby grand combined with the practicality of a Hoover – what more could you want?

Everyone wants to keep up with Joneses. Not all of them mind you – Rolling Stones guitarist and former band leader Brian Jones met an unfortunate end while another Jones, Marion, was stripped of her Olympic medals. Both had issues with drug use though it is highly unlikely that either Jones would have been able to perform on the others choice of poison. But very few Joneses, or people in general, would have an industrial strength lemon squeezer. A hammer, anvil and dispensing unit have been combined, giving you the opportunity to take every ounce of frustration out on a hapless lemon. The kitchen device is highly impractical and has never been marketed, hence its rarity in homes. And if an item is rare, most assume it’s because of price, not practicality. Who needs Johnny Blue to stay on the A-list?

There is no denying that cycling is the sport of the yuppie. Cyclists, author included, always covet the latest technology. And many, author excluded, throw a great deal of money at lightweight components with impressive sounding foreign names. How does one combine the exclusivity of cycling with day-today living? The bicycle powered sewing machine, of course! Contemporary designs seem far safer than vintage ones, which allowed two users to pedal, one to sew and one to enjoy the scenery (or possibly pray that something doesn’t go wrong with this potential death-trap). Fitness, gadgets and something none of your neighbours will have – this kind of exclusivity is usually only reserved for residents of golf estates.

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