Ode in a Dishwasher

I love my dishwasher. For most of my life, it’s the appliance that has evaded me, the appliance that I most coveted.

We had one in our house as a kid, but for some reason I still can’t quite fathom, we were never allowed to use it (something about the value of manual labour… I never really got it).

When I left home, I lived the poor student life. The only accommodation that I could find, without having to share (I’m not overly sociable) was a bare, minimalist affair.

Even when Emma and I first moved in together, we lived in lovely, modern apartment. However, it had one glaring fault – it had no space for a dishwasher. When we finally moved into our townhouse it was a glorious day. There, in the kitchen, was the appliance that would change my life (that may be a slight overstatement).

Needless to say, I think the dishwasher is a key appliance in the Compact Family Life townhouse. It saves time, removes clutter and dirt from benchtops, and can be quite cheap to operate if done so with a little planning and forethought.

Yes, I love my dishwasher so much that the only way to truly express it is in the form of an ode (any semblance to John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn is because I borrowed from it, heavily).

Ode in a German Dishwasher

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness

Thou foster-child of silence and saved time,

Scullery historian who canst thus express

A silvery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

What food-encrusted legend haunts within thy form

Of pots or plates, or of both,

In city or the suburbs of Sydney?

What implements or utensils are these? What dads loth?

What efficient pursuit? What struggle to clean?

What pipes and hoses? What stubborn grit?


Mechanical melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye time-delayed start, play on;

Not to the conscious ear, but, more torpor

Whir to the spirit guardians of free time:

Fair parent, beneath the doona, thou need not leave

Thy warmth, nor ever fear ant invasion;

Bold father, never shall thou fingers wrinkle,

Though cast-iron thou still scrub by hand;

Efficiency cannot fade, and thou hast thy bliss,

For ever with thou free-time, and she be fair!


Ah, happy, happy begetter! That need-not slave

Your hands, nor ever bid the hay adieu;

And, perfunctory melodist, unwearied,

For ever washing dishes for ever clean;

More happy time! More happy, happy time!

For ever whirring, and in warranty serviceable;

All breathing human innovation far away,

That leaves the head high-thoughtful and buoyed,

A dry hand, and a joyful heart.


Who are these coming to the contraption?

To what stainless-steel appliance, O mysterious consort,

Lead’st thou that dirty plate dripping with gravy,

And all its pearl-white surface with peas drest?

What little townhouse by street or road,

Or hill-built with pleasant outlook,

Is to be slightly cleaner, this precious eve?

And, little townhouse, thy rooms for evermore

Will clean be; and not a soul to tell

That they forgot to scrape the plate.


O cuboid shape! Fair design! With skin

Of silvery steel and buttons embedded,

With wine-glass holders and thy folding racks;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of work

As doth the washing machine: Warm Whitegoods!

When old age shall this father move,

Thou shalt remain, in the midst of other owners

Then I, a husband to wife, to whom I’ll say’st,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all

Ye know on earth, so I’d better buy another one.”

Twin Mummy and Daddy
One Hull of a Dad

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