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Jack Tame: Filling bean bags - the worst domestic task of all

Publish Date
Sat, 15 Jun 2024, 2:54pm

Jack Tame: Filling bean bags - the worst domestic task of all

Publish Date
Sat, 15 Jun 2024, 2:54pm

De-icing the freezer. That's it, without doubt, the worst possible domestic chore.  

Because you know, the tricky thing - is once you've successfully taken the plug out of the wall, got rid of the electricity, melted the water. Where does it all go? Where does the water go? I remember my mum running a system with our big chest freezer when I was a kid. She needed buckets. She needed pots and pans, towels and mops, baby baths even and still it took her the whole weekend.  

But now you know what, I'm not totally sure that deicing the freezer is still Top of the Pops in miserable domestic jobs. And that is the kind of sentence only ever uttered by someone who has recently tried to fill a bean bag. Ugh.  

Are bean bags having a moment? I reckon they might be, and I just personally figured that having a versatile option for vegging out in front of the telly might be quite nice when I searched them online there were a couple of different options for beanbags. For most you had to buy the bag and then the beans. Separate. But if you really wanted, you could spend a little bit more money and order a bean bag that was already filled. I thought. What do they take me for? Some kind of sucker? Bean bags, it turns out, actually have two bags. So you fill the inner bag and then you put that inside the outer bag. It's easy in principle, not necessarily in practise.  

I figured that I would tackle the job alone as a nice surprise for when my wife got home. That was my first mistake. I began in the lounge. That was my second mistake. I laid out the bean bag in it and snipped the top corner off the huge bag of beans. 200 litres of them. As the scissor blades glided through the plastic, it was kind of like a can of fizzy drink that had been furiously shaken up. Beans exploded out all over me, all over the floor, all over the couch. Everywhere. And they seem to have some sort of static electricity attraction. So even as I picked them off my chest and tried to sweep them together with my fingers off the carpet, the beans kind of had a mind of their own.  

20 minutes down. For my second attempt, I moved into the kitchen, pinched part of the inner bag in a kitchen drawer so that I could hold the bag open as soon as I started pouring the beans, I inadvertently relaxed the inner bag, closing the mouth of the opening. And pouring roughly 10,000 bean bag beans all over the kitchen floor.  

It turns out when you get on your hands and knees and start trying to pick up pathetically small bits of polystyrene, you get a new appreciation for just how greasy the kitchen floor actually is. It made them less staticky, but alas, it did not make them easier to collect. I cut a pitiful figure when my wife found me scratching around trying to pinch up the last of the beans from under the fridge. Another half an hour I'll never get back.  

If there's one thing my experience has taught me, filling a bean bag is a two-person job. It's also the kind of thing where you should really review the instructional video on YouTube before kicking off. If I'd done that, I would have known the best place to fill the bean bag isn't in the lounge, or in the kitchen. But in an empty bath. That way, if there is any spillage and trust me, there will be spillage at the very least it's contained.  

Third time was a relative charm. It wasn't seamless. We still managed to pour litres of beans onto the floor. I still spent ages on my hands and knees scrambling around in the muck. Every time I thought I'd got them all, I walked out of the room for a moment and then came back in, only to discover a couple of rogue beans hiding underneath some furniture. I feel like they're going to keep popping up for months.  

At least, though there is an upside: if I ever feel like a lazy slob for crashing into my bean bag. and vegging out in front of the television, I can remind myself, earnestly - nah, I had to work for this. 


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