Just the other day I was browsing through the home appliances section of a department store. Having done all my Christmas shopping I was free to wander and ogle all the things that I do not need. Amongst the muffins makers, wet ‘n dry vacuum cleaners and cordless toasters was something that caught my eye.

It was a mini indoor fountain. A trickle of water ran down some rocks and was recycled back up again. Very feng shui, I would imagine. I was intrigued at this fountain and took a closer look at its box.

The box offered all sorts of descriptive passages, virtually taking me away to another world as I read them.

“Soothing sounds of cascading water create a stress-free ambience,” it read. It also claimed that the fountain was a “natural humidifier”. Yes, and so is flushing the toilet when its blocked.

Another part of the wonderful box blurb was that it “moisturises the air”. Well, I guess it would be pushing it to expect the box to read “creates dampness in your home”.

And if that weren’t enough, it also claimed that it “masks distractions so you can stay focussed.” Ah yes, the baby’s crying, the dog’s yapping, Brittnee wants to be read to and Jayden is playing Eminem really loudly. Forget them, just turn the waterfall on and all your troubles will fade into insignificance.

Intrigued by this wonderful invention, I did a little bit of reasearch and discovered there are companies out there who specialise in making these kinds of products.

Also available are little radio-like things that, instead of playing music, play “soothing sounds”. So if you have rising damp and don’t want to risk a mini waterfall, instead you can listen to such sounds as “summer night”, “ocean waves” and “spring rain”. Or you could just buy a cheap bedside radio, and tune it off a station and just have static playing as you drift into a peaceful slumber while Brittnee and Jayden battle it out in the next room.

Anyway, a couple of days later I was in a fast food restaurant and a few metres from where I was sitting there was some sort of leak above the ceiling, causing water to trickle down. This created a noise not unlike that of the waterfall machines.

Did it sooth and relax me? Did it moisturise my ambiance? Er, no. In fact after a while I stopped paying attention to the trickle and instead eavesdropped on the young couple on a blind date in the next booth (“I was so nervous last night. I had a dream about pot. Yeah, I’ve been trying to cut down because I’ve been smoking it, like, every day, and that’s not good, eh?”).

So if you were perhaps thinking of getting me one of those waterfalls for my birthday or Christmas, you’ll need to stop thinking that. I used to live next door to an Irish pub – I don’t need no indoor waterfall to help me relax.

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