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Sweeps clean

My new broom. You may think it an odd thing to be chuffed about, but this sort of broom is hard to find here. They more commonly use push brooms, like shop brooms.

Uncle B calls this a besom. It isn’t exactly — that’s the ‘bundle of twigs’ broom like the witches ride — but he put out his back once, badly, using one of my brooms from the States, so I’ll allow him to call it whatever he likes.

I found this one at an animal feed store. I had a nice chat with the shop girls about how excellent they were for getting into corners and stuff. Horsey girls. You know the type.

It’s amazing he little differences I bump my nose against on the daily. Still a foreigner after all these years.


Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 25, 2019, 9:50 pm

Real straw? Do they sell straw whisks too?

Horsey girls – know the type…sigh.

Oh, never mind that MrsD!, you’re my one true love!

Comment from Clifford Skridlow
Time: April 25, 2019, 9:55 pm

Over here we have to label them . .


Comment from Gromulin
Time: April 25, 2019, 10:20 pm

Once, at a Home Depot, my wife mentioned that she needed a new broom. Apparently “Forgot where you parked the old one?” was not the correct response.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: April 25, 2019, 11:47 pm

Seems like you are well on your way to being a native using the word “chuffed”. This is only the second time I have heard that word in use.

Comment from HL King
Time: April 26, 2019, 12:32 am

I miss corn brooms. The newfangled plastic fiber brooms aren’t worth a plug nickle. For whatever reason, some genius thought frizzing the ends of the plastic fibers would be great at catching dust bunnies – and they are, but I spend as much time physically pulling the damned things off as I do sweeping.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 26, 2019, 2:19 am

Our foyer tends to constantly collect oak leaves because: oak tree. Out shopping last fall, I came across a classic “bundle of twigs” small broom; the selling point being the the twigs were from cinnamon trees (or bushes)? In any case the brooms had a nice cinnamon scent, were small and interesting and seemed just the thing to keep at our entrance to give the leaves a quick whisk out of sight. So, I bought one.

I put it in the foyer and forgot about it until I noticed some leaves to be swept and couldn’t find it. Eventually it turned up in the garage. Okay. I put it back. When this happened a third time, I asked Mrs Vegetable (who is Japanese) about what the heck was happening. I was told I was being very rude.

It seems that, in Japanese folklore and custom, having a broom at the entrance to your home somehow says that you want your visitors to leave quickly. Why? Apparently it just does. By the way the broom somehow accidentally got mixed in with the trash and is gone.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: April 26, 2019, 12:37 pm

For years I thought “besom” was just an old-fashioned version of the word that describes a woman’s chestal area.

Some Veg, I like the Japanese people I’ve met, and so I’ll avoid putting a broom next to my door. If Americans subscribed to the same item of folklore, though, I’d rush right out and get one to install there. There aren’t many strangers I’d welcome into my home nowadays, and even friends, well, it’s nice when they come over but even nicer when they leave.

Comment from RushBabe
Time: April 26, 2019, 3:15 pm

I always rely on my sister to buy me “real” corn brooms (she lives in PA, I live in VA). She said they’re made by blind folks and sold through the local Lions’ Club.

I did a search and found tons of results, like this one: http://bit.ly/2ULY0fm

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 26, 2019, 3:30 pm

And now – off to scour the internet because corn brooms ain’t made from what non-farming Americans think of as ‘corn’.

(did you miss me while I was gone?)

It’s Sorghum!
Sorghum vulgare, or S. bicolor variety technicum.

And as a bonus, why it’s believed broomcorn brooms are better at doing their jobs then those aforementioned newfangled plastic fiber brooms (You kids! Get the hell off my lawn!)


Gotta love this place, it often causes me ask questions that I wouldn’t otherwise ask because it’s stuff I take for granted that I know

….when it turns out I really DON’T.

Comment from Pupster
Time: April 26, 2019, 7:10 pm

I think the real important point of this story has not yet been highlighted. Stoaty moved from Rhoad Island USA to darkest England UK and brought a broom with her. AND it tried to kill her beloved.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 26, 2019, 7:24 pm

Good point Pupster.

And you know, Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams because he couldn’t get along with the Pilgrims and the way they ran Plymouth Colony.

And the Pilgrims wanted to burn witches.

So Williams probably didn’t want to burn witches.

So witch brooms could still be coming from Rhode Island!

And Stoaty brought a broom, from Rhode Island, which tried to harm Uncle B!


oh, wait,
heh, sorry, wrong witch hunt.

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