Eclectic Collection

ASMR & a Mop

Over a bowl of saucy pasta I tell my fellow diner that the late Bob Ross is apparently an accidental ASMR star: his quiet, soporific voice paints bliss on the canvas of overwrought, stressed souls. My companion blurts past a mouthful of spaghetti, eyes wide, What do YOU know about ASMR? WHY do you know about ASMR?

According to my informed source, a big chunk of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response, or ‘brain massage’) is situated in a smutty, shadowy corner of the internet reserved for perverts who do all sorts of things to themselves while listening to recordings of other people slurping, sucking, chewing, whispering, scrunching up a packet, opening a zipper, vacuuming etc (innovative creators of said sounds have special recording equipment, I’m told).

Well, well, well, I said, I don’t know what corner of the internet these pleasure seekers are trawling, but it’s not my slice of web heaven.

As far as I’m concerned, ASMR features a soft, soothing, even voice that drones on about any darn subject and unintentionally (as in the case of Bob Ross), or intentionally, gets you to a relaxed, happy place where you drift, on a cloud of gentle, feathery consonants and vowels, to the land of Nod.

The conversation had me in stitches, as did the latent ASMR potential hiding in the sleek contours of my Verimark Floorwiz Double Sided Spray Mop; a potential my son later uncovered and featured when doing a routine clean-up of his pet rat’s man cave located under a bed.

My presence is preferably required during this strategic, smelly clean-up operation. I’m a spectator, and my son does his best to entertain and converse to keep me alert and prevent yawning. I’m an appreciative audience, but on this occasion, I was also a snorting, snickering one.

My Floorwiz Spray Mop revealed a personality and characteristics I had previously failed to notice.

Would you believe Mop has a courtship ritual? My son demonstrated this by encouraging Mop to sidle up to a table leg and do a few swiveling maneuvers to impress, after which the leg was sprayed with a fine, irresistible detergent mist.

Having sprayed, Mop slid ever so slowly across the floor, stood still and, when my son imperceptibly squeezed Mop’s trigger, a dribble emerged, accompanied by a prolonged Mop squeak (a bit of dodgy ASMR right there).

I doubled over with laughter. Mop’s vocals were identical to the squeaking bath toy sounds a male tortoise I used to know (his name was, and probably still is, Captain) made when he mounted a profoundly bored and long-suffering Old Girl (she wasn’t old at all) or the hard-to-get Choo-Choo (she’d run out of puff and wanted only to munch her lettuce. Maybe the crisp crunching was a real turn on for Captain? Tortoise grade ASMR?)

Mop looked positively lecherous as he glided, in his shaggy green suit, from one corner of the room to another corner to accost an unsuspecting piece of skirting board lying motionless against the wall.

Oh dear, it was funny. My stomach muscles hurt from laughing too hard.

Any-hoo, allow me to type an ASMR goodbye. You can mop up your mirth-tears before you nod off…

A whispered farewell

floats over green, pastured dell,

sliding down

a trembling,


ear canal

Shivers dance

on hot, vibrating drum,

infection sets in,

you barely

hear a thing


fall a-shleeeeeep

in this pink, throbbing





for you are numb

xxx TeaShell

2 thoughts on “ASMR & a Mop

  1. The illustration was not only apt, but also quite brilliant. Your creation?

    From: Johan Van Der Merwe [] Sent: 03 February 2021 02:56 PM To: ‘MantisWheel’ Subject: RE: [New post] ASMR & A Mop

    Hello Tea Shell

    Thoroughly enjoyed this delightful and informative piece. It also reminded me of something that happened when I, as a young dominee here in George, was responsible for the ministry to the teenagers and young people. [Okay so that must have been shortly after the landing of the British Settlers in Algoa Bay.] Anyhow, fairly regularly I would get questions like: “Dominee, is dit sonde om te dans?” At the time it was the official position of our denomination that it was indeed the case. I and most other young pastors did not agree. But it was not considered kosher to publicly criticise church policy on such matters. So, what I did was to invite a young, intelligent and talented teacher from Outeniqua High to address the teenagers on precisely that topic. His name was Prevot van der Merwe [not related], and he was to become quite renowned as an Afrikaans author and poet, and also professor of Education. He turned out to be a dynamic speaker too, and very persuasive with his arguments against the official point of view referred to above. The boys and girls thoroughly appreciated his logic, especially when he addressed the dominant argument used so often in some circles, viz. that popular forms of dancing were risky in the extreme as it involved close physical contact which more often than not led to a dancing couple being engulfed in a flame of carnal desire. Prevot in a kind of confidential way informed us that you don’t necessarily need someone of the opposite sex to light a fuse in you. Even an inanimate object, under specific circumstances, can kindle a fire. But that does not mean that we from now on should for that reason throw away all such objects. As he mentioned this, young Prevot grabbed a broom and started dancing with it, staring intently at it and exclaiming: “Oh! Oh! The desire is just too much for me!” That very nearly brought the house down.

    What I and also the audience of about 90 youngsters did not realise, was that what we had just witnessed was not a bit of jolly good play-acting, but the real thing. Precisely what the broom had whispered in his ear, however, I’ll never know.

    Please keep on writing.



    1. Oh what a jolly good anecdote and jolly good fellow. I’m impressed, too, by the circumnavigation of, and delicate dance around, the established policy.
      Yes to your question. Finding an image of Mop was easy: he’s a popular fellow. I see his shaggy suit on many a washline. All I had to do was put him ‘in character’ 😄


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