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The ultimate cleaning task: The aftermath of a Tom and Jerry encounter

The ultimate cleaning task: The aftermath of a Tom and Jerry encounter

The ultimate cleaning task: The aftermath of a Tom and Jerry encounter

Many a childhood has been enriched by the wonderful entertainment provided by Tom and Jerry, a pair who are perpetually at war and yet, when all is said and done, could not quite live without each other.

There is something spectacularly inefficient about Tom. Many times he quite literally has his mousy nemesis in his paws, yet rather than simply devouring him as a normal cat would, seeks to find some spectacular and mechanical way of seeing Jerry off, usually by devising some contraption to crush, slice or catapult him into oblivion.

Amid all the mayhem that goes on between the pair is the poor old housemaid. A feature of the cartoons is the fact that we never see her face, although we hear her voice with its southern drawl - and, of course, we know she is terrified of mice - forever demanding that the blundering Thomas do his job of catching Jerry. Often, his failure leads to fits of understandable rage at the useless mouser, for there is often a huge mess left for her to clear up.

Indeed, one day it is decided that Tom is so inept that there is nothing for it but to go fully automated. So the cat is banished to the other side of the fence and a robot feline is introduced instead. This remote-controlled mouser sets off on its Terminator-like mission, although it never quite manages its "Hasta la Vista baby" moment.

The robot starts with a suction tube that yanks Jerry out of his hole. He manages to narrowly dodge the robot cat's axe, but he knows he has a battle on his hands. The innovative mouse then tries to get past the cat by catapulting himself into his hole from up a tree, but is caught in a huge glove and then fired back out of the house through a cannon located in the cat's back.

Just when you might think Jerry is beaten, however, he fights back; this time with the help of a box of clockwork mice.

A confused robot cat goes on a desperate chasing spree, firing bullets and swinging away with various axes and blades. The result, however, is calamitous: as he chases he makes matchwood of the piano, destroys a whole row of ornamental crockery and then cuts a table in half with his circular saw, spewing sawdust everywhere in the process. 

Things then really get out of hand as the robot almost demolishes a wall trying to dynamite a mouse hole, at which point the maid appears and is so horrified by the destruction she panics and calls outside for Tom to return. He arrives in time to see the mechanical moggy destroying itself with a series of collisions.

Finally, the robot is no more, but there is a sting in the tail as Tom accidentally swallows the remote control sensor. No sooner has the maid shaken his hand and declared that from now on "all I want is a plain old fashioned cat" than Jerry turns the switch on the remote control and Tom sets off on his own destructive spree.

Suffice to say, the mess will need quite a lot of clearing up.

Of course, most homes that need a good clean will not have just been trashed by Tom and Jerry, let alone a robot. But you can also rest assured that our cleaning services won't be using any remote-controlled metal felines!