So I name my company after myself: S. A. TAN’S CARPET CLEANING. But the sign-writer is like, ‘There’s not enough space on the side of the van.’ I’m like, ‘Well, deal with it.’ So he removes the dots and squeezes the letters together, so it looks like SATAN’S CARPET CLEANING. Then this biker-type guy hires me to do his Queenslander. He’s a bit pissed off when I turn up not looking even vaguely Satanish. The same confusion happens on the next few jobs. I get tired of explaining. I have to make a decision: go with the Satanic thing or repaint the van. So I start to dress up a bit – just the horns to begin with. People are like, ‘Cool.’ I get a red costume, pointy tail. I grow a goatee. Now I’m coming out with lines: ‘I am the Prince of Darkness and I have come to claim your rugs.’
At first it’s a gimmick. Until the real Satanists get on board. They’re like, ‘You should take this more seriously.’ What most people don’t know about Satanists is that even though they worship Beelzebub, they have very high standards when it comes to floors. Lots of regular people start jumping on the Satan bandwagon too, mainly out of curiosity or boredom, or lack of something to believe in, or all of the above. I buy two more vans and two more portable extraction machines. I recruit Darryl and Justin, hardcore death-metal freaks, but excellent at steam cleaning. They design the new company logo: a pentagram and Satan’s Carpet Cleaning: ‘We clean the hell out of your carpets’.
Just as things are starting to get awesome, along comes The Lord is My Shepherd Floor Care. They start luring many of the wayward back into the fold, and a lot of them weren’t even in the fold to begin with. They even convert some of the less committed Satanists with their winning combination of righteousness and spotless carpets. The thing is, they’re using the Polivac Predator Mk II; we only have the Mk I. So we seize the upper hand: we replace the Mk I with the superior suction power of the Mk IV. Plus we expand into tiles, floorboards – the works. And we install massive speakers in the vans, so we arrive at jobs blasting out Slayer, Venom, Deicide, like we’re heralding the end of the world.
But The Lord is My Shepherd don’t fuck around. They bring in the VacMan Sabretooth – 1500 psi CAT triple-piston pump and endless Jonas Brothers. We hit back with the Steamex 3000, inverted crosses, and pig’s blood by the gallon (which we clean up later). They counter with gospel choirs and free pest control. So yeah, right now those guys command the bigger market share. But watch out, The Lord is My Shepherd, because me and Darryl and Justin are developing strategies and we will take you down. You think this is over? Hell, no.