It sucks when vacuums won’t anymore
I was chasing a lovebird feather across the floor with our vacuum cleaner, finally cornering it by the couch, and all the blasted machine could do was ingest the feather momentarily and then spit it out so I could continue the pursuit. After several minutes of this it dawned on me that maybe the vacuum was not quite on its game. It was like one of those great quarterbacks who win the Super Bowl but the next season throw like a little girl. I mean, when a vacuum cleaner can't suck up a small bird feather, its best days are over.
It was kind of sad because in its prime this vacuum cleaner was a champ. Bird feather? It could have sucked the entire bird through the cage bars (and almost did when I was fooling around once). It could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. When my wife switched on this vacuum in my home office, ideas actually were sucked out of my brain.
I dreaded taking my old friend to that section of the rubbish transfer station where broken appliances are banished. I imagined the poor thing standing there next to the washing machines that no longer washed, dryers that no longer dried and refrigerators that no longer refrigerated. The dump's section for discarded appliances makes the Island of Misfit Toys look like Club Med.
To forestall that day, I did what every real man does when faced with an appliance that doesn't work: I broke out the duct tape. I taped the vacuum up like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz and sent it back into the game. But still its remarkable lack of suckage was apparent. As John Cleese might say, this vacuum was not pining for the great fjords, this vacuum was bereft of life. It had shuffled off this mortal coil. It had joined the choir invisible. This, my friends, was a late vacuum.
So I bucked up and basically dumped the piece of junk and went to Sears and got a new one. (Sentimentality has no place in affairs of the dust bunnies and dog furballs the size of tumbleweeds.)
The new vacuum looks like the dilithium crystal warp-drive propulsion unit from a "Star Trek" starship. Vacuum cleaner manufacturers apparently have made amazing strides in the mere 20 years since I last bought a vacuum.
I turned the new one on, and it rocketed forward like a NASCAR race car leaving the pits, dragging me across the room, sucking up everything in its path -- dust bunnies, furballs, tennis balls, area rugs, floor tiles -- and was well on its way to creating its own black hole in the universe before I managed to hit the "off" switch. My dog Boomer surveyed the carnage from his perch upon the dining room chandelier. How he got up there, I don't know.
Panting, I thought, now THAT's a vacuum cleaner. By duct-taping all the furniture in place and closing all the windows, I've found I can vacuum an entire room without even moving the machine. Call me fickle, but I can't even remember my old vacuum's name.
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