When I was a little girl, I had a reoccurring nightmare involving a fleet of Rainbow vacuum cleaners. That is what we had, a Rainbow vacuum cleaner. Which, incidentally, is the most disgusting invention known to the 20th century. The Rainbow uses water…why ? I don’t know. It seems like a bad idea on so many levels…water+electricty has been proven to be a really dangerous combination. Beyond the safety issue, the actual byproduct is a tank filled with water and everything you vacuum up, which looks exactly like vomit. And one has to take this tank filled with vacuum vomit and dump it into the toilet and flush it away. If you have read my blog, you will remember that as a kid I had a HUGE problem with puke. So vacuuming was a nightmare, literally and figuratively.
When I moved out, my roommate and I didn’t have a vacuum cleaner. We were teens. We had a broom. We swept the carpet. Oh that was fun. Quite the work out. Have you ever swept a carpet? It’s like one sweep forward, 3 sweeps back. The dirt pieces rebound backward. So you really have to have a fast sweeping motion with a good amount of pressure and about 3 hours per square foot to actually accomplish dirt removal. Needless to say, our floors were never all that clean.
And then, when I was a young mother, we were given a “vintage” 1972 canister vacuum. I liked antiques and I was born in 1972, so, it was kitschy. But what wasn’t so kitschy was the fact that no place carried bags for this canister vac. So, we had to empty the bag that it came with. This wasn’t as bad as the Rainbow vomit only because dry dirt doesn’t look like throw up. But, dry dirt does leave lots of dust. Kind of defeats the purpose of cleaning in general when you know that to properly clean you have to empty the 25 year old bag which will lead to more dirt.
And then, when we bought our first house, my dad gave us a top of the line vacuum cleaner as a house warming gift! It was nicer than our car. But being house poor, we still did the empty the bag trick as we couldn’t afford the 10 bucks for new bags. It wasn’t so bad though because this vacuum had a filter. By this time a vacuum was necessary. We had 2 kids and 2 dogs and a cat. And so, I vacuumed everything. Walls, furniture, floors, beds, sometimes the kids and most definitely the dogs…the cat was too fast for me.
Because of my misuse of this Cadillac of vacuums, it eventually quit. We tried new belts, new brushes, smaller amounts of time spent vacuuming…we tried everything short of sending it on a cruise. It eventually went on strike and then decided to go back to school to become a leaf blower.
When I moved into my own place I decided that I was going to be a real grown up and go ahead and get my own brand new fancy shmancy vacuum. I went and spent a stupid amount of money on a Dyson. Ya know the vacuum that never stops sucking? Yeah it sucks alright. Not in the way a vacuum should either. But, by this time in my life, I was into doing things myself. When the Dyson died, which it eventually did, I pulled it apart, cleaned it all and put it back together. Mission accomplished. It worked again! Until it didn’t. What is with appliances nowadays? It’s like they only do their job when they feel like it. As if they weren’t made for the sole purpose of doing what they are made for…like they have a life beyond doing their task they were built for. I have had the same problems with my snowblower and my lawn mower. Anyway, I have torn apart a nasty, dirty, filled- with- cat- hair- that- is- coated- with- dog- pee- with- some- kid- puke- making- it- stick- to- the- sides- of- the- hose- Dyson. Yes I have.
This last time though, it was the extension hose that got clogged. I tried banging it, I tried stuffing a knife down the tube, then another knife to try to push out the first knife which got stuck in the tube and then a chopstick to try to unstick both knives…So now I have an extension hose that is clogged with crap plus two butter knives and one chopstick. My next move will be to get the garden hose to try to blast out the entire lot with water…I just haven’t been in the mood.
And 3 months later my house is just gross. It’s summer, there is all sorts of dried cut grass that the kids track in, there is dirt from the dog and the cat hair is outrageous. So, I made the kid go ask my extra awesome neighbor if I could borrow his vacuum. Now, I have to say he is pretty trusting considering he has allowed me to borrow his lawn mower knowing full well I needed his because I have killed 3 of my own…so, to allow me to borrow his vacuum is a huge show of faith on his part. Faith that I will not be mean and kill his vacuum. I don’t do these things intentionally. I am simply using these machines in the way they were intended and I swear to you it’s the machine that is the asshole, not me.
Anyway, as the kids and I “oooh” and “aaaah” over a real working vacuum and how beautiful our floors look and how colorful our carpets are now that an entire layer of dust has been removed, I notice this vacuum is not picking up as well as it did when I first started…4 hours earlier. Yes, 4 hours of vacuuming…and that was just the downstairs. So, I curse modern technology and flip over the vacuum to see if I can find the problem. Sure enough I see a huge clog. I begin pulling it out with my bare hands. Really, if my mother could see me pulling out dirt, real honest to goodness, no other word for it dirt, she would eat her hat.
This was a very involved process. I eventually had the vacuum in about 4 pieces and the belt off. Yes ,I unplugged it first, but only because I knew a kid in high school who went to unclog a snowblower without turning it off first and lets just say that was the end of his flute career. I was a little disappointed with my neighbor’s vacuum. The part that I needed to get in to didn’t pop off like on my Dyson. I had to really dig in and use my hands, and then the chopstick (the one that isn’t stuck in my vacuum). I used all my moves, all of my technique, which is considerable at this stage in my life, and finally the clog came bursting out of the hose and right up my shorts. All of the nastiness that I had vacuumed up plus the nastiness from my neighbor’s house was now up my shorts. I thought vacuums were supposed to make life easier and cleaner. Pretty sure that Hepa filter is useless at this point.
Anyway, I finished vacuuming and the kid returned the vacuum. I am now considering hiring someone to come and vacuum my house once every other week or so…I wasn’t made to be a domestic diva. I was supposed to have a different life at age 39. *sigh* My next project is to have a stern discussion with my dryer because it is withholding again…not sure why, considering I only make it work once a week. Spoiled. That is what is wrong with American Made Appliances these days.