How many lives does a vacuum cleaner have? Not enough around my house. I have killed more vacuum cleaners in the last five years than the most heinous of serial killers. Just call me the Hoover Hacker.
I have been at almost a standstill with regards to cleaning house. But last night, at 1:30 a.m., when I tripped on a shoe in my bedroom and nearly killed myself, I had an epiphany. “This has got to stop,” I thought to myself grimly as I negotiated my way around the piles and stacks in my bedroom.
So today I mounted the Clean House Offensive. I started by decimating the stack of papers in the kitchen. The last of the schoolwork disappeared, as did 47 birthday party treat bag toys, 15 happy meal toys, 22 non working pens and assorted pieces of unidentifiable plastic. I was in the zone, on a roll, making progress.
I tackled the family room with the vacuum cleaner next. I moved the couches, vacuumed the baseboards and even vacuumed behind the TV. I was an unstoppable cleaning force. It was when I moved into the kitchen that the trouble began. I used the vacuum to clean up the chex mix that some thoughtful child had spilled in the pantry. Only, a dog bone was hidden underneath the mix and it got stuck in the hose. I could move it every which way but out.
It took me 30 minutes and three different objects to remove it. I finally managed to extricate it with a butter knife and I fed it to the puppy. Problem solved. Elated by my success, I decided to tackle the giant hairballs in the living room. They had become more animated lately, and had taken to snapping at anyone who walked too close. I figured I better eliminate them before they moved out into the city and became a menace to all humankind.
It was going so well; one minute, giant puffs of hair were disappearing from my wood floors and the next minute….FWUMP…..thhhhhhhpppppppttttttt…..and the vacuum stopped. A wide range of expletives left my mouth as I gazed in horror at the dead vacuum. I wasn’t even sure what had gotten sucked up; I had a vague impression of a black plastic bag, but I was not positive. All I knew was it was dead….again.
How can one person be so lucky? We’ve had the vacuum for less than a year and this is the third time I have broken it. I sucked up Abby’s curtain thingy, I sucked up a bouncy ball and now this. It’s almost too much for one person to bear. As far as telling Tom, it would be better had I maimed one of the children as opposed to his fancy schmancy vacuum cleaner. I would have been happy with a Dirt Devil, but no, he had to go and buy one with some unpronounceable name so that when I finally killed it, he could go ballistic with grief at the death of his favorite appliance that he has never used.
Well, I tried my best to extricate the item from the hose, but I could not get it out for anything. And Tom was late. Very late. I started to worry. Maybe he had finally run away with the dog groomer, even though she is old enough to be his mother. Maybe he had been mugged in the parking lot by someone with a grudge against him for failing to cure a pet of tapeworms.
So I abandoned the vacuum and began making phone calls, trying to find him. Twenty minutes, and some anxiety later, he finally called back; he had been stuck with an emergency at closing. But he was on his way. As soon as he walked in, I delivered the bad news. He just looked at me; marriage to me has long eliminated any need to ask “how” or “why”.
He took the vacuum apart but could not remove the object. Finally, I located the giant hemostats from the emergency vacuum repair kit assembled for me by my dear Gina, and the plastic bag (it was a bag) was summarily removed. Only the freakin’ vacuum still didn’t work. I was really starting to sweat. This was the end, the end of everything: the vacuum; my marriage; my attempts to clean the house; everything.
Tom was surprisingly calm. I really thought this would push him over the edge, but he just kept persevering. I slunk out of the room and came to sit down and write this blog, sure that it would be my final one. Suddenly, without warning, the vacuum roared to life.
“Oh my gosh, what did you do?” I hollered.
“I don’t know, it just started working,” he said. Obviously it was my day! God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world, etc., etc. So the vacuum is restored, my marriage is saved, and my floor is somewhat clean. And next time I am using the broom!!