Monday, December 19, 2011

Sometimes, Vacuuming Sucks.

Image: "Sleep, My Love"  Hand-Carved/Mixed Media by Cara and Pam

HER: "I'll be back in a few hours. Don't touch the new vacuum. I will put it together when I get home."
ME : "OK! See you later!"
I watch her leave and go into the living room to check on Blanche. I look at the Christmas tree. It is so dry that my mere glance causes it terrific stress. I hear a sound similar to that of one of those rain sticky-rain stick instruments. Half the tree is on the floor. Needles. Everywhere. I insisted on getting the tree early this year and it was my job to keep it watered. Hmm. I am surprised it hasn't actually walked into the kitchen  to get itself a drink.
Me: "Blanche, I am going to have to vacuum this up."
I go to the window and make sure that SHE is gone. (I do this a lot). I look at the shiny, lovely vacuum box and decide that I am a capable, clever girl who can Shirley put together a Shop Vac. I tear open the box and get to work.
SO many parts and pieces.....who knew there would be SCREWS? and nuts and little discs that might be called washers. So much foam wrapping and tubes and what-nots. There are what-nots up the ying-yang.The instruction book is very ugly and the writing is quite hostile. I struggle and strain and build what I think is a fabulous-looking, vacuum-machine. It looks quite close to the photo on the box. Of course it does! I used elbow grease! (and where can I get more?)
With a terrific deep breath, I plug in the mighty sucker and after a brief panic attack, it starts sucking! It works! I am so excited, I suck up all of the extra foam, half the food in the cats bowl, a few rogue Cheerios and half of the Christmas tree. I give the tree itself a good shake to catch any loose needles (ha! the other half is on the floor and now it is just a Christmas stick!) The air coming out of the vacuum vent is forest-piney fresh!
A few hours later SHE arrives home and sees what Shirley and I have done. She asks if I read the instruction book. I said I did, which was, in fact, not a lie. I HAD read the book. I just didn't agree with the offensive parts. She is quite surprised and somewhat impressed when She turns on my vacuum. It works. I march around the kitchen very haughtily and suggest very loudly that I am capable of putting things together. In fact, I could even put in the new hot water heater.
Lovely Vacuum: "KLANG! KLANG! KLANG!
She turns off the mighty beast and asks what She might have sucked up.
ME: "Ah, I don't know."
She unhooks the main hose and opens up the belly. She digs around through the bits and pieces and asks for a garbage bag. She empties out the Christmas tree, the Cheerios and the cat food. She sifts through fur balls and a dozen twist ties that got away. And then I see them. She sees them too. Three black screws. My lovely vacuum has forsaken me.
HER: "SOOO, you put the vacuum together even though I said not to, couldn't figure out where these screws went and hid them under the counter? And now the vacuum has actually choked on its own parts?"
ME: "That is exactly what appears to have happened.  Would you like to come and look at the Christmas tree?"

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