It's official, I have a sad life. My most exciting news is that I have a new vacuum cleaner, and worse still, that it has made me excited. It is a very good vacuum cleaner. It sucks, (and it blows, as Bart Simpson would say.)
I have had at least three vacuum cleaners a year since I moved into this house. They languish unloved, kicked and hated in the back of the garage until they go to the dump. My unnatural rate of vacuum cleaner destruction is a composite of many problems, so I compiled a list of questions for the unctuous young man in the vacuum cleaner shop. This particularly oily salesman has served me before and really he should know by now that raising one greasy eyebrow at me is not going to drive me to a quivering heap on the floor. I have heard the patter before about various devices that will make my cleaning life fun and exciting.....as if!!!
Instead I presented my questions.
1. Does it suck...hard..and for how long will that suck last? Will the suck recover if we "accidentally" vacuum up a moist substance such as jelly?
2. Does it blow? I mean if I jam the hose up with something, say a small piece from a board game which has then captured a family of dust bunnies, two feathers and something green, can I reverse the hose to blow out the obstruction?
3. If a helpful child tries to clean a Lego piece out of the hose with water and doesn't tell me will the suck recover?
4. Allied to 3, will attempting to rescue a pet fish from the toilet with the vacuum kill the vacuum? (The fish was already dead.)
5. Can people of between 2 foot six and six foot five use it? can they do it easily, as in "I couldn't be bothered setting the vacuum up for me to use, it's still on your setting....." (This last one removes all upright vacuums from the equation, but so do many more of my questions.)
6. Can I vacuum under furniture without actually lying flat on the floor?
7. If something small and heavy is vacuumed up is there an effective backstop? (This last from a bad experience with a small bolt about three vacuums ago.)
8. Are the bags strong? (See 7.)
9. If I vacuum up a large spider can you guarentee it is dead? It's not going to crawl out later is it?
10. If I vacuum up homework can I extract it without a blowtorch?
11. Will sawdust catch fire in it? (see vacuum 2.)
12. Just exactly how good is the filter? and how easy is it to remove and clean?
13. Is the electric cord long enough for me to vaccum more than one corner of each room at a time without constantly changing power outlets, or using a spaghetti of extension leads?
14. All those handy gadgets that come "free"? Do they live on the cleaner, handy for when needed, or at the back of the cupboard under three years of junk? (Although I think the thing I'm using in the kitchen as a jam funnel was a gadget for vacuum four.)
15. Does it look enough like a space ship that children will use it in their bedrooms?
16. If children use it in their bedrooms is it loud enough for hamsters to know to move very quickly the other way?
17. Is it manly enough for a man to use....big, black and brooding with a headlight etc? (The Hummer of the Hoover world)
18. Is it light enough for me to use?
19. Does it reach the edges? Can I get the end off to reach in the corners without a screwdriver and a degree?
20. Oh and if it could do all that on its own while I sit with my feet up and a good book.......
He did sell me a vaccum, although he says I shouldn't vacuum workshop debris up with it. I explained that its not workshop debris, it's the debris of my life but he didn't believe me.
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