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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Vacuum

No one has ever disliked an inanimate object as much as I dislike my vacuum. I left for work one day, carefree and happy, knowing that I had a perfectly functioning, relatively new, light and manageable vacuum sitting in its special closet. I should have known that all was not right when I drove home that evening and saw the black clouds of doom hanging over my house.

Upon entering, I found my husband and his friend huddled around an unseen object, oohing and aahing. I’m not quite sure what I thought they were up to, but I was sure it wasn’t anything good. Then they noticed my presence and as they stepped away, I saw the item that was to become my nemesis and the bane of my existence. The Vacuum.

I call it Vlad. Like Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad the Destroyer. It may not have killed as many people as the original Vlad, but I’m convinced it’s not from a lack of desire. This monstrosity is made of steel. Steel, people! Who needs a vacuum made of steel?! It weighs at least 50lbs, and you cannot move it if it isn’t in “auto” mode – much like my lawnmower. It comes with no fewer than 127 attachments, requires two people to transport it from room to room in its off position, and sounds like a 747 is landing on my roof.

All of this is bad enough, but do you know how much this 50 lb dust-sucker cost? Twelve hundred dollars!!! That’s a dozen hundred dollars. I don’t care if it can suck skin cells out of upholstery or realign the gravitational pull of the moon – twelve hundred dollars! I was still paying for this thing 3 months after I divorced my husband (which didn’t have anything to do with the vacuum, but it didn’t help). To add insult to injury, the door to door machine peddlers took my poor unsuspecting $50 Walmart Special vacuum as an “exchange”. Heaven only knows what happened to her.

My husband assured me this was a dream machine. Look! It comes with a sanding attachment. Ok, so I can drag my vacuum to my backyard and sand the fence. Goody. Well, what about the massage attachment? Really? When was the last time you sat down to get a romantic vacuum massage from your spouse? For the record, I was willing to give that one a shot, but it never happened. But my absolute favorite was the dog grooming attachment.

Imagine setting your unsuspecting, trusting, sweet little pug up on a table, giving him a cookie, and then suddenly flipping the switch and lunging at him with what looks like a giant anaconda that is trying to suck his hair right out of its follicles while you’re screaming assurances at him over the sound of a turbine jet engine. He should have been able to hear me considering that the vacuum had sucked all of his face wrinkles and ears to the back of his head, but the terrified look in his bulging little eyes told me differently.

Pugs are not graceful creatures under the best of circumstances. Mine is a 36lb pug that looks like a manatee and has to take 3 running starts just to get on the recliner. Somehow, though, he did manage to scrabble frantically off the table and up to my shoulders using my shirt and a fair amount of my skin and muscle tissue as a ladder. Mind you, the vacuum was still stuck to the back of his head, giving him a hickey. Somehow I managed to kick off the vacuum and rescue my dog without further injury to either party. He and I both still bear the emotional and physical scars.

I’ve never tried it on another dog, and the Chihuahuas weren’t even present for the Incident, but I’m sure the pug told them. I will occasionally find all three of them sitting in front of Vlads closet, staring. Sometimes, just for fun, I will crack open the door of the closet just to let them see it. If you can’t handle the sound of Chihuahuas barking frantically for 20 minutes, this game is not for you.

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