We finally caved in to a virtual wind tunnel of consumer desire and bought a new vacuum cleaner.
The old one, a central vacuum with a motor and canister mounted on the basement wall, boasted a 25 foot long hose patched with duct tape. The power head resembled a dancing skeleton from a Halloween cartoon – random parts would spontaneously detach in mid-sweep and go flying across the room. It was an irritating tendency to deal with, on top of the challenge of vacuuming the house, which was already irritating.
The good news – since bringing the new equipment home I’ve been vacuuming more. Yes, cleaning takes time away from thinking and accomplishing and relaxing. But there is an irresistible temptation to break out fresh weapons in the war against dirt. Why build a billion dollar fighter jet if you’re not going to deploy it?
The bad news – in the two decades that have passed since purchasing the previous vacuum, the industry’s hardware has largely gone over to plastic. Even the wand, formerly a polished, chrome-plated metal tube, has become an extruded, static-charged plasti-pipe that attracts and holds dog hair.
Not a glamourous look to go wandering around the house with more fur stuck to the outside of the cleaner than there is stuffed in the bag. But then you usually don’t bring the vacuum out when you’re trying to impress people with your refinement.
I must confess I am suffering a little bit of appliance regret. But let’s keep that a secret because I don’t want to be subjected to the kind of unrestrained marketing blitz today’s vacuum industry can mount. The door-to-door vacuum salesman was never a welcome visitor, and he is certainly less so today. Besides, this messy business is best done online. And looking around the internet I have discovered there are plenty of white hot opinions available when it comes to brands, designs and methods. It used to be Hoover was the only vacuum brand name out in the public square. Now we’ve got Dyson, Meile, ElectroLux, Eureka, and Riccar, just to name a clump.
An unsightly clump that we can dispose of quickly with the handy brush attachment!
Lately, it seems like there is always another genius stepping forward who was bright enough to break all the rules to create a lightweight but powerful vacuum that does what all the others cannot! For example, this one turns your floor crud into easy-to-dispose-of bricks.
If this is so brilliant, how come nobody thought of it before? We were too busy cleaning!
What’s your favorite household appliance?