Sunday, July 15, 2012

It all started with the vacuum....

     It all started with the vacuum cleaner.
     The mistake I made was going to Costco.  It was actually a trip to return an item, maybe pick up a few packages of chicken and a bag of dog food while I was there; but for anyone who has ever ventured into a mega-box warehouse store, you know it is impossible to walk out with just the items on your list.  They get you at the entrance with all the weekly specials---the beach chairs and the garden hoses and the fifty pound bags of potting soil that everyone needs to fill up their garage. Then the electronics, which American consumers seemed to be hard-wired to purchase-- they are just sitting there, rows and rows and rows of gadgets and devices, cameras and phones, televisions and computers, blenders and juicers–just sitting there in their shiny boxes sending secret signals into your brain that make you buy them on impulse.  I don’t even know how that blu-ray DVD player ended up in my basket, but when I got home, there it was, hiding in the backseat of my car.
     But it was the vacuum that caused all of the problems. You see, it was on sale…$90.00 off the regular price, so the savings more than covered the cost of the  DVD player that ended up in my cart.  I really needed a new vacuum cleaner anyway, since my old model had been practically used to death by my obsessive-compulsive cleaner of a husband, so this wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment impulse purchase.  I had been researching them for about a year, knew this was the model and make that I wanted, plus it was on sale, so I really didn’t even had a choice in the matter.  I had to have the power-ball, animal-hair removing, nuclear-powered, mega-suction vacuum cleaner.
     Well, let me tell you this. That vacuum lived up to all the hype.  It sucked up every particle of dust in my house.  Floors and rugs were spotless after I power-balled them. I even rolled up the rugs and vacuumed underneath, tackling third-generation dust that had practically mutated into super-soil.  Next, I attacked baseboards and windowsills, which led to walls and ceiling corners. This only made the air-conditioning vents, covered in years of grime, more conspicuous, so I vacuumed all of those, and made a quick swipe of the light fixtures in the process.
     Did you know that you can vacuum your drapes? It was amazing how clean those suckers looked after I power-balled them.  So of course, I had to do all the blinds next, which caused dust to settle on the furniture, which I immediately sucked right up with the nifty little furniture nozzle. You wouldn’t believe what all ends up beneath the cushions of a sofa. I found enough change to almost cover the cost of the vacuum cleaner, so with the $90.00 discount and the newly-found change, I was actually MAKING MONEY off my purchase!
     But the problem was, I couldn’t stop.  After walls and ceilings, floors and baseboards, furniture and vents, that little sucker just wouldn’t quit going. It pulled me into the bedroom closets, which were a disaster zone all to themselves; I spent an entire day cleaning out drawers and shelves, vacuuming up old dust from shoes that I hadn’t worn in years, which went with out-dated clothes I hadn’t tried on in ages, which meant I had to go through everything to see what to keep and what to throw out.  When my husband walked in from work and saw the piles and piles of clothes, he figured it was a good time to do the same with his closet, so another garment mountain was constructed in the middle of the bedroom floor, and we were up until midnight cleaning out closets.
     When one closet is clean, it makes every other dirty and disorganized closet in the house scream out for attention. Instead of spending my weekend puttering in the garden or lounging by the pool, I cleaned out linen closets, medicine cabinets and  junk drawers, vacuuming like a banshee as dust ball after dust ball fell victim to my new machine.  The vacuum wasn’t the only thing on a roll at that point. I was the energizer bunny on steroids, a whirling dervish, a conquering soldier, a world-leader of all things vacuum, just going and going and going, a maniac with a power-nozzle that could obliterate microscopic dust cells with the touch of my hand.  Nothing was safe from my vacuuming force-field. Ceiling fans and television screens, bookshelves and piano keys, lamp shades and canopies…all fell victim to the great power of the  monstrous sucking machine. I was a potent warrior, marching through enemy fields, conquering all with my mighty nozzle…..
     That was when I knew I had a problem.
     It had been three days since I had fallen victim to the power of the machine. I was chronically attached to the nozzle, couldn't break the suction of the grip it had on me. I had become the roller-ball, an inhaling machine that obliterated everything in my path.  In the vortex of its powerful suctioning canister, it had almost consumed me, and I knew it had to stop.  With shaky hands, I reached down and unplugged the machine, silently ending its reign of terror and power over my house, my life, and my family.  I coiled the cord around its slender neck, wrapped it tightly and secured it to the base, deposited the vacuum into the back of the hall closet, and shut the door. It was over.
     I stumbled into bed, exhausted from my three day crusade with dust, but exhilarated that I was liberated from the power of the machine.
      I awoke the next morning to the sound of the vacuum. Sometime during the night, my husband had freed it from its cage, and the battle had begun again.  

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