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Putting an old friend out to pasture for one that really sucks

My vacuum cleaner bit the dust (only figuratively speaking). The brush frayed, the belt popped and the duct tape gave out. I probably could have replaced the belt and the brush, but when the duct tape failed, I knew my vacuum had inhaled its last Cheerio.

Today I replaced it. I perused every model available and decided to upgrade to a bagless vacuum with an air filter and flux capacitor. How entertaining to see all the dirt, dust and dander flurry around as I push my domestic device across the floor.

Arriving home with my prize, I removed it from the box and tossed aside the pamphlet that read, in ominous lettering on the cover, "Read All Instructions Carefully Before Operating This Appliance." In a wink I put the machine together.

I began vacuuming the den. Within seconds the canister filled to the max capacity line. I emptied it. I emptied it again ... and again ... and again.

Upon examining the contents of the canister, I concluded this vacuum exfoliates carpets while also lifting silt from the netherworld.

Blindly, I waved the extension wand under furniture and radiators. It grabbed a metal Hot Wheel and beamed it in from 10 feet away. A certain squeaking noise led me to suspect that my magic wand may have contributed to the demise of a small rodent that could not outrun the powerful 12-amp sucking action.

Moving on to the living room (I decided enough was enough in the den), I got the same results. Emptying the canister every two minutes convinced me that my old vacuum had failed me long before the duct tape indicated.

Then, unexpectedly, huge dust grenades launched from somewhere under the vacuum (I knew I'd gotten sucked in by this expensive bagless gimmick). I frantically chased them for recapture, but out billowed more globs of dust. My eyes glazed over as I entered a vacuuming frenzy shouting invective words over the roar of my equipment.

Finally, I found the cast aside pamphlet (what was left of it after it and the vacuum crossed paths). It appears that although this vacuum does not require me to change filthy old bags, it does require other types of constant maintenance. Can you believe I am supposed to clean the filter every time I empty the canister? And that the full line isn't an approximation of full? It specifies the vacuum's actual limitation for holding debris.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at the trashcan beating the filter against the side, spreading the same particles into the air that the super-de-duper filter just eradicated. While this task annoyed me, it did help me come to the realization that my old model vacuum didn't do more than emit a noise that blocked out sound from the television.

Still, I'm not confident of any great advantage to witnessing all the filth from my rugs swirling before my eyes. How effective is it to suck up those dirt mites, only to set them free again in my trashcan?

Psychologically, I fared better when I thought my inferior vacuum sufficiently cleaned my floors. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. Now I am required to bear the burden of knowing this new contraption has exposed the inadequacies of my housekeeping. Not to mention my anxiety over the dust mites fleeing the trashcan. And I am obliged to vacuum for three hours a day for the next six weeks to make up for lost time.

Save me the trouble and just put the straight jacket on me now.

Web posted on Thursday, April 22, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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