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Monday, October 10, 2005

 

Something That Sucks

My wife and I have been living for months now without a vacuum. Our old one was about a decade old and had been bought for us when we were first living together by my sister, who showed up for a visit and was disgusted by the cat hair on our carpets. It was a good vacuum; hearty and loyal, but even strong vacuums succumb to the ravages of time and so, one day this summer, the ol' gal just stopped sucking.

Vacuum cleaners are not, all things considered, one of the most expensive appliances out there. You can get a cheapie for under fifty bucks and it'll take care of most normal dirt happenings. The problem is, we don't live in a normal dirt household. We live with a dog who sheds enough fur on a weekly basis to knit sweaters for everyone displaced by hurricane Katrina. The hair forms a sort of protective coating over the dirt and stops most vacuums from picking up any debris, unless you dig under the fur-field and hand-feed it to the Hoover.

There's a brand of vacuums out there called Dyson. Maybe you've seen the commercials, in which a British guy laments the loss of suction that most vacuums undergo and gets all weepy about the bagless model he invented. Frankly, the commercials make me want to toss a bag of vomit on every British person I see, but I've seen the machines in action and they actually do a really nice job. They also cost more than your average yacht. Seeing as how my wife and I are slaving under the weight of football-field-size law school loans, a vacuum cleaner strong enough to de-fur our living space seemed out of our reach. With a heavy sigh, I resigned myself to spending two hours on my hands and knees, rubbing the hair out of the carpet whenever we had company coming.

And then I did some checking online and found that Hoover makes a sort of Dyson knock-off called the Fusion Cyclonic. It's a bagless that operates on the same principles as the Dyson, which led us to believe it should also be effective at ridding our rugs of that extra layer of follicles. Also, it came in at a reasonable $150; not the cheapest vacuum, but not one that would require us to make thrice-weekly trips to the Plasma Buyer. The only problem with this miracle machine was that Hoover doesn't sell these through most of their normal retail vendors. They sell them only...wait for it...through WalMart.

Now, I'm a pro-union, patriotic, corporation-hating American and I'd sooner shove a watermelon sideways up my ass than shop at WalMart. (Thankfully, there are very few situations in which one is faced with the choice between shopping at WalMart and shoving a watermelon up one's ass.) But there was enough stray bits of kitty litter strewn about our hallway for us to compromise ourselves morally and we bit the bullet.

Actually, we couldn't find the bullet to bite for awhile. See, there are no WalMarts in New York, a fact of which I've always had great pride. There is one, though, not that far from where my parents live. So, when we were in Ohio this summer, we stopped off at the WalMart on our way out of town and checked it out. And they had it. It was right there on the shelf. Trouble was, it was in a huge box and we have a tiny car which, at that point, was carrying two dogs and our luggage. We toyed with the idea of strapping our Shepherd-mix to the roof, but his eyes get dried out so easily that we reconsidered.

To make a long story somewhat short, we ended up ordering it online. After some hassle dealing with UPS--a company that actually has Fuck the Little Guy in its corporate mission statement--we got the cleaner. It works. Oh, how it works. It picks up dirt like nobody's business. It sucks up kitty litter like Lady and the Tramp sucked up spaghetti. It even rids our carpet of dog hair.

Only problem is that I have to clean it out in between every use, because it's picking up a Marge Simpson wig's worth of dog hair every time I turn it on. So right now, I'm typing this up instead of dealing with that. See: Blogging is good for something.

Comments:
Merv Griffin!
 
I liked the idea of strapping your Shepherd-mix to the roof. This would have been a cool ride for him and think about all the pet protectors out there who would have applaused!
 
Do you think it would suck the hair out of the tub?
 
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