A Domestic War

9 Sep

I’m at war with my vacuum cleaner.

These newfangled contraptions and their promises to get dander and dirt out of the grimy little crevices between my rug threads – they’re liars!   Liars, hounds and thieves!   It always starts out so nicely – so hopeful.  I get a shiny new vacuum that has enough suction to suck my skin right off the bone and then one day while I’m vacuuming I realize I’m not really vacuuming at all.  I’m just pushing dirt around on my floor and when I lift up the vacuum it’s all right there, staring at me.

I have serious dust bunnies.  They have beady little demon eyes and they roll around in cat dander and fur.  And when I lift up the vacuum to find them all still there, just rolling around in their own filth, I get very, very angry.  I don’t like to be mocked.

Yesterday I genuinely considered throwing my vacuum out the window.

I always complain to Dave that the vacuum doesn’t work.  He does something magical to fix it, I use it, it works, it breaks, and I complain again.  It’s a vicious, brain rotting cycle.  

Yesterday when I started up ol’ Bess, I got very excited for the potential of a freshly cleaned carpet.  I was going to have beautiful little zigzag lines in the rug and all the little tidbits would be eradicated from every crevice.   But when I started her up, she huffed and puffed and didn’t do a darn thing.  I told Dave she was broken again and he told me to check the hose.

My vacuum has this hose that goes all the way from the very bottom of it up to the top, wraps around, and then goes back down and slightly curves up once more to lead in to the chamber where all the dust bunnies make dirty love together.  And luckily for me, it was completely clogged with junk.

Now, I’m no vacuum engineer, but it appears to my commonplace brain that this is not the most efficient design possible.  

So one trash can, long straightened wire hanger, and twenty minutes later, I puff up my chest in the living room, proud that I have singlehandedly conquered the vacuum and declared my dominance over it.  

Until I plugged her in, started her up, picked her up, and saw all those beady little bunny eyes – mocking me.

(Insert vacuum-out-window dream sequence)

So I’ve had it.  I’m done.  No more newfangled vacuums.  You know what? My parents had a junky old vacuum that was loud and weighed a thousand pounds and was ugly as sin but it rocked so hard sometimes the house didn’t even accumulate debris out of fear.  I think this weekend I’ll go hunting for the biggest, clunkiest piece of junk I can find, bring it home, and shower it in glory as it sucks up every bit of grossness that has now been fermenting in the threads beneath my feet. 

I might even get one with a bag.  A BAG!  Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?

But listen – bags get full.  Because bags work.

Maybe once my floor is clean, I’ll put on Chariots of Fire theme song and live out that chuck-out-the-window dream.

Maybe when I get a vacuum that works, I'll just go straight to the source of the problem.


18 Responses to “A Domestic War”

  1. misswhiplash September 9, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    You did not say what make it was.
    when we first came to live in this country i bought a vac and just like yours it was great to start but then did not pick up the dirt or the pet hairs. I bought another, and then a third….all the same.
    Until I bought a Dyson Animal..now that does work…and stays working..everyday when I empty the dirt cylinder I am ashamed of the dust which I have collected. Yet everyday there is always more.
    So maybe invest in a good make and then it will keep on sucking


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

      I would love to suck up so much dirt that I’m ashamed. That sounds WONDERFUL.

      I’ve gotten a few consumer reports here on the comment section – looks like Dyson, Miele, and Henry are the winners 😉


  2. tinkerbelle86 September 9, 2011 at 9:20 am #



  3. rubyandwheaky September 9, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Very funny post!

    We have a house rabbit who sheds like crazy twice a year. We put a lint roller to her to capture all of the fur. I don’t think she’d appreciate the vacuum cleaner treatment but…….maybe I’ll give it a try some day.


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      LOL Thank you for the image of you lint rolling your rabbit. Thank you very much.


  4. Jules September 9, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    The problems with bag-less vaccuums is that their filters get clogged. It’s not cheap to replace them. One of my relatives has this Kirby vaccuum and it was amazing. Weighed a ton and it was self propelled. I want one of those! Then again, you can solve the problem by not having carpet in the first place. That’st just an allergy nightmare.


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Well I rent so I’m not about to rip the carpet up, but yes – I’d love to. I’m stuffed up even as I write this.

      I could also shave the cats.

      I can’t help picturing a big, circular, pink vacuum that sucks things up and momentarily takes their form.

      Please tell me that if you get Dragonball Z jokes, you get that.


      • Jules September 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

        Yes I’m familiar with that pink ball of whoopass. One of my best characters in super smash brothers.


  5. Bridgesburning Chris King September 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Sounds like OL Bess has given her all. Good idea about going right to the source! 🙂


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      If the picture of it didn’t keep me up at night, I’d consider shaving them.


  6. Momma September 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    I agree with misswhiplash. We, my dear, also have a dyson, although it isn’t a Dyson Animal, but it works great. Wanna borrow it for a week or two?


  7. thesinglecell September 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    I just made beautiful zig-zag lines in my carpet today. It makes me happy. I feel your pain… my vacuum is less than a year old and I’ve already had to replace the belt once because I sucked up a stupid string attached to a stupid ironing board cover… but I’ve come to expect every vacuum to break at five years, tops. They don’t make those monster Hoovers like our parents had anymore.


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

      They do. In Germany. Check out the awesome suggestions from Michelle. She and her sister are rockin 7 and ten years with their beloved suckers.


  8. Michelle September 10, 2011 at 2:34 am #

    No, no, Dyson vacuums are useless. I work as a cleaner and every Dyson I’ve ever met has been useless. They have too many fiddly, plastic-y bits that always break. The attachments are a nuisance to use. My father in law has had 4 Dysons and all of them broke within 3 years, some within months. My mother’s Dyson is 2 years old and she’s ready to ditch it. If you want something big and clunky that works well, get a Henry. You can use these with or without a bag. If you want something sleek that works like a dream, you want a Miele. (they only make bagged vacuums.) I’ve had my Miele for 7 years and it works as well as the day I bought it. I can’t even use the 2 highest settings (it’s a canister vac) because it lifts the carpet from the floor (seriously). My sis-in-law has had her Miele for over ten years, it’s never broken down, and she loves it. They’re not cheap, and neither are the bags, but they’re worth it. The Germans know how to make stuff.


    • Jackie September 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      ooooh advice from a cleaner! Perfect! I looked up Miele online. Pricey, but about as pricey as a Dyson so what’s the difference but that they supposedly work better? Gosh, I’d love to have a vacuum cleaner for as long as you or your sis without complete and total failure.

      I can’t believe I’m considering saving money for a vacuum cleaner. I’m. So. Old.


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