Thursday, September 21, 2006

As you may know, some people (we call them rednecks) have cars up on blocks in their front yards. Although we live in Louisiana, we do not have cars on blocks in the front yard. Actually, we have a couple of extra cars in our back yard, but not in the front, and they are not up on blocks. They are merely biding time there, fairly inconspicuously, unseen from the street. We would put them in the garage, but there is no room in the garage for cars. But although we don't have cars on blocks in the front yard, we have something better. Much better. We have vacuums in the foyer. As you can see from the photograph, we have an abundance of vacuum cleaners. In fact, we are rich in vacuum cleaners. How did this happen, you ask? Well, there's a fairly simple explanation to this question. You see, when my son and I moved in with my wife, I owned a vacuum. And she owned a vacuum. They were almost the same vacuum, one being a little newer than the other one. The one that I owned was approximately 6 years old, and still was a good vacuum. It did what vacuums are supposed to do, and did it well. Hers was a little less effective, so we decided to use mine. Hers was relegated to the garage (which is one reason that the garage does not have room for cars). We have been together for over 5 years. About a year ago, my vacuum started getting pretty tired. I mean, it was over 10 years old. It was ready for retirement. So we put it out on the curb for some southern recycling. (Why throw it away when it could find a home with someone who doesn't have such stringent vacuuming standards?) I'm sure that some of you are appalled that we would just put something out on the curb, but in Louisiana, this is a common practice. In fact, most of us do a little wagering on how long it will be before whatever we put out there is gone. Some things go very rapidly, some take a few hours. Put a hot water heater out there and you'd better move out of the way, they'll knock you down to get to it. Anyway, we started using her vacuum, which had been resting for four years. We used this vacuum for a little over a year, and it started looking like it was time to retire also. So we had to go vacuum shopping. I remembered that I was the one who had messed up with the towel shopping strategy, so I told my wife that SHE needed to pick out the new vacuum. I was not having any part in the selection part of this purchase, since I didn't have the best track record in this area. So we went to Wal-Mart and my wife picked out a vacuum that she thought would be acceptable. We marveled at how inexpensive vacuums had gotten in the 10 or so years since either one of us had bought one. We brought our new vacuum home, and I did something very uncharacteristic for me. I took it out of the box, and threw the box away. I NEVER do that! I save boxes for years (yet another reason the cars cannot live in the garage), just to be on the safe side. But not this one. We tried the vacuum out. For some reason, it left little trails of something. I'm not even sure what it was. White pet hair? Powder carpet freshener/deodorizer stuff from years of cleaning up behind stinky pets? I didn't know what it was. But I knew that the carpet looked terrible. We worked with the vacuum, tried different things, but nothing worked. And we discovered we didn't like bagless vacuums at all. Having no bag meant reaching up in the filter to get all of the pet hair out. That was just plain nasty. Well, since we threw the box away (my wife NEVER keeps any box, so I can say we-if I were not here, there would not be a single box in the garage, and maybe we could park those extra cars in it), we were stuck with this vacuum. But we HAD to have a vacuum that worked. With all of these pets, a vacuum is an essential appliance. (Come to think of it, I should have held out for a vacuum, when I got my toaster for converting my wife! Oh well, I guess hindsight is 20/20.) So we went back to the store to look for a different vacuum. My wife picked out another vacuum. It is a very pretty vacuum cleaner, but you know, pretty doesn't get your floor clean. This vacuum did the same thing as the other vacuum that we had just purchased. Is it that we are all incompetent at vacuuming? I would like to think that we have a little sense. At least enough sense to vacuum. But obviously not. I'm sure there is something that we are doing wrong. But I have no idea what it is. So, we're back to the old vacuum. The other two sit there. One waits to go back to the store (I kept the box this time). The other waits for some destiny that we have not figured out yet. And the one that was pressed back into service just when it thought it was reaching retirement is not happy. If anyone reading this knows why these vacuums are not vacuuming correctly (I guess I could call that Dyson guy, he seems to know a lot about vacuums), please let me know. I don't really want a fourth vacuum in our foyer.

11 Comments:

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Rose of Sharon said...

When it comes to vacuums, I have to vouch for my Oreck. Since we have 4 pets and lots of carpet, it is the only vacuum that I have found to be truly effective and it is not bagless which is nice. Sure Orecks are a bit more expensive, but it comes with a 21 year warranty and annual cleaning (for those 21 years). Jen loves the Oreck and you get a great deal on the package. I've thought about getting the Dyson as it seems like it does a great job (all these celebrities say so!), but Jen hates the Dyson guy and we're happy with our Oreck. Have had it for 6 years and it works great!

We can discuss more when we see you this weekend! :)

 
At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Conor J. Murphy said...

Upon first opening you blog and seeing the three vacuums all lined up, I just assumed that you had successfully made three new converts. I love the idea of Southern recycling. Don’t be ashamed of that at all—even we uppity Yankees engage in a little curbside commerce. Here in Boston, there are people who go up and down our sidewalk going through out trash and taking things. Andrew and I once found a gigantic electric piano in the trash outside out apartment and there is nothing wrong with it. The thing must weigh 120 pounds and when Andrew saw it he snatched it up with the same of ease of picking up a sack of potatoes. I swear it was like witnessing an adrenaline flooded mother hoist up a Honda to rescue her baby.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Well, here's my confession. I once embarassed my son beyond belief because we were coming home, driving down our street, when I saw a lamp on the side of the road. It was one of those that has a base and a pole and three coneish shades (?I'm not sure what to call them), with lights that you can turn different directions and turn on individually, you know, one of those from the fifties and sixties. It was just too cool to pass up. I stopped the car and got it. He would have been embarassed if I had done that anywhere, but on our own street, where people knew us, was just too much for him. But you see, I have priced fabulous fifties furniture and furnishings, and I knew that lamp was worth something. I just couldn't pass it up.

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Rose of Sharon said...

Do you still have the lamp? Maybe it's worth beaucoup bucks today!

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger getalife said...

As someone who brakes for "Free", I can relate! I have a Hoover WindTunnel bagless that is pretty good, but next time I would buy the Dyson. I have a friend with cats who swears by the pet model.

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger The dykes next door said...

Well, the lamp didn't work as well as I had hoped it would, but still, we took it up to the fishing camp on Caddo Lake. When my ex-husband and I got divorced, he brought my personal things that were up there to me, and then sold the camp. I didn't know that he was going to sell it, or I would have gone up there and gotten what I wanted. He was sneaky like that, and rather than drag it all on, I didn't pursue it. I was just happy to be divorced from him. But, if I had known then what I know now about what he was doing while we were married, I would have definitely pushed for the camp, but at the time, I just wanted out.
So, I guess the answer is no, I don't still have it. (But I do wish that I did.)

 
At 10:18 PM, Blogger GoGo said...

Red neck, white trash, just plain cheap I love garage sales, thrift stores AND curb side finds. Don't get me wrong, I'm picky, but am in no way persuaded by the social construction that there is something wrong with the idea. I found a Tiffany Lamp once myself, on the curb. It just needed a new switch. I fixed it up and gave it as a gift to someone who loves Tiffany lamps.

As for the vaccums, I have a dirt devil with a long stick called a handle attached to it. I envy your collection. :O).

~GG

P.S. I always thought the equinox was on the 21st too, but it said it was 22 on my calendar. I have no idea why. unfortunately, I am left to trust the calendars of my life.

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger evan said...

Oh my...you could read Consumer Reports online for I think less than four dollars a month and buy one of the top rated vacuums...I have always done that and found that their top picks really do work better. My sister's Dyson Animal vacuum doesn't do a good job in my humble opinion-have you ever looked close up at your carpet after using it? The same with my friend's Oreck-gross. I use both a Hoover and an Eureka vacuum-not bagless-and they do a good job.

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger twitches said...

Found your blog from the comments at Gogo's place. Funny post!

We have the same problem with coffee pots at my house - we have a closet full of broken ones! I've found that the more expensive the pot, the quicker we break it (we managed to use an old percolator we found at a garage sale for a year before it quit working).

For some reason, I have thrown none of them away. I keep thinking I'll make art out of them, or something.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies-Call that Dyson guy and order the purple model! I have one and LOVE it!

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Lady Zeuss said...

Found your blog through getalife, and I identify with you, way too much. I live in the Northern Midwest - Wisconsin to be exact, and I am eternally proud of my conquests on the night before garbage day! My own Dirt Devil upright I acquired from the curb. I was looking for something I could switch the cord with because I didn't want to part with my old Eureka. I have dogs, so vacuum performance is top priority. When I got the Dirt Devil home, I checked it over, and the apparent reason it was on the curb was that the bag was full! I love stupid people for that reason. Another big find that I jump out of the car for is dog crates... People put nearly new EXPENSIVE dog crates on the curb when they quit using them. I have several dog-sitter friends, a groomer, and a woman who runs a shelter who just love my garbage-picking talents. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Recently, I talked my Mom out of her old TV (I gave her a newer one) and since she couldn't put a TV with her garbage, I brought it home. Less than 5 minutes after I'd gotten the thing unloaded and on the curb, a car pulled up and the woman was asking if the TV worked! I had to call my Mom right up and tell her the TV had found a happy new home!

 

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