Never Look A Gift Vacuum Cleaner in the Mouth

Sad news: the vacuum cleaner that has been in my family for years just died. I couldn’t help but remember another vacuum that played a meaningful role in my life. While it, too, has bit the dust, I post this former Red Room blog as a tribute to vacuums I have known and loved.

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My dust bunnies had hatched. Their fate was imminent. They cowered under my bed.

Usually, I sweep my room with a broom, but even Broom Hilda couldn’t reach this dust. If only I had a vacuum cleaner, I thought. Then I remembered something similar in the box of free things my neighbor had left in her rush to move out. What was inside the box was not vacuum-packed; it was an unpacked vacuum. We had been eyeing each other in the days since, and chances were, I was more suspicious of it than it was of me. I worried that as soon as I plugged it in, smoke would pour out, along with the putrid odor of electrical wires rubbing each other the wrong way.

Plus it was about the size of my slipper. Would it even be able to muster up the strength? There was only one way to find out. Untangling the thick, black cord, I plugged Hoover Vac in, clicking the small, rectangular lever on. The vacuum vibrated. It shook my hand. “How do you do?” I said.

Its nozzle zoomed over my hardwood floor, gobbling up dust left, right and sideways, like it hadn’t eaten for days. Sideswiping twisty ties and plastic bags that had migrated from my kitchen, it tugged at my PhD socks. “Hey, you, stop that,” the socks said.

Hoover careened around corners, zigzagging, slurping up a skinny belt like it was angel hair pasta. Poor thing. I bet it was ravenous. It hadn’t been fed enough dust by its previous owner. It sped into my kitchen, where it zipped over to sniff at old film canisters and a tennis ball, before dashing into the hallway, nearly swallowing my hiking boots whole.

Hoover cussed. It fussed. It lusted after dust.

The situation was dire: dust or bust.

And dust it would get. A diet of dust, dust, and more dust. Nothing but the worst dust for my dusty fiend. I would give Hoover a good home.

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