Saturday, May 28, 2011
On Vacuum Cleaners
My former Comp II students will confirm: I light up when I tell about my mom and the Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner salesman.
Now, Mom's loosened up a great deal, but she was anal-retentive about the house, back in the day. Having been born a happy piggy, I was the family member most vexed by her particularity, and--to this day, if you were to visit my (cleaner than usual) house--you would see: my rebellion has persisted near four decades.
But back when I was a girl living with Mom, the Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner salesman showed up at the kitchen door one day. How he found us, I'll never know; my parents live in the middle of nowhere and have a long, gravel driveway. I mean, like, you can't even see their house from the road! So Mom invited the saleman in for iced tea, undoubtedly, out of respect for his pluckiness.
The salesman, sitting at the dining-room table, nodded toward the rug in the living room. "Now," he asked Mom, "would you say that rug is clean?"
"Well, yes," she said. "Of course it's clean."
"Are you sure?" he asked.
She frowned. "I'm sure," she said. "I just vacuumed it today."
"Would you mind if I vacuumed it?" he asked.
"Go right ahead," she said, testily. They both stood. She crossed her arms. He explained how the vacuum cleaner's water filtration system worked and proceeded to vacuum the rug. The water turned gray almost immediately and--in no time flat--looked downright murky.
All the color drained from Mom's face, and the salesman barely hit the "off" switch when she hollered, horrified: "I'll take it!"
I can still see her expression and sit here, now, grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
But, as usual, Mom gets the last laugh. And the next-to-last laugh.
Because, firstly, would you believe she is still using (and loving) that twenty-plus-year-old Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner?
Ok, and secondly? Our flea killer suggested, gently, that my Maxima might not be doing the trick. My beloved (who would never, in his brilliant frugality, spring for a Rainbow) ordered me a Shark Navigator. It arrived today, and he could hardly wait to assemble it. I vacuumed our living room yesterday (and many in-a-row days prior) with the Maxima, and lmtellya: I could scarce believe how much stuff came out of my carpet, tonight, with the new vacuum.
I shudder to think.
Where's my mom with her Rainbow while I'm trying to rid my house of fleas? Why, she's states away, drinkin' iced tea in her remarkably clean house, y'all!
Love you, Mommy!