It's not about the house.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sucking Wind

I cleaned the house yesterday. Sort of. Halfway. All right, all I did was vacuum. But it really, really needed it.

I was twenty minutes (and barely half a room) in before I realized that the bag was full. Which it always is. And I didn't have any. Which I never do, even though I buy them in bulk every time this happens. I think I must stash them in a secret place and then can't remember where. I think someday I'm going to open a cupboard or a drawer or a closet or something and a wave of vacuum bags is going to wash out and bury me alive.

(Please don't write to say "why don't you just keep them with the vacuum?", because the vacuum doesn't really have a permanent place to live. For now we stash it -- well, for now, honestly, we mostly leave it where it lies when we're done using it, until we need to pick it up again -- but if "again" doesn't roll around soon enough (ahem), or if company's coming, then we stash it in the scary cubby under the stairs. But I'm kind of proud of not having filled the scary cubby up with stashy stuff since we cleaned it out a couple months ago, and Johnny -- if he sees one thing in there -- will read it as permission to commence stashing, so I don't want to get that whole cycle started. Although what we're saving the scary cubby for, I do not know.

Anyway, you can only get these vacuum bags by mail order. They're nothing special. Eureka model T. But I think it's a big conspiracy with vacuum companies (and mop heads, while we're at it) to sell you the vacuum (or mop) for cheap, charge you twelve dollars for two measly bags (or one mop head), then more or less instantaneously discontinue the bags (heads) so you need to buy a new vacuum (mop) even though the old one still works perfectly well.

But the internet foiled all that (curses! bwah ha ha). I can now buy counterfeit Model T bags by the dozen for $5. They're probably handcrafted by orphans in Indonesia, but whatever it takes to get the shag carpet off my hardwood floors every six weeks or so, I always say.

I still haven't figured out where to buy those mop heads, though, and I haven't given in and bought (gosh, but I always want to say "boughten" here, don't you?) a new mop yet. So for now I'm still mopping with a (sing it with me: "r-a-g-g m-o-p-p") rag mop I prefer not to think about. Which is why I didn't bother mopping yesterday.

Oh, right, yesterday. So I had no bags and could not run out and buy them, which meant I had to do the whole pull-the-old-crap-out-through-the bag-hole trick, which is just disgusting. I've tried cutting the bag open on one end and dumping it out that way, which empties it out just fine but tape won't stick to the dust-covered mess to hold it closed again. I suppose, now that I think about it, a stapler might do the trick... huh. Wish I'd thought about it yesterday.

Anyway, mostly it's the cat hair and cat litter and cat food in there that gives me pause. Who knows what might have crawled in to eat the kibble and discovered a nice soft nest of woolly, dirty, goodness -- and now I have to stick my finger in? Heeby-freakin'-jeeby. I imagine people without cats don't ever need to vacuum. I imagine people without cats walk around all day in white socks on pristine floors and never feel the need to check the bottoms of their feet before answering an unexpected knock upon the door. (Hey, people without cats! What do you find in your vac bags?)

Here's where it feels like I ought to have a punch line, but I don't. I picked the crud out of the bag and finished vacuuming and that was all I had the energy to do -- oh. Have I mentioned about the vacuum cleaner? About how, when I just about first got it I sucked up something huge (I don't want to think about what it might have been) and a big food/litter/hair wad got stuck in the middle of the wand? And how I tried to poke it out with the mop handle, which worked and which I thought exceedingly clever, but then when I pulled it out the cap end of it popped off and got stuck in there? And I decided there was no way the wand didn't come apart somehow, and so I made it? And it truly was not supposed to? And so ever since I've been vacuuming on my hands and knees?

Well, I wasn't about to throw away the vacuum, was I? It was practically brand new! Although it has been seven years now, so it's not brand new anymore. Still works fine, but maybe I can justify a new one after seven years. But, for those of you reading this who actually know me in person and who right this minute might be thinking "aha, possible present for Erin!" -- just skip it. I'm particular about the vortexes I allow into my life. I need to know for sure the amount of suckage I can get out of something before I'll agree to let it in my home. Or let it be my home, as the case may be...

Yeah, so it takes me the better part of two hours to vacuum the house. Or, since we're being honest here, the three rooms-plus-hall-and-bath I actually accomplished yesterday. I told myself I'd clean my whole office today and vacuum it when I was done, and I had clean laundry all over the floor in the bedroom. We'll see how far I get in the office today, but in the meantime I'm happy to report that I folded all that laundry while watching "Weeds" on DVD last night.

Now, about those bags...


Khurston said...

how bout a new wand?

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am having a hard time reading your blog now with the dark green background. So sad. :(


EGE said...

Thanks for letting me know. Is this any better?

Charlie said...