The Day I Killed the Vacuum


I hate vacuums.  I can’t even express how much I dislike all vacuums. Vacuums have been a plague on my life (no drama at my house).    No matter how many vacuums I purchase, or how much money I pay for them, it is always the same story.  They don’t pick up what they should, like dirt and animal hair. But oh yes, they love to pick up what they shouldn’t, like the carpet corners and their own chords.   And speaking of the chord, is it my fault that my vacuum chord always ends up a mass of black electrical tape to fix the places where the vacuum has continually sucked up its own appendage and stripped it clean?  Shouldn’t a self-respecting vacuum be more discerning?  Eventually, my vacuums always end up spitting more dust than they pick up. And don’t even get me started on the new and improved “bagless” vacuum. Because changing a bag every once in a while was so much more inconvenient than having to manually dump the disgusting contents from the canister into the trash (as dust flies everywhere) on a regular basis!

Anyway, on the day in question, my current vacuum/bane-of-my-existence clearly crossed the line.  Now, it is only fair to point out this was not my first indiscretion where machines are concerned.  There was the time with the smoke alarm (Woman vs. Machine).  However, trust me, this time the machine really had it coming.

Last week, I was up to my neck in a heinous vacuum job involving the eradication of a summer’s worth of dead and live, scurrying spiders. It was near the end of the job when the vacuum chose to jump (ok, it might have fallen) off the step it was perched on, thus dislodging the nearly full “bagless vacuum” canister and spilling contents all over the floor.  In that instant, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the vacuum’s time had come.  And, ok, I will admit it…I was a tad peeved, and maybe a little pms, and possibly temporarily off my rocker.

Whatever the case,  the annihilation began as I kicked the offending machine…several times.  Lacking the desired results, I then proceeded to take the vacuum apart piece by piece and throw each piece violently out the back door onto the concrete driveway.  I swear I heard the sweet sound of cracking plastic and dislodging mechanisms.  The attack was only complete when the main vacuum unit was sent skittering across the driveway to its final resting place, lodged partially under a parked car.

Around this time, my sons, hearing the ensuing brawl, came to investigate.

Teen: “Uh, Mom, what are you doing?”

Me:  “Killing the vacuum.”

Preteen:  “Need any help with that?”

Me: “No thanks, I think I’ve got it covered.”

Then, I shed tears – not for the vacuum now lying scattered all over the driveway like the Scarecrow after the Flying Monkeys had their fun – but for the dusty, bug infested mess left in its wake that had to now be manually cleaned up and just out of good old frustration.  And that my friends, was the end of the vacuum, or so I thought.

For you see, sometime later that day, I looked outside to see Preteen collecting up all the scattered vacuum parts. And when next I looked out the window, there sat my vacuum on the back porch fully reassembled (and I am completely sure it was snickering at me).

I left it sitting on the back porch hoping it was reflecting on its bad behavior and fairly certain of its demise as a result of the onslaught.  However, the time came when pet hair in the house began to clump and blow in front of me like tumbleweeds in the Nevada desert.  Dreading the thought of facing yet another new vacuum purchase, to the porch I went to drag the vacuum back in the house, hoping it could, albeit inadequately, still to do its job.

That afternoon, when Preteen came home from school…

Me:  “By the way, I tried using the vacuum today and, guess what? It worked!”

Preteen:  “Really?  That is amazing!”

Me: “No Preteen, actually, you are amazing.”

Preteen smiled and then we both laughed.

As parents, it is our job to pick up our kids when they are down and put things back together for them.

But sometimes, it works the other way, too.

31 responses

  1. I love that! There are so many pointlessly useless hoovers out there, I can’t be doing with the cheapy ones or the fashionable bagless ones, so I’m glad for the Henry in my life. Anything that takes rubble in its stride is always going to go far in this house. I just wish I had the energy to use it! 🙂

  2. Great Blog post:) So funny and so true–I hate bagless vacumn cleaners–I saw a boy on tv once–maybe he was 15 or so -not sure –but he was an expert on vacumn cleaners–he had a whole collection and he said the worst kind were the bagless ones–I love the way you turned this story into such a good thought about your son and yourself–that was great:)

  3. Awesome post, Paula! I love it when something I read makes me laugh out loud, and this post really did it….thanks!!! (How do you feel about food processors?)

  4. Okay, so after hearing how evil the vacuum has proved itself to be, I’m definitely going with the fact that it definitely jumped off the step. No falling involved–it was definitely a malicious maneuver.

  5. Oh my gosh, I got stuck on the ad at the top. If my husband ever gave me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas I would kill him with it. “Here, honey, this will help you do a better job of cleaning the house.” I just had a rage stroke.

    The image of you killing your vacuum cleaner made me laugh. I’m just sorry that it was resurrected. It’s like the Jesus of vacuum cleaners.

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