Saturday, August 18, 2007


My vacuum cleaner has died. The one I've had since roughly 1981. The one my brother teased me about the day I purchased it, because I called him and excitedly gushed about it, it worked so well. The one that was my first major appliance purchase.

I abused the Hell out of that thing. Vacuum cleaners are supposed to be tough as nails in my opinion, and this one was. It was a canister vac with a power head and attachments, and I went ahead and got the best one I could, reasoning that it would last for a long time. I'd say I got my money's worth out of it...

Over the years it has had several repairs, and parts replaced when they wore out. This time, it had a catastrophic failure, akin to multiple organ failure on a human when you get old and just plain wear out. It needed a new cord, and a new cord reel, as it had stopped retracting the cord. The on/off foot pedal no longer worked and you had to push the button by hand. The worse was the power head--it would randomly fall off and/or spin around, because the steel clip in the tube steel part of the shaft had broken off. All of these things together made cleaning the floor a frustrating and dumb experience as the power head flopped around like a stunned bass.

So off it went to the Sears repair center, where they goggled at it when I brought it in, exclaiming, "That's OLD!" Watch it there, sister, it ain't THAT old. After they had had it for a week I got a telephone call one day...parts for it were no longer available.

Well. OK, time to shop for a new vacuum.

Meanwhile, I have to go down and pick up the old one. I figure I'll put a 'free vacuum' ad on Craigslist, maybe someone who has NO vacuum at all could still use it, even in it's disjointed, ridiculous state. After all, the thing DID still work, and picked up dirt just fine. It made me feel better knowing I could recycle the thing that way.

No dice, the repair folk, in their wisdom, have cut the end off of the plug. Why?! I end up tossing the thing in the trash with much grumbling.

So I make another Major Appliance Purchase, and lug home the new vacuum cleaner.

Which is identical to the old one, except this one sports a snazzy metallic burgundy finish. It even COSTS about the same as the old one originally did.

The new one does sport push-button controls on the wand rather than a foot pedal, and includes another, oh-so-nifty, extra small powerhead for cleaning auto upholstery. It has a little set of LED lights that shift from red to green when the floor is clean enough to please it's sensors. It's nine different types of cool, and quieter than the old one, I have to admit.

But I'm amused by how little things have changed over 26 years.

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