The Danger of Smoking (for a Cheap Vacuum)

The Vacuum has picked up a nasty habit; it smokes now.

When I found out, I begged and pleaded with it to quit.  As curls of smoke continued to escape from the base, I knew I needed to take a new tone with the device.

“Can’t you see you are going to die if you keep this up?” I asked in a threatening tone with desperation in my heart.

It responded with silence and another puff of smoke in my direction, as if to say, “I will do as I please, thank you very much.”

Apparently, continuing to smoke is what pleases the mean, not-so-old machine.

I remember the first vacuum in my life, as though anyone could forget their first. It was a heavy, grey Kirby with a slouchy bag that grew fat on dust, crumbs, pennies, hair and anything else it saw fit to consume.

The Kirby came to us by the good graces of a door-to-door salesman making rounds through the Indiana countryside. He showed the lady of the house all of amazing things the Kirby was capable of doing to save her time and then convinced that for such a low monthly payment plan, it would cost more to not buy it.

In retrospect, this must have been true because there was never another vacuum to replace the Kirby, although all of the hoses have been replaced, the attachments lost, and the whirlwind action is now more of a breeze. I’m willing to speculate that the lady of the house was too embarrassed by the 200-month-payment-plan that she once signed as a youngish housewife to seek out another vacuum.

Perhaps another one will come to her?

For all the years I lived at home, I pushed and pulled that vacuum across the floors and up and down the stairs. My shoulders strained in their sockets with each pass across the room and I grumbled and griped about indentured slavery. Fortunately, no one could hear me complaining as the Kirby overpowered all noises with its mighty whirlwind action.

At some point, I left to find a quieter, lighter vacuum of my own.

Never have I found another vacuum as cumbersome and obnoxious or as consistent and reliable as the Kirby which brings me back to the dying Dirt Devil bought on discount just a few years ago.

The little smoker has been quarantined to the closet for a few days while we go out in search of another cheap replacement that will burn out in another few years, if not sooner.

We will continue with the cycle of our generation to buy cheap, discard, and replace instead of to buy for quality and repair as needed; unless a brave soul intervenes by knocking at the door, offering a product too good to pass up, with a low, low monthly payment plan.

Long live the door-to-door vacuum salesman.


When a Door-to-Door Vacuum Salesman Has an Existential Crisis in Your Living Room