Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Price


Every once in awhile, and by this I mean every great once in awhile, some company offers me a gift if I promote their product on my blog. Barbecue equipment, patio knick-knacks, salt. I told a blogging friend I've resisted because it seems so cheesy.

But the real truth is, no one has coughed up anything I want. I'd chop my integrity into bite-sized bits and feed it to the cat if anyone offered me a vacuum cleaner.

I break vacuums as regularly as I used to break retainers. Tonight I cracked the handle on my Bissel, and not just any Bissel. This one is, was, the Extended Suction Lift Off Revolution Press And Grab Works Like A Magnet On Pet Hair Easy Empty Bissel.

Every two years I spend hundreds on a new vacuum. I've tried them all -- stick, upright, canister, bag, bagless. And it's not like I abuse them; they get plenty of time off. If you're a vacuum in my house, almost every day's a holiday.

My mom had the same Hoover for twenty years and it never went out on disability. She got it for her anniversary, I believe. All I ever got for an anniversay was jewelry. Try sucking up dog dander with a tennis bracelet.

Not that I'd scorn any gift. Unless it happens to be barbecue tongs, a plastic sundial, or salt.

45 comments:

  1. I remember killing multiple vacuums. One year pine needles from the dying Christmas tree did it, several other times it was the massive amounts of hair my sister and I have shed.

    Nowadays, I have hard wood floors. It is much harder to break a broom.

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  2. I have to say, I've never cracked the handle on a vacuum. Nice strong tennis-playing hands, perhaps?

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  3. "If you're a vacuum in my house, almost every day's a holiday." My house, too. And yet, they break. The man at the repair shop says, essentially, "they just don't make them like they used to."

    Good luck with the gift. (Maybe your post should mention a few more brand names, to cast a wider net.)

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  4. They don't make vacuums like they used ta. Now it's all planned obsolesence.
    A vacuum is no better than how fast the hypoallergenic filter becomes clogged with pet hair of whatever persuasion. (Besides dogs,I was also a cat "owner" in the day. See my two comments in the previous post). I'm not just whistlin' Dixie here.
    Boy, I sure do miss Granma's Kirby.

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  5. From a distance, your vacuum cleaner looked like a jeroboam of some rare French wine, so I thought you were heading for a free-wine connection. Maybe you could be more subtle and simply have product placement in your photos.... Did you get a case of Vienna Sausages from the other day? Or some pet products from Canadian Sphinx breeders?

    The other day you linked a song by Lucy Kaplanski. A few years ago she told a story about having a bad cold and mentioning Ricola lozenges in an interview that appeared in a magazine. Next thing she knew, she received a case or two of Ricolas. This got her to thinking...

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  6. We have this problem too, and I wouldn't mind so much if the vacuum was, say, the size of a mug. But tossing a two-year-old vacuum seems so wanton, so shameful. And, of course, that's a lot of vacuums in landfills.

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  7. We have this problem too, and I wouldn't mind so much if the vacuum was, say, the size of a mug. But tossing a two-year-old vacuum seems so wanton, so shameful. And, of course, that's a lot of vacuums in landfills.

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  8. What's a vacuum for anyway? ;) I think that's what dogs are for...picking up those crunchy bits.

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  9. Is it anti-feminist to say that I love my vacuum? I have duct tape holding it together. Seriously.

    That said, if any guy gave me a vacuum for an anniversary present...well...let's just say, it would be the last anniversary we spent together. Toasters, cookware, etc. would get the same response.

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  10. I'm sorry to read of your vac's demise, too bad that crutch won't do it a bit of good. RIP

    I have to admit it, when it comes to vacuum cleaners I'm a bit smug. In point of fact, there's a part of me that emits a glow of self-satisfaction every time I think about vacuum cleaners. A friend gave us a central vacuum unit after which DH crawled under and through the house for about a week installing all of the PVC pieces and outlets and now, all I have to do is plug in the hose and suck up whatever mess we've made. Last night was a doozie, it turns out there's a layer of ancient kapok under the 3 layers of seat covers on of my dining room chairs - I hope I didn't breathe too much of that stuff.

    Honestly, I hate vacuum cleaners but I consider my central vac a member of the family. I wish you luck in getting a promotional one, you'll easily want to write about it everyday. Srsly.

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  11. I'd especially like one of those robot vacs so I could torture the dogs.

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  12. All this talk of vacuums makes me think of this classic scene from Carnal Knowledge. "You want an extra $50 a week? Try vacuuming!"

    Carnal Knowledge

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  13. Yea, I keep waiting to get some kind of worthwhile blogging bribe too.

    My $69 vacuum seems to be holding up pretty well.

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  14. Earl, I love that someone managed to video it off of their TV. You can always tell who doesn't have a library card.

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  15. Paula: I know. I chose that one because it got the guts of the speech out in 52 seconds!

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  16. dyson? and did you see his silly non-fan fan?

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPlM_0Y89S4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-jv8g1YVI

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  19. Choice videos, you two. Entertainment value alone, that Roomba is worth it.

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  20. Nothing says "Irony" to me more than my dusty Dirt Devil.

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  21. I've had the same Hoover commercial for years. Hubs just made me order a new vacuum he saw on TV because it's very light weight, and after my back surgery I can't move much of anything. Of course, your vacuum cleaner and mine have long been comparing notes on how many vacation days they receive, and mine told yours that they work too hard. This may be why yours are out on disability.

    But I do like Amy's comment that it's much harder to break a broom.

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  22. I have that vacuum! Love mine. BTW, am going with your idea on paint colors for my spare bedroom.

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  23. Miss J could never break her vacuum cleaner for the simple reason she never uses it. Hating to clean has distinct advantages.

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  24. prepare thee way for a rant and rage!...

    This is what did the American auto industry in and not the unions. Creating a product where parts are designed to break at a (behind the door) predetermined period. With the American autos it was the big ticket items. Transmission at 80-100 thousand miles. You could bet the farm on it....and then along came Honda and Toyota. We have more cars then ever and yet we have fewer breakdowns parked on the freeways shoulders.

    My stove is a Wedgewood and my refrigerator an Amana. If they break I fix them. My vacuum, on the other hand, is everything you say here. I miss my Orek. Kept breaking belts, now I wish I had never unloaded it

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  25. On vacuum No. 2 this year. Worked pretty well for a while. Now as I move forward with it, it shoots the dirt out the back. Since I refuse to dish out hundreds more, I am now using a little Swifter rechargeable vac ($20.00 and it does a good job) on the hardwoods and tile. Major dog hair problem, so the little filter fills up pretty fast causing multiple trips to the trash can for emptying. That unbreakable broom is sounding pretty good Amy.

    PS Except for cropping, thems the colors!!

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  26. On vacuum No. 2 this year. Worked pretty well for a while. Now as I move forward with it, it shoots the dirt out the back. Since I refuse to dish out hundreds more, I am now using a little Swifter rechargeable vac ($20.00 and it does a good job) on the hardwoods and tile. Major dog hair problem, so the little filter fills up pretty fast causing multiple trips to the trash can for emptying. That unbreakable broom is sounding pretty good Amy.

    PS Except for cropping, thems the colors!!

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  27. Why is everybody so down on dirt? Where is the inner child?

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  28. We had the same problem, so we got rid of the carpet. No more vacuum cleaners.

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  29. A friend and I bought the same Eureka from Price Club something along 20 years ago. We actually USED ours and it died a sad death a few years back, but we got our money out of it. I was at the friends house attempting to tame the dog hair and dust mites to limit my sneezing, picked up the vac with 2 hands to vacuum the top of the dog bed and the handle snapped off. oy!

    The Roomba vids...the dog one reminds me of any dog we've known around a Roomba---it doesn't move the way anything they know does, so they are afraid. Cats seem to feel the same way, tho have only seen a golden DESTROY a Roomba while left alone with it.

    Tho I did have a cat vs traditional canister vac once. I was helping (there seems to be a theme here) and nudged around a pile of stuff. Next thing I knew, cat popped up from the pile, batting at the wand I held in my hand. I was just trying to defend myself against any attack on me by the cat while using the wand to fend off said cat. She finally took off after a few attacks and I retired to the corner to change pants. To this day that cat won't talk to me. Some things are better left as is.

    As to the reviews of decent vacs---we had REALLY good luck with any Sears canister vac, crappy luck with any stand up vac and simply hate the dysons. Hope one of those folks offers to send you something to test out.

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  30. The landlady of our new home graciously left the vacuum cleaner...I decided to sweep up some errant kitty litter, but didn't have a broom...ah!!! The vacuum cleaner!!! Got it out, plugged it in, turned it on, vacuumed up the kitty litter...NOT!!!! It was spewing out the back!!! Went to Kmart...(our major shopping opportunity here in Mammoth/Bishop) bought a new one...don't know how it works...haven't used it!!! (the whisk broom and picker upper work just fine for the kitty litter!!!)

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  31. CUTE ROOMBA COMMERCIAL

    Apparently, there's also a Roomba wet mop called a Scooba.

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  32. I can't help but wonder how long does it take the Roomba to clean a room? And how does it know where the dirt is???

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  33. Chieftess: It's easy to know where the dirt is. The hard part is proving it.

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  34. So many vacuums, so little time. I checked my messages; nothing from Kenmore. YET. (K, I too have a dusty dirt devil stick. It's good for pushing things around.)

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  35. Oh where the hell have I been? Well prissing around Montgomery AL with my sorority sisters from ......some years ago that's what.

    Well let's get down to bidness here KB. I have some piece o crap stick thing that works ok, but it won't suck up those roaches. Paper towels for those big boys.

    I"ve never felt the need for a heavy duty. I don't really get all into the vacuuming thing anymore. There was a time, but he's gone now and I"ve pretty much gotten over that obsessive comp. baggage.

    It's a holiday here too sistah. Cheers!

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  36. When I shared an apt. with a human and 3 big hairy dogs, our vacuum broke. My apartment-mate was pretty handy - she took the vacuum, left it upright, and built a mannequin form around it. As such, she had a dress form for her sewing. Now, I admit, she was short and, well, built like a vacuum cleaner, so the vacuum's life lived on for years.

    Otherwise... if Oreck or Zumba calls you, please remember your cousyn-sister and let them know we are taking handouts, too!

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  37. "Not that I'd scorn any gift. Unless it happens to be barbecue tongs, a plastic sundial, or salt."

    Now I can stop "Searchin for my lost shaker of salt".

    Not that his helps with your vacuuming woes. Such a stupid word; vacuum. I have always had trouble spelling the blasted word, but thanks to spell check, Virginia can rest without her red pen.

    Just why is here two u's in vacuum? I keep trying to add two c's and drop the one and most unnecessary extra u. i swear English is a silly language.

    Anyway, buy a shop vac. buy a Rigid shop vac from the home Depot and see how long that one lasts. After all it's been made rigid.

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  38. Get the kind of shop vac you can carry on your back and then reverse it and use it as a blower when you want to dust. Yeah, that'll work. Actually, I love all the cool attachments for ours. The last one I bought was a handle for the hose, that totally rocks.

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  39. Oh jeez, I googled the Rigid and am in love. Now I'll sit with my ankles crossed and hands folded and wait for them to contact me.

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  40. A vacuum cleaner for an anniversary gift spells the end of the relationship. Ask me how I know this...

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  41. Off topic, but I find it fascinating that there were 57 comments to your tomatoes post. As in Heinz 57 Varieties or 57 Ways to Leave your Tomatoes.

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  42. @Chieftess---the roomba knows by going over the same spot ~7 times in a cycle from different directions. How long a cycle takes depends on the size of the room and how much stuff is in it (and whether your cat rides it or your dog chases it). We got one as a gift. It worked ok, but missed corners, so I'd have to suck it up some other way, which, sort of defeated the purpose of not needing another vac.

    and yes, a shopvac will work, but remember the mondo sized airport tarmac type hearing protectors you'll need when you turn the sucker on---make sure they go with whatever outfit you're wearing to do all this lovely housework!

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  43. I'd like to confirm the Chieftess's description of what happened when she used the vacuum left by the landlord. The vacuum she purchased at the closest thing to a Nordstrom's in these parts (K-Mart) is also a Bissell, like your beloved, broken handled, sucker machine. Finally, I should point out that after nearly two months in our new-rented home, neither the broken vacuum nor the brand new Bissell has been used on the carpets. Perhaps it's time to see how well it works...

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  44. Ah, Diana. I'm sure it's a gene that makes some prefer appliances to earrings.

    Trish, yeah, there is that.

    Earl, you're a man who likes to find patterns.

    DB, don't rush into anything.

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  45. I'm late but if Kenmore or the Rigid or Roomba people don't call, maybe you can get it fixed. I used this place to get a new plug for my Kenmore, which is still going strong after many years (of little use): Tanner's Valley Vacuum Center in Pasadena

    Dirt Devil is not only useless but so loud it hurts my ears.

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