The instructions were pretty straight forward: insert hose “A” into slot “B”, then place collection unit as shown and click into place.
It only took 20 minutes, and I didn’t have any parts left over.
“Done!” I said, plugging the cord into the outlet. “Let’s give it a try.”
“Do you want to go first?” Carla said.
“Nope, go ahead,” I said, pointing out the on-off switch.
Carla pressed the switch and made a couple of quick swipes across the rug. The inside of the collection unit swirled with an amalgam of dust and cat hair that formed itself into a clump the size of a golf ball.
A few more swipes and it was the size of a baseball.
Carla pressed the power switch and the living room again grew quiet. The baseball stopped swirling and settled to the bottom of the clear acrylic tube.
“Oh, wow!” I said. “That is AWESOME!”
Shelter-in-place long enough and you pretty much get excited about anything.
“What was that sound?” Steven asked, padding into the living room in bare feet.
“We got a new vacuum cleaner,” Carla said.
“Does it work pretty good?”
It was the set-up I was hoping for: “It sucks!” I said.
Carla and Steven ignored me.
“Look at this!” I said, holding up the collection unit. “And that’s just from the rug!”
“When was the last time we vacuumed?” Steven asked.
“Well, I kinda remember vacuuming on a Saturday morning in ’07, or was it ’08?”
Carla and Steven ignored me. Tough crowd.
Carla moved to a second area rug; by the time she was done, the vacuum held a gray-brown blob the size of our cat. I was tempted to take a picture of the mess and put it on Facebook. I’ve seen worse stuff on Facebook, and no doubt there are others out there who are just as bored as I am.
I emptied the container into a garbage bag and clicked it back into place.
“You can really feel it pulling against the rug,” Carla said. “A lot harder than the old vacuum. I think I’ll go vacuum the bedroom.”
“When you’re done can I use it to vacuum my room?” Steven asked.
“Then I think I’ll do the basement,” I added.
“Have we ever vacuumed the basement?” Steven asked.
“No,” I said. “But we’ve only been here since ’99.”
Ignored. Imagine that.
I never thought I’d see a day when we were standing in line to get time with the vacuum cleaner, but it filled one day of shelter-in-place and we got clean floors in the process.
Now if we could just get that enthused about a new dust rag.
Dan Conradt, a lifelong Mower County resident, lives in Austin with his wife, Carla Johnson.