Nov 20 2007

I’m Dreaming Of A White … Goods?

Christmas is approaching and I’ve been thinking a lot about domestic appliances during this past week. Specifically, my mind has been mostly occupied with thoughts of vacuum cleaners.

It sucks, I know. But there’s a reason for it.

A few months ago, Destructo, our 3-year old, got up early one Saturday morning, and emptied out an entire bottle of baby talcum powder on the living room, while Corporate Babe and I were having a sleep-in.

I vaguely remember waking up around the crack of noon and thinking that the house was eerily quiet. I also vaguely remember getting out of bed and going on a search mission to see what Destructo was up to.

I never worry about the two older boys, because I know exactly what they’re always up to on a Saturday morning … watching DVDs or playing computer games on one of our computers. Destructo, however, cannot be left alone (if you have just tuned into my blog, go here to find out why!).

Now … I vaguely remember too seeing Destructo standing very still in a corner of the living room when I poked my head in.

No prizes here for guessing what the next two lines of our dialogue were:

Me: “Hi there … what are you doing?”

Destructo: “Nothing!”

Then I looked down at his shirt … there was white powder all over it.

I looked at his legs … they were very white.

I looked at the carpet … and started swearing my head off!

Corporate Babe was out of bed and in the living room faster than the time it took for me to write this sentence.

Acting like this is what 3-year old kids normally do when they are left alone, she then tried to calm me down by assuring me she would clean it all up.

I stormed out of the room, which is what men of my age normally do when the going gets messy and they want to be left alone.

I can’t remember what I did for the next few minutes or so, but when I got back in the house, I could hear the vacuum cleaner going full blast. I could also smell talcum powder. A lot of talcum powder. Enough talcum powder to soothe one thousand rashy little bottoms.

Then I saw it … a thick white cloud had engulfed the living room and the landing area near the front door. From the floor to the ceiling, a choking fog of powder was coming out of the back end of the vacuum cleaner.

I don’t blame my wife for thinking that one can just suck up talcum powder with a vacuum cleaner. I probably would have done the same. This is one of those things that only seems completely logical after the event.

The vacuum cleaner, however, has never been the same again since. I cleaned up as much talcum powder as I could from the machine, but as soon as I start vacuuming with it, sparks fly out the back and I get electric shocks. I tried vacuuming twice before I decided that I didn’t want my kids to see Dad getting electrocuted while trying to clean our filthy old carpet. Not my idea of ending the show with an electrifying performance.

Corporate Babe and I haven’t decided yet what to do about this blasted vacuum cleaner. Does anyone actually repair vacuum cleaners anymore? Isn’t it cheaper to just get a new one and get on with it? I don’t know. My wife says it’s still under warranty. It’s pretty hard to disguise what caused the malfunction in the appliance, though, especially since it still smells like talcum powder and looks like it was used to clean a flour mill factory.

In the meantime, the carpets in the house are not only getting filthier, they are also getting awfully unpleasant to walk on barefoot. Especially in my office, where the kids eat snacks when they come in to watch movies.

I don’t know how much longer I can bear this … it’s even got to the point now where I am browsing through the shopping catalogs that get pushed into our mail box and cutting out little pictures of vacuum cleaners to add to my treasure map.

Maybe Santa will bring the kids a new vacuum cleaner this Christmas …

The Lazy HouseHusband


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