Normally it wouldn't be a big deal. Eh, so my vacuum is broke. I could just wait until after-Christmas sales on Friday and get one at a smoking deal. It's just a little dog fur and Christmas tree needles.
But I have house guests coming in tonight, and company coming over for dinner tomorrow. My house NEEDS to be vacuumed. The dog fur might rise up in a mutiny and try to overthrow the very fragile reign I hold on this household.
C had hung up some storage racks in our laundry room last night and had the vacuum out to sweep up the drywall dust this morning. When he finished I asked him to leave it upstairs so that I could use it.
He winds the cord and never says anything about it not working correctly. I start vacuuming the master bedroom -- no obvious problems. I have to go over some spots a couple of times to pick up obvious debris but nothing new. My vacuum is almost 10 years old and was the cheapest one we could buy at K-Mart at the time -- it needs to be replaced but for what little carpet we have, I can't justify buying a new one. I pull out the attachment hose to grab the fur balls along the baseboards and under our bed.
This is when I realize that I have NO suction. All I'm doing is pushing the dog fur around on the carpet, creating pretty swirls of white. And there's an odd noise coming from the general vicinity of the vacuum.
Well, maybe the bag is full.
Downstairs I trek, to the mechanical room where the spare bags are. Hallelujah! There was actually 2 down there!
Back upstairs I go, clean bag in hand. After wrestling with our piece of crap cheapo vacuum I finally get the bag changed and realize that I probably need to do our room again. The cloud of dust is thick in the air and I'm covered in a fine film myself.
I plug it back in, hit the power switch and hope for the best. I hold my hand over the end of the hose and nada. No suction through the hose. Then I notice the noise again. Off goes the vacuum.
I panic as the thought crosses my mind that I have house guests arriving in about 12 hours (in-laws no less, so the house HAS to be clean) and my vacuum is broken.
I swear at it, smack it and say a little prayer that it will magically fix itself.
Turn it back on in the hopes that my curse words accomplished something. Nope. Not today.
Mind you, the entire time C can hear me muttering about the vacuum. Turning it off/on, off/on. When I went downstairs to get a clean vacuum bag I mentioned to him as I walked by his cartoon-induced trance that I thought the vacuum was broken because it wasn't sucking. He made some smart-ass comment and continued to be engrossed by whatever was on PBS.
I begin the process of dismantling the vacuum to see if I can self-diagnose it. I may want a new vacuum but the truth is, I hate to spend the money on it. I'd much rather spend it on something frivolous and fun. As I'm starting to pull the hose off, C comes into the bedroom and sheepishly admits that he *might* know what the problem is.
He grabs a wire hanger from the closet and pulls the hose attachment from my hand. I look over his shoulder to see something white stuck in the flexible tubing where it necks down to go into the vacuum. A little finagling and he removes a packing peanut.
And then another.
And finally another.
Yeah. 6 packing peanuts were wedged in the end of the attachment hose. That could possibly be why I wasn't getting any suction through the hose.
I haven't been around any packing peanuts. Then it dawns on me. He vacuumed the laundry room this morning and there was a box sitting in there with packing peanuts in it.
"I thought they were small enough to fit through the hose" he quips as he walks away. "Guess not."
He's a smart one, that husband of mine. Certified engineer and all.
Sometimes I think he leaves his brain at the office!