Destructive Devices: The Vacuum Cleaner


High-pitched noises, followed by a smoky plastic-smelling haze, were the ominous signs that the vacuum cleaner was trying to kill the decorative throw rug in the living room. After all of these years, it looked like the vacuum cleaner might win, especially if I instructed Alex (who was vacuuming at the time) to just keep going and ignore the terrifying noises and smells because “Hey, it’s old. Sometimes it just does that.”

“I don’t know, Mom,” Alex said. “I think the vacuum cleaner is burning the rug. I think we should get Dad.”

But Nate was already in the room before Alex could say, “Dad.”

“Everyone, stop!” he said. Then, he unplugged the vacuum cleaner and flipped it over, touching the underside where the brushes are—cursing and screaming at how hot the entire appliance was. 

“This could definitely catch on fire,” he said.

“Why? What’s happening?” I asked.

And then, Nate said something that made my skin crawl: “It’s like it’s trying to eat its own bristles and melt them at the same time.”

In other words, the vacuum cleaner was on a suicide mission: That decorative throw rug has been its nemesis for many, many years, and it was going to take both of them out in a vicious “see you in hell” moment. 

How does this happen? In the interest of science, engineering, and safety, I’ve created a highly technical drawing that might be useful to someone. Here it is:


As you can see, vacuum cleaners are dangerous. Carpets are defenseless. Everything will catch on fire eventually. Thankfully, there are two ways to solve this problem: 1) Never vacuum again or 2) Get a new vacuum cleaner.

We opted to get a new vacuum cleaner—one that sounds pretty dangerous: Dyson Animal 11. I’m not sure what the 11 stands for, but maybe there are 11 different types of animals in there that could take on troublesome foes like carpet and hardwood floors. It’s supposed to have “twice the suction of any other cordless vacuum.” (Here’s the website: DysonV11)

Nate was the first to try it out, but he wasn’t convinced. “It’s really hard to push,” he said—especially on the decorative throw rug in the living room.”

So, I gave it a try.

“It is a little harder to use on this rug, but I can do it, and I’m actually enjoying vacuuming again.”

“But why is it so hard to push on this carpet?” Nate asked.

“Obviously, the carpet is haunted,” I said. “Don’t be fooled by its innocent pale blue floral design that picks up the coffee brown color of the sofa. Don’t be fooled by the sad face it makes when we run the vacuum cleaner. It wants us to never clean again—that’s what it wants, but we’re not playing that game. We’re not playing that carpet’s game at all.”

Nate offered me the handle of the Dyson Animal 11, and I took it. I told him that I love him and if anything happened to me, to tell Alex that I fought hard, with an army of like the 11 most lightweight, powerful carpet-sucking animals technology could ever invent.

Your Turn: Are there any appliances you have had to replace lately? What do you look for when shopping for appliances?

33 thoughts on “Destructive Devices: The Vacuum Cleaner

  1. I have that same model of vacuum. Cordless. As Gary says, I would replace the rug; it’s got issues and probably shouldn’t be left alone. 😉
    We replaced our air conditioning and furnace in the summer. A rather expensive trip to the HVAC store. The exhausted one was 30 years old and certainly didn’t owe us anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that she was giving away two irons. So, I wrote on her page and asked her if anyone really used irons any more these days. We went back and forth for a few minutes – making jokes about irons. I would have gotten in the car and driven to her house to take one off her hands – but decided that it would just sit out side in my stuff house – pondering on the ‘iron – y’ of being an iron in the 21st century. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A haunted carpet, looking deceptively placid. It lies like a rug.
    I hadn’t realized there were animal vacuums, but seems like a great way to get rid of the pigeons on my windowsill.
    When I was growing up, we had a Labrador dog who (seriously) liked to be vacuumed. He was always hanging around the kitchen, shedding, and one day someone using the canister vacuum (just the tube, without the rotating brush head) decided to get some loose tufts of fur off his coat. The dog loved it. He’d stretch his back and wag his tail, and whenever he heard the vacuum, he’d come running. He had some weird habits, and was pretty much a vacuum between his ears, but I think it just felt good to have the loose fur pulled out of his coat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great one! Your home sounds like an interesting place! Are you sure it wasn’t built on some burial ground? Just asking! But seriously, I’m so glad I live in an apartment with tiles I can just run a wet rag with some cleaning product over and have it look pretty again, or even wash if I feel adventurous! 🙂 I hope you and yours are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s