So I mentioned Saturday is my day for doing chores.
And what follows is going to make me look really bad. But I can't help it; the empiricist in me won out. It tilted the scales against the embarrassment potential. (Hey, I'm a blogger. When all is said and done.)
Actually, it might make you look kinda bad, too.
It's not often I'm blown away by new technology. (Although I admit I think it's pretty cool that my iPad syncs with my Kindle to keep my place in a book.) I certainly never thought modern technology would amaze me in the form of....
Well, a vacuum cleaner.
I got a new vacuum cleaner. As you know if you've been following along (and why wouldn't you be? My housecleaning woes make for such a gripping saga*), I've had problems with the carpet. It's been creating dust in the house. This was scientifically proved by means of an indoor air test.
It wasn't an easy purchase to make. I have an old but functioning vacuum cleaner which is not broken. Finally, though, I figured maybe 25 years was long enough to keep one vacuum cleaner. You may insert your own joke here about how infrequently it might or might not have been used during that time period.
Anyway...well, rather than tell, allow me to show. The obliges you to look at pictures of my horrible carpet, and for that I humbly beg your pardon. I know it's bad. That's the whole point of the current remodeling project, to get rid of the old nay ancient carpeting which is both odious and hideous and replace it with beautiful, sanitary 21st-century flooring. I'm trying here.
But I digress.
Not one but two of the young employees at Best Buy wanted to bend my ear at length about how marvelous Dyson vacuum cleaners are. My read was that this wasn't just salesmanship...although it may have partly been that. One salesperson in particular, a high-energy and obviously very smart young man named Kyle, seemed authentically enthusiastic. It took several weeks for them to actually extract my money from my wallet (I use magnetized money—it sticks), but Kyle essentially had me sold when he mentioned that he and his wife had cleaned their living room with their previous favorite vacuum cleaner, a Bissell, and then went over the same area again with their new Dyson and it pulled up a lot more dirt. (They had a baby learning to crawl at the time, so a clean carpet was important to them.)
So I bought one. This one—a Dyson DC41 Animal. So-called because it's specifically made for houses with pets.
You might think it's expensive, but oh no. Keep reading.
Wondering how my vacuum cleaner would stand up against a similar test, I thought I'd try Kyle's experiment. Admittedly, I would be pitting the Dyson not against a late-model Bissell but against an antediluvian economy Hoover that cost $129 during the Reagan administration. Even so, I started out skeptical (my default setting).
The picture above is of the dog's bed, which sits near my chair in the living room so she can lie down in between barking at all the dogs that appear in TV commercials. It's 40x30 inches (101x76 cm) in size. This is in a trafficked area of the LR, so it's vacuumed whenever I vacuum. Admittedly, that is not very often, but what I'm trying to say here is that it's not an out-of-the-way corner where dust is allowed to run riot and accumulate unmolested.
So, first, we (the organizer, Connie, and I) thoroughly vacuumed the rectangle of carpet where the dog's bed was—the cheap, old, thin carpet—that is, the carpet that has no thick nap with lots of places for dust to hide—with my inexpensive 25-year-old Hoover. We gave it a thorough going-over.
So that area was "clean." You with me?
It looked "clean."
(By the way—since it would be natural for someone to ask, given what you're about to see—the Hoover does work. It makes a fine racket like a good vacuum cleaner should, it picks up dirt off the floor, it makes the floor look better, and eventually its bag fills up with dusty schmutz—or is it schmutzy dust? I shouldn't ask questions.)
So, back to our little test. We went over the area we had already cleaned with the new Dyson Animal. Still with me? I'll say it again. We re-vacuumed, using the Dyson, the 30x40-inch rectangle of carpet we had just vacuumed repeatedly with the ancient Hoover. No cheating, just that little bitty area. Connie can attest to this.
And we got this:
WHAT?!? That's what was left behind after I used to vacuum??
Seriously—are you kidding me?
I absolutely would not have believed this if I hadn't done the test myself. I am amazed.
Well, okay, I am also kind of repelled and appalled. I've been living with that much dirt in my carpet?? Yeeeech.
But mainly amazed.
Man. Un-be-effing-lievable. Admit it, those of you who are British are just wishing you were American right now, so you could respond appropriately by going "That thing is aaawwwesome!"
My tired old Hoover sucked I'm sure.
But the DC41 Animal really, really sucks. (Bah-dum-pah.)
(Thanks to Connie Eastman, Organizer Extraordinaire)
"Open Mike" is a series of off-topic posts that appear only, but not always, on Sundays.
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Malcolm Myers: "I've had a Dyson now for about 13 years and I like it a lot. It also pleases me that someone was able to rejuvenate a stagnant product sector (vacuum cleaners) with some great design and engineering and beat the big boys at their own game. I'm sure you won't regret your purchase!"
Richard Parkin: "'...Those of you who are British...." No, we are laughing because you are using a British-designed vacuum cleaner. Dyson is the new Hoover."
Bernard Scharp: "The Dyson does have some purple fringing, however...."
Mark Layne: "We Purchased a Dyson Animal cannister two weeks ago. We have a 14-year-old retriever who sheds a lot. Unbelievable—the hair even comes up from between floorboards."
Paul McCann: "Well. IMHO, you wont get 25 years out of the Dyson. They're not known as Die-soons over here for nothing. Hold on to your receipt. SWMBO swears by Miele and they have a pet special also."
Cmans: "Holy dog droppings! When you wrote that you were wondering if your current vacuum cleaner would stand up under a test, I immediately wondered what you were currently using and your picture confirmed my wildest fears. You were using the exact same model appliance my mother gave me 20 plus years ago as as housewarming gift when I got my first apartment. I will second that the machine makes wonderful vacuum cleaner noises and yes, doesn't seem to be a slouch, and I still have and use the machine occasionally. But my wife purchased a hyperventilating, hyperbaric mongo hepa filtered vacuum that also seems to end up with exactly the same assortment of detritus that your D machine has produced, including a corn broom stalk, and I have never used a corn broom in my current abode (or was that a piece of uncooked spaghetti?).
"The curious thing is that you can vacuum the same area a week later and it seems that the same detritus will appear in the same place even though no one had entered that area in that week, leading me to conclude that either said detritus mulches itself and spreads over time under the nap of the rug like the root network of a fine fescue, or the machine itself has some sort of electrostatic detritus generator. I guess the true test would be to vacuum over hard surfaces, but why waste the effort?
"By the way when I saw the first picture with the person operating the machine I asked myself 'wow, does he really paint his toenails?'"
Mike replies: I really don't.
Will Whitaker (partial comment): "Interesting to note in your credits that Connie's last name is Eastman. Seems very fitting for a photography blog."
Mike replies: And her brother Michael Eastman is a photographer, too. And a very good one.
Ilkka: "$400 for a Dyson vacuum is damn expensive. $1200 for n ƒ/2.8 zoom is kinda cheap. $4000 for a Leica lens is ok. $400 for a lens hood for the same Leica lens is also okay, since it is Leica original. Something wrong with the relative value of money."