Another one bites the dust, and won’t pick it up

There are few things as humbling as a major appliance going on the fritz. In fact, I think the only thing that would set a family further into mass commotion would be two appliances going out at the same time, which is what just happened to us.
The washing machine had been on its way out for quite a while. Apparently the way I do laundry, affectionately known as the “stuff it in because why else would it come with a setting for extra large loads” method really does a number on the spinning mechanism after 10 years of use. With even the smallest amount stuffed in there, the washer would start its routine ca-chunka-chunka dance across the laundry room floor with each load. I’d walk in to rebalance it for the third time only to find my five-year-old son doing his very best to hold a full washer from moving with all of his 38 pounds. Even after a few repairs, I was told that it was a goner.
It took only a few loads of my husband witnessing this ordeal until he declared that we were getting a new washer that night.
“That will work well because I’ve got to take the vacuum in to get fixed too,” I said while wading through a sea of cracker crumbs, paper scraps, and dog hair that had been accumulating on the floor.
It seems my lack of tender loving care that makes up my laundry habits also stretches to my vacuuming techniques. I operate on a need-to-pick-up basis, where I will run over something at least seven times before I bend down and pick it up. This has worked well for me in the past, but on a recent whirlwind clean of the basement, my dear sweeper couldn’t handle my vacuuming aggressions.
I went full force underneath the couch in the basement, which for us is just a giant room where plastic toys go to die and the children are allowed to jump off the walls. There was a loud zooming sound, and then the distinct noise of a piece of metal being cut with a chainsaw in a blender. Suddenly with a final whoop, all was fairly back to normal. Or so I thought.
Days passed and I found myself being pelted with crumbs and misplaced doll shoes while sweeping until I could take it no more and scheduled the ol’ sweeper in for a tune up.
“Sounds like you’ve got a clog,” said the man on the phone.
“But I swear I heard a part fall off and then get sucked up in that torrent of cleaning in the basement” I answered, and I took it in.
With children in tow, the repair man plugged in the vacuum and turned it on for three seconds before informing me that it was indeed plugged.
“It’ll be fifteen dollars for me to fix it.”
“My kitchen floor is solid Cheerio, sir. Please do what you need to do.”
He disappeared behind a wall with a one-way mirror and after a few minutes returned with a tiny plastic bag. He had removed whatever it was that was plugging my vacuum and somehow thought I might like to see it too. I liken it to the old joke where someone says “eeww, this milk is sour! Smell it!” And the other person just has to smell it because it is our human nature to partake in disgusting things. Disgusting things such as the gunk that clogs a vacuum.
As it turns out, it was a small piece of cardboard from a cowboy action set that I swear I’ve never seen before but because it was encased in a small conglomeration of lint and dried up rice, it had to be from my machine.
Slightly humiliated, I waited while he fixed it and added a needed replacement part before we headed out for the appliance store, knowing that my humbleness would someday be rewarded with clean socks on a clean floor.


Solid cheerio? Duuuuuuuuude.

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