Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baby Blue Dustbuster, 2001 – 2010

It is with mild sadness, barely a slice of dignity, and a few giggles that I announce the death of our Dustbuster. Today, at 8:02 AM, he was gently laid to rest.
Our Dustbuster had been with us for a few years, always a dutiful small appliance. He happily stayed charged up when we needed him and ingested more than his fair share of dog hair and Cheerios. But after a bout of destruction last year, his last leg finally gave in after a terrible fall in the driveway.
He will be greatly missed.
The Dustbuster, as we know it, has quite the history. According to the Black and Decker Web site, the appliance that has either hung on our wall or was stashed in the corner for most of my life came as a result of a two wonderful things: the U.S. Space program and women stealing their husband’s garage tools. In the 70’s, Black and Decker introduced a set of cordless tools for the workbench, including a small vacuum that I imagine was mostly used for picking up beverage tabs and sawdust. Wives surely caught on to this and began sneaking the hand-held vacuum to use inside, leaving their husbands in a sea of teeny, tiny trash.
But there were battery issues to deal with, as always, until someone realized that Black and Decker did some amazing research and development for the NASA Apollo 15 mission in 1971. It was a happy marriage of technology, and our beloved Dustbuster came to be; a lightweight, handheld, dustpan-shaped piece of American pride, to be used and loved by many.
Our Dustbuster astonishingly made it through three children and all of the messes that ensued. Our kids all were huge fans of rice, although I’m pretty sure that one-half of it ended up in small crevices around the kitchen table and another quarter ended up ground into the rug. But it was no match for our handy helper! A quick vvvvvrroooom after dinner and we were back to a regular state of disaster.
Our Dustbuster use was not limited to the floor, either. I discovered early on that it was also great for spills on the couch, the counter, and even for a fast and lazy dusting session. If you think diamonds are a girl’s best friend, you’ve never had one of these babies.
But one fateful day, a spill proved to be too much for us. The children had made some awful mess and were not helping to clean it, and with tempers that I am not proud of raging, I threw my darling Dustbuster on the ground, breaking off the clasp that holds the contents, and leaked dried cereal and hairballs all over the floor.
He’s not been the same since. I’ve apologized and tried to nurse him back to health, treating him with gentle kindness and holding him together each time I have used him. Old faithful that he is, he’s hung in there like a champ.
But yesterday, as my husband grabbed him and headed out the door mumbling something about having a car with black interior and crumbs, I heard a distinct “what?” and then a small crash. Without my TLC, the current contents were splayed all over the driveway, a veritable crime scene of crusty stuff. We tried to put him back together but when we flipped him back on, my husband was shot in the eye with a residual piece of rice, probably circa 2005, that was stuck in the workings.
He held his eye and I grabbed the Dustbuster for another attempt, but again my husband was pelted with dirt and more rice, and I knew the time had finally come.
Dustbuster, we will miss your soft shade of blue resting in our laundry room, always ready to help us out whether it be pet hair or popcorn. You will not be forgotten, just simply replaced with a newer model that hopefully has an equally powerful sense of pride and an angry-mom-proof closure system.

1 comments:

The Starr Family said...

Too much, really, too much!! A dustbuster?! I honestly thought only my mother in law had one of those... thanks for the fabulous laugh!

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