An alternative title for this piece might have been “Tigger does it again” but I couldn’t resist playing on the word “vacuum”. You may recall my post on vacuum cleaner blues (if you don’t, you will find it here). Briefly, our old vac died in the presence of too much dust so we bought a new one which, well, died in the presence of too much dust. Actually, it wasn’t quite that simple.
The new vac started well but suddenly faltered and as it did so, the lights in both rooms flickered. At this point I was uncertain whether there was a fault in the electrical system causing the vac to fail or whether it was the vac that was somehow jinxing the electrical system.
We cleaned the filters and tried again. The vac started up but again faltered. The lights began to flicker and one of our daylight neon bulbs blew. It was reasonable by now to conclude that the vac was causing the electrical problems. Such a thing should surely not happen. I would have thought that a domestic appliance would be safely designed so that whatever problems it encountered it did not cause problems elsewhere.
Once again we cleaned the filters and from now on we used it for light work only, using the brush and dustpan for heavier deposits. All in all the damn thing was useless to us.
“We’ll take it back,” stated Tigger.
“Er, it’s been used and is very dirty.”
“We had to try it to find out it was useless,” Tigger pointed out.
So today (Sunday) we went out for breakfast and then went home and cleaned the vacuum cleaner and packed it away in its box. Then off we went to the store. We waited in a queue for our turn at customer services and I then plonked the box on the box on the counter.
Dramatis personae: CS (Customer Services Assistant); ST (SilverTiger); TR (Tigger).
CS: Why are you returning this?
ST: Because it’s not adequate to the purpose.
CS (Frowns): That’s not a reason for returning goods!
ST (Realizing he has said something amiss): Oh, is it not?
TR (Chipping in): It stopped working.
CS (Still frowning): Then we’ll have to check it. (Begins unpacking the vac.)
ST (Through teeth to Tigger): Not looking good…
The vac. starts up briefly and is switched off. CS returns to counter.
ST (Before CS can speak): It made the lights flicker and blew a bulb in a lamp.
CS: Your credit card.
ST: My…? Oh, yes, right. (Fumbles for credit card.)
CS: For the refund.
ST (Trying to remain nonchalant): Oh yes, certainly.
Having successfully returned the vac and recovered our money, we bought a few more things. The builders promised to install any fittings that we had to hand so we bought a plate rack for the kitchen and curtain poles for our two big windows. And a vacuum cleaner.
The new vacuum cleaner is advertised as being for use around the workshop, garden and home. That sounded just what we needed. It isn’t one of the legendary Henry cleaners but seems robust enough for our purposes. I have already used it and it disposed of dust, fluff and rubble without a qualm. It’s basically a bucket on wheels with a hose pipe sticking out of it and a motor that could probably drive a bus. It can even deal with liquids.
The flat now looks, and feels, a bit cleaner. Is it imagination or have we got rid of some of the dust that finds its way insidiously into clothes, food and bed linen? (There are dusty cat paw prints on my pillow.) And will my work be undone tomorrow when the builders return, if they return?