Shark (Vacuum) Attack!


That there is my new vacuum, right next to some other cleaning equipment that occasionally sees some action.



That all came off my floor. I probably shouldn’t admit that, should I?


Sometimes — OK, a lot of times — I let things slide around the house.

If you’ve read the book, that little confession comes as no surprise.

And when I say slide, I mean slide like a high-powered flume ride at an overpriced amusement park. Yup, things go downhill very, very, very fast when there are multiples of kids and dogs in the house.

My recent slackerlyness comes as a result of A) being very busy and B) having kids who seem to have no homework and plenty of time to YouTube and Fortnite and so I make them do stuff, which means nothing gets done or chores are done in record time, i.e., not done well. But mostly the answer is… C) I am not at all particularly fond of cleaning.

I’m still not, but cleaning just got a little bit easier. Though we may live in the desert, a Shark just moved in. And it’s pretty sweet.

I’m talking about my new vacuum, naturally.

Now that I am over 40, there are joys in life I never knew existed — like a car with automatic, sliding doors even though they’re on an uber-practical, unsexy, unexciting minivan. I adore having a second, backup refrigerator and I really, truly appreciate a vacuum that sucks. Not just sucks, but is light and self-propels so I don’t even really have to push it, vastly different from the vacuumers themselves, who need constant prodding (“Do you NOT see that giant ball of dog hair over there?” “You have to run the vacuum UNDER the dining room table, not just around it.”). Although I will say I could do without the bright headlight on the front because it’s like in horror movies when the protagonists switch to night vision and you can see eeeeeverythinnng. And ya know, some stuff on my floor, you just shouldn’t see.

Our previous vacuum was ooooold. Super old. It also weighed about 100 pounds. It was ancient and tired and very obviously beaten down from life with us. Which I could totally relate to, well, not the 100 pounds part. So I think that was maybe part of why I didn’t want to let the ol’, not-so-sucky girl go. That plus, dang, vacuums are expensive.

But, when we got our Costco rebate check (again, multiple teenagers and dogs!), it was enough to cover a new vacuum. I picked up this sleek, burgundy number and paid not a cent out of my own pocket. Once I got home, I unloaded the box and set it in the playroom, where it stayed. For weeks.

Then I decided that, darn it, I can put this vacuum together myself. It couldn’t possibly be as bad as assembling an Ikea Coofenhagenspaetzle. I carefully unpacked all the cardboard and unwrapped all the plastic to 50 different parts that made up the Shark Whatsydoosy 2000. I laid out the instructions and snapped everything in its place. By then, it was time to start dinner. So I rolled my completed project against the wall, figuring I’d test it out later, and went in the kitchen.

When the hub came home half an hour later, I expected him to compliment me on the job well done. Instead he said, “The new vacuum is busted.”

“What? I just put it all together, how can it be broken?”

I put down the wooden spoon and headed to the playroom, where our 14-year-old son was shooting bad guys and yelling for his buddies to bail him out of some aggressively tricky Fortnite situation.

“Well,” Joe said, gesturing to the cord, stretched across the floor. “SOMEONE ate the plug right off it.”

“WHAT?!” I looked down, sure enough there were lots of little gray bits in the carpet and the cord ended in a stump of thin, exposed blue and red wires.

“Oh yeah,” No. 3 chimed in. “Lilly had something in her mouth, I took it away from her.” He tossed over the plug, which still had the plastic protective cover over it.

My sweet, little dog had gnawed the plug clean off the cord. Right next to my teenage son. Most expensive chew toy to date.

Not gonna lie, I cried. It was a $200-something vacuum.

But, the next morning I called Shark’s customer support and after prepping nice, gentle-voiced Miriam that she wasn’t going to believe what my dog did, she assured me that she did believe it because she has heard it all. And no, while I couldn’t buy a replacement cord, I could indeed get an entire replacement vacuum for $20. Sold.

So now, I’m back in the sucking business.

Sigh. Yay me.


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