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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Really Gotta Start Paying More Attention

Steph has been researching vacuums. The Dyson, to be precise.

“I could get the DC25 Animal with the extra attachment. I don’t need the animal-hair-removal attachment, really, but it’s $50 extra at every place I go except for Sears, where it’s $7 less than the one without the attachment. Isn't that weird? I just don’t get it.”

Steph takes a breath. I take another drink.

I am listening intently. It may be the three Fox Barrels talking, or more accurately it’s probably the former court reporter in me, but I’m wondering if, with a little focus, Steph could challenge the existing speech-speed record.

Visions of Steph on the Bonneville Salt Flats attempting the land-speech record make me smile. She’s quite slender, I think to myself, and would look awesome in a one-piece zip-up, holding a helmet and flashing those straight white teeth at the camera...

“I mean, it’s not like I need the attachment on the Animal, but why not, if it’s going to cost basically the same, you know what I mean?”

Steph refills her wine glass from the box in the fridge and on the way back to the table begins a discourse on the weight of the available models. She wonders if I, as a Dyson owner, have had trouble with the weight and maneuverability of the machine. Raised with a canister Electrolux with the aerodynamics of a bison, I shrug, smile, and take another drink.

My mind drifts as she speaks to the parts and warranty aspects of the machine.

I wonder semi-drunkenly if I should try this myself, approaching the physical world with a little more scrutiny, a little more analysis.

I excuse myself to go to the bathroom and am immediately struck with an example of Things I Should Be Paying Attention To But Don’t.

Let me preface this by saying that the bathroom at Kathy’s house is one with which I am quite familiar. Parties on the deck in the summer, cribbage at the dining room table in the winter, I know this place.

And yet…

There are five light switches in the downstairs bathroom: one is a light, one is a fan – and then, well, I think one is for a microwave, maybe next door; and one I believe may operate a camera somewhere…

First I turn on the fan. BBBBBBBBBBERRRRRRRR. I turn it off. I flip another switch and nothing happens. Must be the microwave. I accidentally flip two switches at the same time and the light and the fan go on. I accidentally turn the light off and am left in the dark with the fan going.

Steph has thoroughly researched and bought the vacuum of her dreams.

I have been defeated by a light switch – a clever light switch, but still a light switch.

I give up and use the bathroom in the dark.

49 comments:

Joshua said...

Does she talk faster when drunk? And if so, is it still coherent? And by coherent I mean intelligible words, not necessarily spoken in the correct order.

Pearl said...

Steph's a heckuva talker. :-) I'll have to keep an ear out, the next time we do some serious/humorous drinking; but then again, by that time I wonder if my ears are coherent?

Camille said...

Mornin' Pearl. Oh my - Icy cold Pear cider and a Dyson - two things I'll be coveting for the rest of the day. Sadly, my old Hoover sucks - badly.

Try and stay cool; rumor has it your heat index will be off the charts today.

haphazardlife said...

Take heart. I have been defeated by much lowlier things than light switches.

Simply Suthern said...

You prolly should have looked in the medicine cabinet for survival supplies before messing with the switches.

Pearl said...

Camille, I expect to be a Pearl-sized puddle by 5:00, when the heat index is expected to be 115...

haphazardlife, :-)

Simply, NOW you tell me!

Macy said...

Get the attachments! A Dyson without attachments is like an iPhone without Apps!
Oh and there's a torch app whch comes in handy btw...

Pearl said...

Macy, I've seen that torch app. Pretty cool!

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I'll stick with my Electrolux thanks...that thing has SUCTION.

Mandy_Fish said...

"...[W]ith the aerodynamics of a bison."

Oh Pearl, you make me laugh.

Pearl said...

Delores, nothing wrong with the tried and true! I think my mom's electrolux lasted a good 25 years!

Mandy, I aims to please. :-) Kinda liked that one myself!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Who the hell wants to have optional light switches when entering the bathroom? I mean, I only have one thing on my mind when I enter a bathroom and if I'm confused by where the light is, I'm not a happy girl...I would have peed in the dark too.

Joyful Things said...

Every time I vacuum I think there must be someone out there who can make a vacuum that is quiet! Really, I find its noise worse than the ice cream truck and we all know how bad that is. I would haul around that bison as long as it did not shatter my ear drums.

Vinny C said...

We lived in out last apartment for two years & my wife never committed the switches to memory. She just flicked them all on at the same time whenever she had to go into a room with multiple switches.

Glen said...

Dark bathrooms are more fun - you never know for absolute certain that you are alone...

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

They keep introducing new variations on the Dyson, so my hubby keeps waiting for the perfect combination of features. Sigh.

Doubting Thomas said...

I have a problem spending that much money on anything that does a mundane chore. I expect it to give me a backrub or something...

And I HATE having random switches and not knowing what they do!! I've been renting this house for 9 months now and STILL haven't figured out what one switch in the living room does... maybe it's the one I flip for the backrubs... ;)

jabblog said...

My middle daughter is a speed-talking speed-walker - quite exhausting;-)

Susan in the Boonies said...

The mysteries of electrical wiring never end.

You got your on.

And you got your off.

It OUGHT to be simple.

And yet...

Pearl said...

You know, it's true that I did spend good money on the vacuum, but considering that I'd bought the around-a-hundred-bucks model almost every year for 20 years, the $400 model has now lasted -- and shows every indication of continuing to last -- for eight years. I'm pretty happy about it.

Oh, and I helped a dear friend move and she gave me her Dyson. :-) She claimed she didn't like it, but I think she was just being nice.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

My family can talk at length about the Dysons they've procured in their time and their personalities. It must be something about Dyson owners... Me, I've always gone by hand me down vacuum cleaners. For many, many years, I dragged a giant 1970s Hoover (an ex workhorse of my mother's), complete with fabric dust bag, all over my house even though it weighed the same as small car. And it was 1996. And once almost broke my toe. Such is life though.

Also, I once lived in a tiny apt. in NYC and every time I plugged my hairdryer in without unplugging the rest of the apartment first, I blew every fuse in the building. Oops. Talk about defeat. I was always tempted to try it while the window box AC was running to see if the place exploded.

Belle said...

I'm terrible. I never research anything I buy, I don't have the patience. I still don't know how to use all the stuff on my camera and don't know how to take pictures or text on my phone. I just want to point and click and say hello/goodbye.

IndigoWrath said...

I have an extra switch in my kitchen. It's in an odd place and is strangely shaped and coloured. I have no idea what it is. I'm going to try it again now; if anything in your house switches ON/OFF, please let me know. Thank you. Indigo

Clipped Wings said...

Loved reading this, as usual.

Daisy said...

I think that for the cost of a Dyson, it should do the vacuuming by itself, while you sit in the shade, and get drunk figuring out the switch "map"

klahanie said...

Ah a posting about vacuum cleaners. Well, that sucks...:)

kal said...

I have a love for vacuum cleaners and air fans, both of with Dyson is a mad genius inventor of. He's got it bad for things that suck or blow and he needs to see dirt swirling but not plastic fans turning. His compulsions are very specific.

Gigi said...

The house we rented while waiting to move here had random light switches EVERY WHERE - in multiples. I never did figure out what the majority of them where for...

I started counting them one day - just to see how many there were (maybe I was bored; or maybe I was drinking - who knows) but after hitting about 25 I lost my train of thought.

Douglas said...

I found out what one of the extra switches in my bathroom did... it turned off my co

Cloudia said...

LOL!

sounds like me :)



Aloha from Waikiki;


Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

jenny_o said...

Random question while we're on the subject of vacuum cleaners: When you do your cleaning gigs, do you use the homeowner's equipment or do you have to bring your own? If that's too nosy, ignore please.

I wish vacuum cleaners could be made to be virtually weightless. The built-in vacs were supposed to address that issue, but all they really changed was that you ended up hauling around miles of anaconda-like hose, tripping over it and getting creeped out by the slithering of it, instead of hauling around a ...non-aerodynamic bison ... (a descriptiion which btw was so excellent)

lisleman said...

done in by Fox Barrel cider and a light switch - funny.

R. Jacob said...

as long as drinking was involved, all things make sense!

R. Jacob said...

and I say, who among us hasn't peed in the dark?

mrwriteon said...

Since you know where everything is by this point you can probably quite handily pee in the dark.
But, I do want to get me a Dyson despite the too plummy accent of Mr. Dyson himself..

Vapid Vixen said...

I'm jealous you can pee in the dark. Anxiety gets the best of me and everything just squinches right up.

Pearl said...

jenny_o, cleaning jobs? :-) I bring my own. You just never know what kind of vacuum they have... I also have a steamer for hardwood/linoleum. First you sweep, then vacuum, the scrub (hands and knees) then you add a tiny bit of lavender to the steamer. Ahhhh. Lovely.

jenny_o said...

Thanks for the reply, Pearl.

Holy Hannah, you are thorough!! I don't even clean my own floors that well!

Silver Strands said...

Wow Pearl ... one post and you've got me hooked. Ah - the stories I could tell about vacuums ... I'd like to forget the time I was 9+ months pregnant and the door-to-door hoover guy came to our house. My husband not only invited him in, but insisted we all gather round for the "brief" demo. And then he had us all empty our piggy banks to scrounge up enough cash for a down payment. He told me I'd be so excited to have a new vacuum. Truth was, at that point the only thing that could excite me would have been to have a self-cleaning floor. The last thing you get your pregnant wife for a gift is a vacuum. Funny - we're still married.

HermanTurnip said...

Mysteries of the world: What do these extra light switches do? Does the light in the refrigerator go out when I close the door? What are these voice in my head telling me to kill? Ya know, questions we all have from time to time...

HumorSmith said...

Of course you know all vacuums suck. It's just how it is.

Julia said...

I hate when the light switches have a switch to no where... I think it is there to alert the police to your whereabouts... do you currently have a warrent for your arrest? If so I would leave...now...!!! :)

the walking man said...

Good thing you're not a guy; being 1/2 drunk and peeing in the dark is never a good combination.

the walking man said...

General room lighting
Fan
Shower only light
Vanity (mirror light)
Next door neighbors garage door (just for some drunk fun)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

My grandpa wired his bathroom light to switch on with the radio. Totally random sharing, I know.

Russ said...

I have light switches in my house that I have no idea what they do. I've lived in this house for ten years this August.

Sarah Has Moxie said...

Pearl, you know you earned that Dyson fair and square. Remember that time I dated a sex offender by accident, and you waited with me while the police re-arrested him? Yeah. A vaccuum is totally worth friendship with you, no doubt about it. :)
miss you!
Sarah

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

awww...that wasn't your fault, Pearl. That was the box wine talkin'.

Daisy said...

Pearl, I just came across this commercial for a vacuum cleaner....thought of you - because of the vacuum, NOT the devil part!
http://youtu.be/aGb8pMIeY6w