By Lee Scott
There was a moment in my house, a few weeks ago, when my old vacuum cleaner was humming along and then suddenly began to make some very nasty sounds; then nothing. That was it. The day my Hoover died.
The old girl had been a faithful machine doing her job for years, but had ultimately been relegated to an upstairs guest bedroom closet, used only occasionally for a quick sprucing up. Otherwise, I use the new “Hoover- Handy Dandy Dog Dandruff Super Easy Tunnel” vacuum cleaner.
It was inevitable that the old girl would go. There had been hints for a while she was nearing the end of her useful life.
First, it was getting very difficult to find the old “A” bags required, those long white paper bags that would hold all the dirt and dust and then get thrown out. Or if you did not have any spare bags, you could shake out half the bag and start vacuuming again. Of course, the bag lost a lot of its integrity so you had to be very careful or you would find the contents of the bag spewed all over the room.
Fortunately, I discovered the thrift shops in town still had packets of 10 for me to purchase. The price was around $2, which was a real bargain considering how much they cost in previous years.
Then, ultimately, even the thrift stores didn’t have them. I pictured some other woman, my age, scouring through shelves searching for her own Hoover bags.
After that, I knew it was getting closer to the end and I fought buying the new vacuum cleaner. But in the end, I had to succumb. My Hoover had been so reliable through the years. Oh, I still had to replace some of those rubber belts which slowly disappeared from the shelves too. And it had been a while since I had any of the original attachments.
I remember having to learn how to attach and use all the accessories. First, I had to turn the machine off, flip it over, slide in the “easy slip on” handle and then insert whichever attachment I needed. My living room would become a staging area for my Hoover. Inevitably, the attachments broke and were not replaced.
After the Hoover coughed and shut off, I called my appliance repair man. He asked what model it was and when I told him, he said, “There’s an antique store in town that might want it, or give it to me for parts.”
Everyone is a comedian these days.
So, the old girl is in some vacuum cleaner graveyard. Now I picture my “white bag”seeking counterpart dredging through old machines, searching for that one last white “A” bag.