You might have read here last week that my Panasonic sweeper, my companion of these last eight years, went to that Great Big Clean Carpet in the Sky last week, leaving me with nothing to combat the mounting piles of dog hair, food crumbs and those little scraps of paper that come out of spiral-bound notebooks, which are distributed with a merry hand all around my house like confetti.
My husband and I looked over our stock portfolio and the statement of our dividends and assessed the current value of our real estate holdings -- HAHAHAHAHA!! I had you there for a minute, didn't I? Because even if we had any of these things, they'd be pretty much valueless anyway, the point being that we don't have them in the first place and whew! I need an agent to sign me up for some kind of comedy act -- anyway, my husband and I looked over our checkbook and, after wiping away a few tears, decided that we had approximately $150 to allocate to the purchase of a new sweeper.
My requirements in a sweeper aren't all that demanding: I want it to have some little tools that make it easier to sweep along the baseboards and one of those little brushy things that picks dog hair up off the sofa. And I want it to have bags that I can purchase at someplace like Kroger, not some special bag manufactured in Greenland or similar that can only be obtained by writing a letter on parchment and sending it to the factory via carrier pidgeon and you might think I'm joking, but I once owned a sweeper that used bags that were MUCH more hard to come by than that. I also want the sweeper to suck, in the sweepery sense of the word.
I thought about going to the several discount chain department stores in town, but I balked at this because those three discount chains don't give a rodent's posterior about me and my needs for a good sweeper that will do its job and not drive me crazy by exerting only enough suction to pick up one dust molecule at a time or by suddenly letting go of its on-board tools so that they fall on my feet and make me cuss.
This thought was what led me and the girls to go visit a local Mom-and-Pop sweeper shop that claimed to be opened since 1963, although the man inside looked fairly well rested for one who had been at work so long. There were all kinds of sweepers in there, plus carpet cleaners and shop vacs, so it was kind of an interesting place.
Aisling immediately honed in on the Oreck and Dyson vacs and said, "Oooh! Let's get one of these! They're pretty!" She gave every indication of wanting to dump a little demo dish of cracker crumbs onto the floor and sweep them up, but I overrode her by elbowing my way past the expensive models and heading right for a cheery red Dirt Devil.
"This is more our style, I think," I said, and then my eye was caught by a group of refurbished sweepers standing humbly off to the side. All of a sudden, an idea, flaming as brightly as the noonday sun, was born inside my head.
I went over to the refurbished sweepers and said, "Are there any of these you'd particularly recommend?" I asked the man at the counter.
"Well, I rebuild all of them, clean them up, replace missing tools by ordering new ones from the manufacturer if the model's still being made," he said. "I guarantee all my work and automatically give customers a ninety day warranty, so really, it just depends which one you like best."
Meelyn indicated a hunter green Eureka with an ergonomic handle and a full array of helpful gadgets. "I like that one," she said.
I looked at the price tag: $40. "I like it too," I said. "I'll take it!"
The man looked very pleased. "Okay! Great!"
"And I also want one of those red Dirt Devils over there," I said, gesturing expansively at the display.
"Two?" said Meelyn, wrinkling her brow.
"Dos?" said Aisling, practicing her Spanish.
"Yes, two," I said firmly. "No more carrying the sweeper up and down the stairs. One for upstairs, one for downstairs."
"That idea is really bueno, mamacita!" Aisling Spanglished to me.
"Are you sure about this?" Meelyn asked.
"Remember that time when you dropped the old sweeper down the stairs and it sounded like your body had just hurtled down to the landing and it scared me so much I couldn't breathe for about two minutes and thought I was going to have to drink a medicinal wine cooler at ten o'clock in the morning?"
"Oh yeah," she said with a reminiscent grin. "You're such a silly mommy."
"Besides," I said, "if I buy both of them, I'm still going to be thirty dollars under my sweeper budget, so I'm pretty stoked."
So was the sweeper guy, and he gave us a Dirt Devil that was already assembled and threw in some free bags as a bonus.
We took them home and put them to use and I have to say, it is lovely having both upstairs and downstairs vacs, a very pleasant little luxury that has made life around here a little easier. I feel like an awesomely smart shopper and my husband was happy that I was both happy and under budget, so that is the end of my sweepy tale.
P.S. Wimzie still barks, howls and squeals like she's being killed every time a sweeper is turned on. I don't know what will happen to her if they're both on at the same time.
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