Friday 09 Dec 2016

Hoover Heaven +1
Jennifer Flaten

I’ve dispatched yet another vacuum to the great Hoover in the sky. For those of you keeping score, at home that is the fourth vacuum cleaner in as many years. You’ll be pleased to know that it went out bravely sucking up a Star Wars guy-toy with its last ounce of suction.

After bowing my head for a moment, I light several candles, partly in remembrance, partly to mask the smell of burning rubber. Since I can’t leave the vacuuming for even one day, that is unless I want my living room to resemble the southwest with giant tumbleweeds of hair rolling by, I need to come up with a new vacuum. After consulting my MacGuyver guide, subtitled, “How to Make an Airplane out of Ductape and Aluminum foil,” I give up and decide the easiest route would be to use the shop vac.  

Yes, I am vacuuming my house with a shop vac. Yes, you do hear banjos playing. I, on the other hand, can’t hear a darn thing because the shop vac is too loud.

All it takes is one trip around the house with giant shop vac canister trailing behind me like a faithful dog to decide damn the expense I need a new vacuum. Okay, after checking out the prices of vacuum I must rescind my offer to damn the expenses. For that price, I expect the vacuum to (a) last forever and (b) vacuum the house by itself and prepare dinner, perhaps even fold the laundry.

As I walk the aisles of the local big box store looking for my next victim, err, vacuum I find I just can’t make a decision. Do I want the canister or do I want the bag. Decisions, I must make decisions. Perhaps it is too soon. Maybe I am not ready to rush into another relationship.

Feeling down I decide the perfect pick me up would be a batch of chocolate chip cookies. People always complain about big box stores but where else can you go in for a vacuum and come out with the most important food group, yes, that is the cookie group. I swing by the baking supply aisle and pick up chocolate chips and head over to the dairy aisle for the butter.

Since I am from the dairy state butter is part of the holy trinity, the other two parts are beer and cheese, but I wasn’t aware of how nutty we are about butter until I read an article in the paper about lawmaker’s effort to repeal a ban on margarine. Apparently, many years ago lawmakers deemed margarine a danger to dairy farmers and barred its sale in certain situations. Now they want to repeal the law. According to proponents, it is causing undue hardship on restaurants and other businesses that peddle pats butter. I imagine there was also substantial pressure from the margarine lobby.

Who knew such a law existed? I for one don’t want it repealed. I rest much easier knowing that when I am out at a restaurant it is genuine butter I am slathering on my roll, not some inferior blend.

After munching on my pure butter cookies, I decided to venture out again and get my new vacuum.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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