Crow’s-Feet Chronicles: Eat my dust
By Cindy Baker Burnett
Nov 21, 2017
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When I was growing up, spit was the number one cleaning agent in our house. That was the era of real ingenuity. I even learned how to feed a family of five for more than two weeks from supplies found inside the sofa.   That’s in addition to replacing the refrigerator light bulb with a bug zapper.

But I have decided in my golden years that vacuuming weakens carpet fibers and is a lost art that should stay that way. In fact, I don’t vacuum until I pick up my comb from the floor and find more hair on it than is on my head. You see, at my age, I’m looking for easy. I’m thinking that the best method of vacuuming would to open all the windows, tie everything down and use a leaf blower.

What would really be neat is to pick up my house, turn it inside out, and shake all the dust from it. For me, the vacuum cleaner comes in the handiest with the vacuum-sealing space bags for travel. The air is sucked from the garment-stuffed bag, compressing the contents and creating additional room in the luggage. It takes still another suitcase to pack the vacuum cleaner for the trip, though.

An old joke comes to mind. An elderly woman answered a knock on the door one day, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner. “Good morning,” said the young man. “If I could take a couple of minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.” 

“Go away!” said the elderly woman. “I haven’t got any money! I’m broke!” and she proceeded to close the door. 

Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed it wide open. “Don’t be too hasty!” he said. “Not until you have at least seen my demonstration.” And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure on to her hallway carpet. “If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Ma’am, I will personally eat the remainder. 

The elderly woman stepped back and said, “Well, I hope you’ve got a good appetite because they cut off my electricity this morning.” 

My mama used an Electrolux vacuum cleaner during the 1950s. It was a canister type that rolled along the floor. It looked a little like a Buick . . . or maybe a 1930s Art Deco steam locomotive with the modernistic streamlined fairings. It had lots of 50s-style chrome trim pieces. It was all metal and quite nifty looking.   When I spent the night with my friend Sheryn, however, we’d be awakened to, “You chilluns get up so I can Hoover this room.” Speaking of whom---Today, there is neither a chicken in every pot nor a car in every garage. 

I guess Mike Pence invented the vacuum cleaner.