08 February 2008

Vroom! Cough! Cough!

My old vacuum bit the dust. Or rather, sucked up the dust and then spewed it around the room and into my lungs. The vacuum is an ancient orange Hoover upright that's nearly as old - or maybe older - than I am. Okay, probably not older, but Mom had it for years and years and then I got it.* It worked great and, in fact, the motor still does. But the tubing connecting the machine to the bag is of less stern stuff and finally gave way. Ron, the guy at the vacuum repair place told me that it's not fixable (and that he can't even use it for parts), so I set about looking for a new vacuum.

At first I wanted a bagless one, but Ron told me that they are basically just boat payments for vacuum repair guys and that he doesn't sell them. (Almost all of the vacuums in for repair that day were bagless, as he emphatically pointed out.)

Then he showed me some lovely, quiet, reliable machines in the $200 - $250 range. With HEPA filters and everything. The Lexus of vacuums. They were pretty, too. But I told him that I'm one person, with one cat, in a reasonably small apartment. At which point we moved over to the Hoover Tempo.

Also right before our move to the Hoover was my mentioning that I was only pre-shopping that day because my boyfriend noticed that Consumer Reports did vacuums in the March issue. CR kind of annoys Ron, largely because he is convinced that they have one guy who tests vacuums who is 6'4" and a former linebacker and that 5'0", 100-pound little old ladies don't have the same handling and maneuverability experience as Bruno. All in all, a pretty entertaining rant.

The Tempo is more like the Honda Civic of vacuums, I guess - less flashy, a little louder, a lot less expensive. No HEPA, but good filters that would get most of the allergens. And it's a pretty color blue. And what singer wouldn't want a vacuum called the "tempo"? So I said that I'd be back after I checked what CR had to say (pause while Ron rolls his eyes).

That was Monday. The CR info came in on Wednesday and I went sprinting back to the vacuum store only to find out that all the Tempi were sold out. They would get at least three more the next day, but one of them was already promised to someone else. (The Other-Guy-Who-Isn't-Ron looked puzzled that they were flying out the door so fast. I wasn't surprised at all as the Tempo was the first vacuum on CR's list that was under $300 and got good ratings. It was #6, in fact, and got two "excellents," three "very goods," and two "goods." And it is the only vac in the first ten that costs less than $300.)

Yesterday they got the delivery from Hoover and tagged one for me. I went to collect it after work and Ron assembled it for me, gave me some good maintenance advice, showed me how to change the belt. He then showed me how the belt that arrived in my brand new vac was already a bit stretched out as he was replacing it for me, which is basically the reason why I went to Ron's hole-in-wall vacuum repair instead of a big box store. One of Mom's prejudices is that big box stores are staffed by high school students who don't know and don't care and considering how many parts Ron assembled before he carried the Tempo out to the car for me, I'm really glad that I bought it from him.

I picked up some kind of an upper respiratory thing from the unintentional dust storm in the apartment so I haven't been playing with my new toy yet, but this weekend? This weekend, my darlings, we vacuum!

*According to Mom, by confiscating it. Or maybe her word was "steal."


Maureen said...

"Picked up some kind of upper-respiratory thing"? Or just inhaled too much dust relative to the amount of air you were inhaling? Lots and lots of water (or tea; that's good too) will flush that outta your system a little faster. Certainly helps me; I always try to step up the hydration when the show I'm doing moves into the theater.

Maureen said...

Oh, and please tell me how to find Ron! The little hole-in-the-wall vacuum place near us closed up a while back and I have yet to find a replacement.

Anonymous said...

Loved the final line Leta! :-) Our vacuum needs some TLC, would you please post where you bought yours?
:-) Em

Leta said...

My pleasure!

Ron is at American Vacuum & Sewing Machine
11212 Georgia Ave
Wheaton, MD 20902

They're just a door or so up from the Dunkin' Donuts. Tell 'em I sent ya!