Dumpster diving at the dustbowl


Surely you’ve heard the tired old joke, “Be kind to retirees. They never get a day off!” It’s true, and holidays are just another day to us.

Monday was Memorial Day, so I cleaned my house like I always do on holidays. Since I rarely clean during the rest of the year, holidays are reserved for scrubbing, polishing and decluttering. I dare the place to get dirty again until the next holiday which in this case will be the Fourth of July.

Armed with mop, dust rags, sponges, an assortment of cleaning products and rubber gloves, I attacked the grime with the gusto of the light brigade.. I did it scientifically like “Good Housekeeping” recommends where you start high and work your way down to the floor which you clean last. In this case it turned out to be a bad idea.

After each room was spiffed and shined I got out my vacuum cleaner for the first time since Easter and discovered that it no longer sucks up dust.  It spits it out.  What the heck?  A cyclone of dust and debris poured through the house while Lucky Dawg and Rebel sneezed themselves silly. The ceiling fans distributed the dust right back where it came from in the first place.

I emptied the bagless container, gave it a good kick and plugged it back up.  Not only did it spit, it regurgitated in dry heaves and began making a wheezing sound. Shot, no doubt, from boredom caused by lack of use. Disgusted, I took it out to the curb and shouted “Good Riddance.”


While walking the pups to the park to clean out their lungs, I discovered a gift from heaven. There parked on the side of the curb a block away from my house was what looked like a brand new Bissell.

I looked around thinking I might be on “Candied Camera”. It even had all its parts on board. What a find! Apparently, a college student had moved in with someone who had a better vacuum cleaner.  I looked both ways, and no one was looking, so I walked it home, computing how I would spend the $199 bucks I saved by not buying a brand new vacuum.

This was too good to be true, but I bet it doesn’t work, I reminded myself. Back at the dustbowl that used to be my house, I plugged up Mr.Bissell. It purred like a kitten and sucked the curtains right off the wall. Welcome home, big boy. You’ve just been adopted.

The moral of this story is that when you need something new, wait until trash day and you might find just what you need in someone else’s discards.

I peaked out the window just in time to see someone loading my sick ole “Dirt Devil” into the back of her SUV. It still looks good, but boy is she going to have a surprise when she plugs it up.

One thought on “Dumpster diving at the dustbowl

  1. You are just too good to be true…. I can certainly relate to your original
    crisis. My so called “Bag Less” vacuum has been a dust spreader since
    the very day I brought it home. What’s with this. I want to go back
    to the good ole days of “Bag it and Throw it Away”.
    Cheers for your new find.

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