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It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Housework!

Posted on Thursday 13th September 2007 at 00:00
I decide to empty my hoover.

Oddly enough, this is the first time I have attempted such a task since moving into the apartment a full 6 weeks ago. I'm not suggesting I haven't hoovered vacuumed in all that time (sorry, the red lines under hoover were pissing me off so I've been forced to say vacuum cleaner instead, even though it isn't an expression I ever use in real life), just that I haven't emptied the sucky machine before.

Being a spoilt kid from the South East, I was brought up on Vax, and had never used an upright vacuum cleaner before. With a Vax, all the dust is collected in a bag that only has to be emptied once every 27 million years or so, but with the Dyson rip-off cyclonic cleaner I now have, the dust storage capacity is greatly reduced; a situation that can only be made worse by the fact that most of what ends up in the transparent 'dust tank? looks suspiciously like my carpet. Quite how much of the carpet is being pulled up by this thing I'm not sure, but I'm almost tempted to save the contents of the tank in case my landlord claims that I've inadvertently robbed him of a perfectly good floor covering.

The dust tank is undeniably full, and after some gentle probing I locate the button that releases it from the rest of the machine. Having had bad experiences with emptying dust bags before, I elect to go outside and empty it straight into one of the giant dumpsters that service the waste needs of the building.

Having finally found a bin that I can prop open without the use of my arms or head, I begin to search the tank for the catch that will open it. This duly located, I give it an experimental pull whilst trying to gauge exactly how it all comes apart.

The bottom of the dust tank drops open like a trap door and after I'm done coughing and spluttering on the dust, I discover an interesting new pile of dirt where my shoes used to be.

I quickly revert to holding the dust tank over the bin before conducting any further examinations. It seems to me that rather a lot of the carpet has remained inside the tank and is out of reach of my fingers. Having tried everything I can think of with the trap door, I take a look at the top end of the device, which has a twisty thing labelled 'Lock' and 'Unlock?. I twist it and the whole thing collapses into about 15 different pieces, all of which I nearly drop into the massive bin.

Most of the mess now deposited either into the bin or on the floor, I find myself confronted with a cross between a filter and a miniature turbine, which I assume is where the wind comes from. Unfortunately it is very full of dust, and apparently reluctant to come clean as easily as the rest of tank so I resolve to clean it fold by fold with my fingers.

As I stand there, pulling pieces of fluff out of the filter and dropping them into the bin, I dislodge great clouds of dust that don't go in the bin at all, but decide instead to settle on my hands, arms, face, glasses, t-shirt, jeans, shoes, watch, and even in my hair.

A few minutes later I walk back to my apartment; a human sandstorm. As I enter the building I pass a girl who lives on the floor above me and she smiles and says hello, despite having completely ignored me on our previous meeting.

I wonder if she has a thing for dusty men.

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