Mysteries of the Dirt Devil

Somewhere in my many moves over the last decade, I acquired a hand-held vacuum cleaner that a former tenant had left behind. I remember thinking that it felt too heavy to be really useful.

Today, I discovered why. It had been used not just to the capacity of its dustbag, but beyond. The bag was one disgusting solid lump of congealed dust, and there were also disgusting solid lumps of congealed dust well up into the mechanism of the vacuum. Once I’d finished cleaning out the dust plugs (and washing my hands well after), it weighed about half as much as before.

Curiously, there were also something like a dozen spare dust bags in the box. They had price tags on them. The previous owner had clearly contemplated changing the dust bag with sufficient determination to buy spares, but had then for some unknown reason stopped short of actually changing the bag.

If I didn’t do equally pointless and absentminded deeds on a regular basis, I’d be amazed at what people are capable of. As it is, I’m just sneezy.

Thanks for the sidebar tip on PaperPro staplers. Called the company and learned they don’t sell retail, but their stapler is sold at Staples as the “One-Touch.” Just bought a couple there for the office. My assistants are happy again.
And congrats on your departure from the brief sojourn into “the real world” back to academia.
p.s. I’m no philosopher either.

The PaperPro is also sold under its own name by several online vendors. Amazon, for example, has them.

A word from the wise: don’t forget periodically to clean the lint out of the filter of your dryer and, likewise, to clean the lint out of the big tube that vents the hot air outside of the house. It’s pretty embarrassing - and costly - to call out a repair person, only to have him clean out the exhaust tube for you and charge you a hundred bucks for the service.

I’ll keep this in mind for the next time I’m fortunate enough to live somewhere with its own drier. The forseeable future is all coin-op.

Dryer filters are one of my favorite fidgets. It’s best when the previous user has forgotten to clean out the filter, because then I get to gather up the lint at the start and at the end of the dryer cycle.

One more tip: dust piles up behind refrigerators, too. Occasional dusting there, and on the grille in the front, will save you the embarrassment of a visit from the repair person (or I might say guy, as I’ve never had a repair woman show up, ever).