The Shark Bites: A word about stick vacuums

Please. We're knitters. We have cats. There's mohair or angora or whisps of fur-from-an-Alaskan-huskey-named-Attaturk-you-promised-to-spin-f0r-a-neighbor ambient all. the. time. This is hardly off-topic.

My first vacuum was a harvest-orange Eureka canister, purchased by my mother, who visiting me in the aftermath of a breakup, cast a hard maternal eye on the state of my apartment and took me to Target. "You need some order in your life," she said, handing me the box.

It was the perfect gift, really. It gave me something to do. Allowed me to clean up after the dyspeptic, dermatitis-afflicted cat who shared my environs. Lifting the hair and dust from my floors and carpets lightened my emotional load. If you need to buck up a single girl, suffering in the wake of a break up. Give her the gift that keeps on, well, you fill in the blank. I'm too ladylike to say. (Snort.)

That hardy vac accompanied me to our marriage and lasted about 20 years, until I sucked some hot coals from the wood stove into the dust bag and incinerated the thing. But Mom got her money's worth.

We remain canister people and are partial to Kenmores. This is the modern equivalent of our vac, a floor model bought on sale. (We found a second, older version, on Craigslist for El Rancho.) It does a fine job and works equally well on carpets and wood floors, and if one is feeling really intrepid, one can attach the upholstery brush and brush the cat. (Antone, not being the brightest star in the fermament, allows me to do this.)

But weighing in at 12 or so pounds, the Kenmore is heavy to be dragging around, chasing after every spider web or tuft of wool. I've longed for a working stick vac for in-between clean ups and seized upon the Shark as my savior. I eagerly unpacked and charged it and then put it to work on my office floor. It hardly picked up leaves. If I rolled it repeatedly over a fleck of cat litter, it deigned to pick it up. To be perfectly fair, it performed better on carpets than bare floors, but it just didn't suck. Enough.

The Shark languished unused in the basement, until my father-in-law showed me the Ergorapido--a stick vac that actually works. The Shark went tack to Costco and the Ergorapido came home. (Costco is offering $10 off until the end of the month, FYI.)

Dust bunnies and fat kitties, beware.


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