I'm a sucker for vacuums

Posted 8/19/21

I have a new friend. I just haven't named her yet. It's got to be a she. She has a mind of her own. She's a quadruped; although I'm not sure wheels qualify as feet. She's about the size of a pillow, but not cuddly and can't float or swim. Yet there are

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

I'm a sucker for vacuums


I have a new friend. I just haven’t named her yet. It’s got to be a she. She has a mind of her own.

She’s a quadruped; although I’m not sure wheels qualify as feet. She’s about the size of a pillow, but not cuddly and can’t float or swim. Yet there are times when I would love to hug her even though she gives me a tough time when it’s time to get out of the pool.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, my new friend is a robot whose sole mission is to clean my pool.

I’ve always had a thing for vacuuming. I don’t look forward to pushing the vacuum around the house, but I do get satisfaction out of seeing the clean nap on the carpet neatly standing up like the outfield at Fenway Park. As rewarding as when they introduced vacuums with canisters, and seeing all that dirt and dog hairs in a compact pile ready for disposal.

Carol and the kids would warn, “Watch out Dad’s going to have a vac-attack” upon tracking dirt into the house.

Usually they were right. Of course, having the right vacuum for the job is important.

I’ve gotten to know my red Windtunnel Whole House Hoover that has the good sense to shut down when it overheats.

The first time that happened, I figured I’d burned out the motor. Flicking it off and on did nothing. Next I figured I had tripped a circuit breaker, but changing outlets didn’t bring the Windtunnel back to life. Finally, I realized why the engine was so hot. The intake was plugged tight. I removed the hose and shook it. A few wisps of lint came out, that’s all. Next I shoved a broom handle down the hose. It hit something mid-way and went no farther.

I pondered the options and settled on the garden hose. Even with the full force of the hose, the impediment refused to come free. In frustration, I put my hand over one end of vacuum hose so as not to soak myself and shook it up and down. Like a dam breaking, suddenly water gushed out. The Windtunnel was good to go.

My new friend is really an ingenious machine. Once charged, which can take several hours, she propels herself and in the process does the job of vacuuming, by sucking in water from the bottom and jettisoning it out one end. When she encounters a wall, she’ll stop and set off on a different course.

I didn’t believe there was anything quite like it until Janice Torilli in the Beacon office told me about Bubbles, the name her grandchildren gave her pool robot. I had to see it in action. Janice dropped Bubbles into the pool and instantly it went to work. Later that morning she showed me a picture of her pristine pool and Bubbles’ stomach tray filled with debris.

I suppose there could be some riveting revelation to this — like eventually we’ll become totally reliant on technology, blobs incapable of doing anything ourselves.

For the moment I’m happy not to be fighting with fitting a hose to the filter and reaching to the center of the pool in an effort to retrieve drowned crickets, leaves and whatever else has found its way into the pool.

I could name her Lady Hoover.

Beacon reporter Arden Bastia suggested Noo-Noo.

Now, that’s good.

vacuum, column


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here