13 May, 2002: Housework sucks, but this vacuum cleaner doesn't

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``The day [hated corporation] makes a product which doesn't suck is the day they start making vacuum cleaners.''

Today I had the misfortune of using the world's crummiest vacuum cleaner, an antique upright model made by Hoover some time before I was born.

Most vacuum cleaners make a room clean by sucking dust and dirt off the floor and storing it in a bag whose contents can then be discarded. This vacuum cleaner attempted to create the impression of cleanliness by sucking up dirt and blowing it out again a moment later into a different part of the room. Possibly it was this very process which inspired Hoover to give away free airline tickets with its more recent products.

(Before you ask: yes, I had emptied the bag out, discarding dust which may have built up over several years and possibly contained a valuable record of the events of the late twentieth century. Before I did that, the thing just blew the dust out of the bag and into the room....)

I despair. With quality engineering like this, it's no surprise that British technology has the reputation it does. Perhaps I should buy a proper vacuum cleaner....

Copyright (c) 2002 Chris Lightfoot; available under a Creative Commons License.