Oh My Gawd Sodagirl!
The Vacuum Cleaner.

November 19, 2005

This is an excerpt from the book I’m kind of writing. I’ve made a slight effort at it because my friend Karen said I should. She didn’t pressure me or anything but after she suggested it, I was like, I’m totally going to do it! Well I’m still totally, kind of doing it, but I guess it will be awhile in the making. It was supposed to be for a certain website and it did have a deadline….ummm November 30th to be exact, but there is no way on God’s green earth that I will have it done. However, having said that, I’m still plugging away at it and someday, maybe, when I’m like 80, I’ll have it completed. It’s based on my life, all true, which when reading it, it sounds like I’m slightly mental. I swear I’m not. Well not, exactly not mental…..I mean I’m flakey at times but I promise in a good way and I am capable of mothering my children, well most of the time. Ha ha. Thank you in advance if you take the time to read it. I appreciate it!

Once upon a time at the ripe old age of 18, I “worked” for a vacuum cleaner company. I probably shouldn’t write their actual name but it sounds similar to Pirby. I answered an ad in our local newspaper. I was excited at the prospect of making “big money”. It clearly stated that. In all reality, I made ZERO dollars. I’m pretty sure I could have sued them but what did I know at 18? Not a whole hell of a lot. So I go to the interview and they talk about how easy it is to sell vacuums and how much moola you’re going to rake in. To a teenager, that sounds like Heaven! It would soon turn out to be hell, which, honestly, is a very far cry from Heaven.

So after hearing the head honcho guy spill his beans about how great it’s all going to be, I decided to sign up. I’m gonna be rich!!!!!!!!! Woo freakin’ Hoo! We are told to show up for our demonstrations the following day at 9am sharp. So my mom drives me over and I can tell she’s not exactly thrilled about this. I’m thinking, geez, don’t parents ever lighten up? She’s thinking, this is a scam. But she lets me find out all on my own, because, well, I was 18, I knew everything. Ha.

I get there at 9am sharp, along with a few other kids my age and a few a bit older. We’re all sitting around in sweaty anticipation about the prospect of learning about vacuums and then going on to sell them and be wealthy and early retirement, like at age 23 or something. How frigging naïve………..no, how frigging stupid. So Dave the Dinosaur comes in….I call him Dave the Dinosaur because the guy was HUGE and had big teeth like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He wore all black, had a shaved head and quite frankly looked like a hit man in some bad B movie about the Mafia (abso-freaking-lutely no offense to the Mafia). But he was slightly impressive at the same time. So DTD brings out the “Pirby” deluxe model. If someone brought out that vacuum today, it would be the laughing stock……..all big and bulky and not very sleek at all. Like a big bumbling shitbox. Anyway, he places it in front of himself and begins to describe the Pirby like it was a mistress that he meets on Thursday nights. It was kinda creepy. He stroked it. It was weird. We’re all mesmerized by the sheer size of his hands…..I envision him choking some guy for not paying his rent on time. After his foreplay with the vacuum he proceeds to tell us that he’s now going to show us how to open the case, assemble the vacuum and how to put it all back in the case. Great. Then he informs us that he’s only going to show us ONCE. One time. One. That’s it. I look around and see the others looking a tad shocked as well. I mean this thing had more attachments than a hooker has toys in her cheap, hot pink, fuzzy hand bag. I’m thinking, there is no way we’re all going to remember how to do all of this with one shot at seeing how it’s done. Not a freaking chance. So DTD whips open the case and in about 90 seconds has this monstrosity put together. I’m getting a little light headed because there is no way any of us will remember what he just did. Then he plugs that bad girl in (he kept referring to IT as “she”, “her”….Ummm ok) and runs it several times over the carpet and his eyes are slightly rolling back in his head. I’m thinking this guy is going to start making love to this thing. And I’m pretty sure he’s moaning as he’s vacuuming. You know, I’ve vacuumed many times in my life and I can honestly say, I’ve never thrown my head back and moaned like I was makin’ it with Brad Pitt. Never. So after his sexual escapades with the vacuum, which I’ve secretly, now called “Whore in a big black box”, he tells us to pay attention closely because he’s going to put the whore, I mean vacuum back in her box. Her box? That’s creepy. Anyway, we’re all sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for the moment he opens her box and puts her in it. And let me tell you, I’ve seen slower flashes of lightening in the sky on a dark night. He whipped that sucker, no pun intended back into that box like you wouldn’t believe. He shut the case, smiled and said, that’s all there is to it. Really? Because I’m pretty sure not one of us will ever remember any of this. We’re all still contemplating the fact that you’re clearly having an affair with your vacuum cleaner. So after a slight uncomfortable silence, DTD tells us to be ready at 6am sharp tomorrow morning because we are being picked up and traveling about an hour and a half away to begin the task of going door to door trying to sell these sex machines, or cleaning machines, whichever you prefer. It’s at this point that I should have removed my name from the list, called my mommy and went home and watched my soap operas. But I didn’t. My name remained on that list and I was ready at 6am sharp the next morning. Oh gawd.

Six o’clock in the morning comes early when you’ve not gone to bed until like 1am. But I was up and ready to walk out the door when the big blue Pirby van pulled up. I was the last person to be picked up. There were 8 of us all together. Dave the Dinosaur is driving and his partner Shirley is in the passenger seat. We’re in one of those work type vans and there are 6 of us in the back, all eagerly anticipating the huge amounts of money we’re going to make. Ya. We range in age from 18 to 21. Four boys and 2 girls. We talk loudly about everyday things, MTV and what we’re going to have for lunch. It was all quite exciting. I swear. So we arrive in our destined city and DTD parks the van in a vacant lot and begins to explain the ropes of selling things door to door.

I’m thinking that sex machine should be pretty easy to sell by the expressions on Dave’s face when he was pushing that thing across the carpet. He made it sound so effortless. That we’ll be raking in sales before we turn the corner. All we have to do is learn the technique of getting people to let us in their homes to show them our demonstrations on how the vacuum works. DTD explains that we will, on occasion have doors slammed in our faces but that comes with the territory and not to take it personally. Ok, no problem. So after about an hour of explaining how to sell people on letting us in their homes, we are paired up.

My partner is Robert, a 19 year old with bad acne. He’s a sweet lad though and perfectly harmless and really quite intelligent. So we’re shoved out of the van and dropped off on a street corner and told to “do the neighborhood” and they’ll come back in 2 hours to pick us up. Not a problem. We timidly walk up to our first house, ring the doorbell and wait. We hear muffled footsteps from inside and then the door opens. We both just stand there like brain dead morons. The woman asks us if she can help us. Ah, well, sort of, kind of, maybe. She looks at us like we’re the dog shit she cleaned up earlier and is now somehow stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She’s about to wipe us on her door mat. She decidedly, with precision, slams the door in our faces. That went well. We slump away from the door and without a word go to the next door. Ring the bell. Wait for the muffled footsteps. Old man crotchety opens the door and says he ain’t buying. Slam. Wow, another great success. On to door number three. This one’s gotta go well right? Ring the bell, wait for the muffled footsteps……..you get it. Young mother with 3 snotty nosed, dirty faced, droopy diapered kids opens the door. Her hair is in a crappy half ponytail and her white tee shirt is well, kind of brownish in spots and she’s got one pant leg rolled up and one down…..I’m guessing not quite on purpose. Oh she’s definitely not going for this. I speak up and say wrong house, sorry. I couldn’t bear to burden this woman with having to tell us to go fuck ourselves and that does she look like she really wants to sit and watch a stupid vacuum cleaner sales pitch while trying to contain her bratty rug rats ? I couldn’t do it to her nor to myself or pimply Robert. So we head back to the sidewalk and finally speak to each other. We’re not feeling really good about this at all. And we remember what DTD told us. In order to get paid, we have to have at least 3 sales pitches during the week…..EACH. Three! That’s huge. At the rate we’re going, we’ll never get three demonstrations under our belts. But we’ve got two hours to kill before the BBV (big blue van) comes to pick us up. So we keep on going, door to door and after about 20 doors being slammed in our faces, we get a hit! A married couple in their 40’s I’m guessing, want me to come back later that evening to do a demonstration, that they are in the market for a new vacuum. I’m excited! This is going to be great! If I get this sale, I get a commission and the sale and have a demonstration under my belt. Wicked awesome! We continue on until the BBV comes back to pick us up. Robert also got a hit for a demonstration, so we were on cloud nine when DTD came back to get us!

We spent the remainder of the afternoon driving around while our other team members were out on their door to door assignment. My appointment was for 7pm. I was soooo nervous but excited too. It’s fast approaching the time and DTD gives me a few pointers. Smile a lot and praise the vacuum like it’s some kind of goddess. Ok sure Dave. They drop me off and wish me luck and I’m thinking, I can do this and I’m going to sell it and make lots of money! Oh the mind of an eighteen year old. Seven o’clock rolls around and I timidly ring the doorbell and the wife answers the door and welcomes me in. Their front door opens into their living room and their living room has nice white carpet. Nice white carpet to practice vacuuming on. Lovely. So I take the whore out of her box and proceed to tell them all of the wonderful features and how it will change their lives (as per Dave…..FREAK) and how the price is so worth it. Not only is it a vacuum cleaner it’s a carpet cleaner. You just change the attachments, add the special carpet soap and the water. Well Mr. and Mrs. Naïve ask me to show them how to use the carpet cleaner part. I’m a little hesitant because good ole Davey really hasn’t shown us how to use it as a carpet cleaner. We’ve seen him moan and make love to it but never seen the carpet cleaning demonstration. Shit. But I’m thinking, I’ll just wing it, it’s pretty easy right? There are instructions in the box, so I’ll just glance at them. I get it all set up and add the soap. Now it really didn’t say how much soap to add, so I decided to just dump some in from the bottle. Never even thought, well maybe I should just add a cap full. Big mistake. I turn it on and am slowly gliding this big whore over their nice white carpet and the soap and water is mixing all around inside. Their 12 year old daughter is watching from the kitchen and I look over at her and smile but she’s go this look of, well, disbelief on her face. I see her eyes look down at the carpet. I then, slowly, avert my eyes to the vacuum and to my horror, there are huge billows of fluffy soap suds EVERYWHERE. It’s like a soap massacre and there’s no end to it. This machine is spitting out soap at an alarming rate and it’s now spilling into the kitchen on their shit green linoleum. Mr. And Mrs. Naïve and Now Pissed Off are looking at this mess with huge bulging eyeballs. I stand there like a stupid ass not sure what to do in this horrid situation. Oh wait……….MAYBE TURN OFF THE VACUUM. I quickly, but not quick enough, turn off the vacuum and survey the scene. It’s not good. Their once pristine white carpet is now soggy, slightly off white and soaking with bubbles everywhere and their puke colored linoleum is in no better shape. Daughter runs from the bathroom with bath towels in her small arms and we begin mopping the mess up. I’m thinking how in hell do I get out of the lawsuit that I’m sure will be filed against me? I do the only thing I think will get me out of this mess. I cry. I become hysterical. I figure if I act like a wing nut then they’ll take pity on me and think I’m most likely not quite “all there” and surely to God, they wouldn’t sue a mentally retarded teenager. The wife comes over and starts soothing me in her still slightly pissed off voice but I can tell I’m winning her over. The husband is not quite as convinced but wife is also soothing him and reassuring him, that she can get out the brownish stains that I’ve caused with the ever so wonderful Pirby. We get things relatively sopped up and I pack the whore away in her big black box and at the end of all demonstrations we are supposed to leave Dave’s card so the people can call him with their order. Well I decided I should definitely NOT leave Dave’s card because then they could absolutely track me down and begin that lawsuit so I told them I’d have to get it from him when he came back to pick me up. About 20 minutes later, the BBV shows up and I lumber out the door with the big box and the Pirby Goddess securely packed away inside. I tell the people that I’m just going to load the vacuum and come right back in and give them Dave’s card except I said his name was Chuck. I open the back door, load in the shitbox and jump in myself and tell Dave that it went SUPER and that we should get a push on it and put the pedal to the metal and blow this Popsicle stand and that the wifey poo will be calling him tomorrow with her order. He’s ecstatic! Whew, I got out of that one. Of course Dave is going to ask me what their names/phone number is and I of course wrote down fake names and a fake phone number. I might not be the brightest bulb at times but I am quick thinking at times, particularly if I might get my ass sued.

I got home at 1am and DTD tells me to be ready at 6am the next morning….well actually that morning. My mother is not very happy about this job, if you can call it that, at all. But she decides that I have to figure this all out on my own. I sleep for a few hours and get up and am ready to walk out the door at six. We again travel 90 minutes away and again have to go door to door in the hopes of snagging new pray, ummm customers. After a couple of hours of pounding the pavement, I get a hit! A stay at home mom with 3 kids decides that she really needs a miracle cleaner that will make her life easier. I’ve got just the machine for her. My appointment time with her is for 4 pm. Dave drops me off and tells me that he’ll be back in the standard two hours to get me. I ring the door bell, slightly more confident today but still a little nervous because of yesterday’s “mishap”. As I’m setting things up, the mom decides that I’m going to be her sounding board, her confidant. Ummmm, I’m 18 lady, and barely out of diapers myself and you want to tell me your life story and how you’re not really happy with your life and your husband can be a jerk, blah blah blah? I’m starting to get a wee bit uncomfortable but decided I would listen to her ramble on if it gets me the sale. The visions of being rich are so overpowering. As I’m just about set up, the front door opens and in walks the husband. And he looks PISSED. He comes over to us, looks at his wife and asks her who the hell I am, like I’m not even in the room. She starts to explain, mentions the word vacuum cleaner and then he freaks. He starts ranting and raving about how he works his ass off and how she just sits around and watches soaps and eats chocolates all day. Ok buddy. At this point, I’m thinking it best if I just pack my shit up and get out. I’ve been in the house for a total of like 20 minutes, so that means I’ve got like 80 minutes to wait outside for Dave. Oh joy. While jerk wad is yelling and pounding his chest like a retarded King Kong, I get the Pirby Goddess packed in her big black box and quietly sneak out the door while they’re still having their “disagreement”. I go stand on the street corner, with this huge black box and attachments hanging out the side because I didn’t have nearly enough time to pack it correctly, like I even could pack it correctly if I was given the time. Cars are driving by, and their passengers looking at the little shit standing there with the Vacuum Goddess like a big frigging dope. That was my last time holding that box. I quit the very next day. I still have nightmares about that piece of shit vacuum cleaner. ***Shudder***

Posted by Sassy @ 5:50 pmEmbarrassing11 comments  

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11 Responses to “The Vacuum Cleaner.”

  1. THIRTY YEARS later, I’m still TOTALLY feeling for you….GAWD!

    You poor thing.

  2. Ummmmm 30 years later? Ummm try 20…I guess you weren’t too damn good in math…LOL!

  3. No no no….I’m just a brat. And a younger one at that.

  4. Hilarious, Sassy! Glad I followed the link.

    But Karen Rani is right, the paragraphing issue is torturing my poor high school English teacher’s soul (Yes, we have them! Theyre just small and shriveled and buried under mountains of semi-colons and Shakespeare quotations). Please let me edit you. Please?

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