If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed…

Teddy vacuums

Teddy Tedaloo does the vacuuming

The new vacuum cleaner’s here! The new vacuum cleaner’s here!!

You know that scene in the Steve Martin film “The Jerk” where his character Navin Johnson goes absolutely crazy with joy, shouting to all and sundry “The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!!” – and all this just because he was listed in the phone book?

Well, I can understand his excitement. If you’ve been following my (mis)adventures with the vacuum cleaner that never arrived, you’ll  know that the simple act of ordering a household appliance from one of the UK’s largest catalogue retailers resulted in a series of mishaps, not to mention a number of wasted days. I was out of food, hadn’t been to the gym in eons, and I needed to get to the post office urgently. But where was I? You guessed it: waiting at home for the sound of the doorbell.

Let’s just say there was little danger of me turning into Quasimodo any time soon.

As I understand it, the Argos delivery men kept claiming I wasn’t home when they called. Then it was revealed that they’d tried to deliver to another flat. Then it was revealed that they were running late due to flooding in the region and would be at my door by 9pm. (They weren’t.) Then it was revealed that the vacuum cleaner was never loaded back onto the van for redelivery the next day. Then it was revealed that after having confirmed my address at least a zillion times, they’d got it wrong and all this time they’d been going round to another flat (the one where no one was at home). I requested the order be cancelled. It wasn’t. Instead they promised to deliver it on a Saturday. I stayed home. Again. Guess what? It never arrived. So I arranged to have it cancelled. FOR GOOD.

Meanwhile my carpets hadn’t been vacuumed since before I left for America on Christmas Eve, which was just after my previous vacuum committed suicide. I guess that one last journey up the stairs did it, because it was still corpos mentis – or as corpos mentis as a vacuum cleaner can be…

…Until it reached the upstairs landing. And promptly died.

To say that things were getting grim on the carpet front would be an understatement. I had to do something – and I had to do it quick. Sure, the easiest thing would be to GET EVEN, but I was above all that. Instead I went back online and found another vacuum cleaner that I liked even better. I admit I had my apprehensions about getting dear old Argos to deliver it, however, it proved not to be an issue – the vacuum I wanted was out of stock for home delivery and would have to be collected from the shop.

Fine. There’s an Argos on the High Street, not even a five-minute walk from my flat. Sounds easy, huh? Well, not so fast. I knew it would be a mega-struggle for delicate little me to haul a cumbersome box containing a vacuum cleaner all the way home. And, as I’ve found out from far too many times struggling with suitcases or shopping bags, there are very few gentlemen left in this macabre joke we call “Western civilisation” who might offer to step in and help a damsel in distress, so any thoughts of having some nice lad come up to me and suggest carrying my burden was about as likely as Britney Spears abandoning her trailer to become a woman of class and breeding. I did consider the option of simply waltzing right up to any reasonably fit-looking male on the street and asking him to help me out, but I don’t like being left in the lurch – and the thought of loitering forlornly at the threshold of my local Argos unable to get my vacuum cleaner home held little appeal. Nor, for that matter, did the thought of literally dragging the damned thing all the way home.

Enter the Loftmen. Now that’s another tale in itself, as I’ve been actively recruiting for new loftmen, since one of them has been doing a rather poor job these days – and you really need to have at least three loftmen to be safe. My other loftman whom I’ve kept fairly busy lately with loft business (and dealing with the no-show vacuum) had to work on the day I needed to collect my vacuum cleaner. Now I ask you, what’s the world coming to when a loftman chooses to do silly things such as go to work rather than be at one’s constant beck and call? Which left me with my spare loftman: my landlady’s boyfriend, who, by a rather convenient coincidence, works nearby both me and the Argos.

Hey, I’m nothing if not resourceful, so I shot off an email to him first thing in the morning (he already knew about my vacuum cleaner saga from when he’d come by to do repairs), asking if he might spare a few minutes during his lunch break to carry my vacuum cleaner home. He replied immediately, saying “No worries, I’ll meet you at 12:30pm.” And there he was, 12:30pm on the dot!

As they say, all’s well that ends well, and I’m now the proud owner of a nifty new bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner.

If only Teddy was as happy about it as I am.


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5 Responses to “If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed…”

  1. Jude Mason Says:

    And may you, your vacuum, and lovely little Teddy have a long and happy life together. *Grin* This sounds so much like my Epic adventures with the people I bought my last monitor from. I somehow wound up with four of the silly things and was afraid to answer the door in case another showed up.


  2. Calvin Leighs Says:

    Mitzi, I am so glad there has been a happy end to the Vacuum Cleaner Disaster of 2009. Reading the blog made me smile as your reference to ‘The Jerk’ made me go and look up the script and really I remember now how funny the film actually was. Examples of parts that had me choking on my drink when I first watched the film were when Navin (The Jerk) impressed by the fact that his girlfriend now has a tattoo of his name says “First I get my name in the phone book and now I’m on your ass. You know, I’ll bet more people see that than the phone book.”….and then off course a part where the mother is reading the letter Navin sent home and reads out “I think next week .I’ll be able to send some more money as I may have extra work. My friend Patty promised me a blow job. Your loving son, Navin” and the father replies “That Patty must be a sweet girl”

    It has all been quite a giggle …I love the references to the ‘Loftmen’…it makes them sound like an altogether fluffy but sinister group similar to the Masons and Illuminati…I dare not mention the other group with 2 letters in their name as this may come up on a Google search and I would end up as another statistic within a book on conspiracies and the like.

    If those sinister people are reading this I was in Waterstone’s in Kingston today stood behind someone looking at the ‘small humorous gift” stand for 10 minutes before I realised he was not in the queue to be served. Please, they must get that queue system sorted out…..or perhaps it is me…in which case I do NOT need sorting out thank you!!! Unless you are a gorgeous girl who has not been sorted out in a while herself…in which case sorting out is my business!!

    I did sit for a while on the nice chairs, after waiting 10 minutes for an old lady to vacate one….I hovered around waiting, eyeing up the seat, pretending I was looking for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I soon as her bottom was 6” inches off the seat I made my move and beat 15 other people to the much coveted comfort zone. I was slightly embarrassed when she returned 5 minutes later as she obviously had just popped to the loo. Thankfully she only hovered over me for 10 minutes trying to catch my gaze with a look that could kill a roman centurion at 100 paces. Eventually she gave in, but as I write this I have an uneasy feeling of pins being stuck into my bottom.

    Strange shops books shops….always full of the most amazingly beautiful girls. You sit yourself down to read a book then it is like you have been whisked back to the ‘70’s and are a judge in the Miss Waterstone’s 1976 “ and here we have Samantha, she is studying Law at Kingston University. She has lovely dark hair and beautiful olive skin. She hopes one day to become a barrister, judge and a member of the Queen’s Counsel. She exudes beauty, class, intellect and, as she is stood by the Erotic Fiction section, a very pleasing open mind and ….” …now I am getting carried way. Perhaps I need sorting out!!

    Thanks Mitzi….inspiring 🙂

  3. mitzi Says:

    thank you for your kind wishes!
    … as the vacuum, teddy and yours truly walk off into the sunset together.

  4. Helen Ginger Says:

    That is one futuristic looking vacuum. Okay, I’m going to guess at what a loftman is. He’s a boyfriend of someone else in the loft or a guy who lives in the loft or a husband of someon in the loft. He’s a male connected to the loft.

    That was a funny story. Of course, some of us go three months without vacuuming and we have vacuums. We just dread dragging them up the stairs. Always vacuum up the stairs, not down. I tried that the other day and it got away from me. Clattered down the stairs, leaving me holding the suction hose.

  5. mitzi Says:

    a loftman is someone who does things in my loft – like put boxes and empty suitcases up there. as far as i know, no one resides in my loft. it’s draughty and not really liveable, and the property is too new to have any german soldiers hiding up there. 😉
    and yes i always vacuum UP not down the stairs! 😀

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