Wednesday 23 November 2011

Exorcising My Couch

I have a better picture but I can't find my cable.
I got a dog!

What does that have to do with possible demons in my couch?  I'm getting to it, just be patient.  I'm pretty fucking happy about this dog right now.  I named him "Fry" and I don't mind saying his real name because he's a dog and I'm not particularly worried about protecting his identity.  Also it took me long enough to come up with "Fry", I really don't want to have to go through the work of dreaming up another name.  Also it goes well with my kids' fictional names.

Anyhoo, Fry has fleas (ugh!) and I am currently in the process of sanitizing and de-flea-ing my entire house.  We have hardwood floors and haven't owned a vacuum cleaner in about ten years.  And because a vacuum is a crucial tool for flea elimination.....I got me a new vacuum cleaner, too!

What does a vacuum cleaner have to do with possible demons in my couch?  Why, it allows me to exorcise them of course!

I never gave the couch much thought until we had Frack and he started walking.  As soon as he was able to walk he had the kind of freedom that allowed him to jam unspeakable things deep into the recesses of my couch.  Up until then, I had found my broom to be a perfectly adequate weapon against household dirt.  But my broom was no match for Frack and his unholy Cheerios.  I tried not to think about it every time I sat on the couch and that slightly cheesy odour would poof out in an almost imperceptible little cloud.  Every day I did the best I could to rid the area under the couch cushions of all debris with the broom, but then Frack would jump on the bare couch and whole new colonies of Cheerios would come tumbling out.

Resistance was futile.

When Daddy called me to ask my opinion about vacuum cleaners because he was in the store buying one, I got so excited!  I might be the last woman in this century to get excited over a vacuum cleaner, but I was perfectly willing to let this be my Christmas present this year.  And when Daddy came home with that Dirt Devil you would have thought it really was Christmas the way the boys reacted.  They immediately fell to pretending the hose, nozzle and extension were bazookas and flame throwers.  After explaining some of its features to me, Daddy announced, "Let's try this baby out!" and then did a few sweeps over the floor before I siezed it from him.

"Oh no you don't!  I've got plans for that."


"I want to get that bad boy into the couch.  It's my hope that I will be able to find and kill the Queen Cheerio.  It's our only hope if we want to destroy the hive."

Vacuum cleaners have improved a lot since I last owned one.  The second-hand Hoover I used to have in my college days did an okay job for its time which was, basically, to suck up the lightest of dirt, dust and hair and then kind of spray it out behind you in a fine, even, misty distribution.  You might get about 20% of whatever it sucked up by accident into a flimsy paper bag that was sitting inside of a flimsy canvas bag.  Oh and good luck, by the way, remembering what make, model and size your cleaner uses when you're at the store trying to buy refill bags.  All it was really good at picking up were long pieces of string that would jam up the works so that you couldn't use it at all until you sat down to untangle the whole damned mess.  This required me to meticulously inspect my floors and removing anything at all that might offend the sensitive digestion of old Herbert (my little nickname for the useless piece of shit).

These days vacuum cleaners have hermetically sealed, re-usable plastic chambers that can be emptied and cleaned with a freaking HEPA filter locking that shit in.  When I put the hose down the couch it immediately sucked up a spoon and a (Canadian) dollar!  Compared to Herbert, the Dirt Devil had the sucking power of deep space.  I had half a mind to use it to suck the fleas right off the dog.  (Don't worry I did not vacuum my dog.)

So I got right in there with the vacuum but after about ten minutes I was still sucking up crap from the same square foot of couch.  It was like there was some kind of wormhole to the Cheerio-And-Whatever-Crap-They-Take-Prisoner Universe in there or something.  It sucked out socks, underwear, puzzle pieces, playing cards, junk mail, half-eaten granola bars, cookies, crackers, dinky cars, blocks, alphabet magnets, poker chips, transformers, lego and of course Cheerios.  So many damned Cheerios in varying states of decay.  Oh my God!  The Cheerios!

My kids were going apeshit with excitement.  Those Cheerios were putting up a pretty good fight.  And then Frick started laughing and chanting: "The power of Christ compels you!  The power of Christ compels you!" finding it deliciously funny even though he has never actually seen "The Exorcist".  He got the line from an episode of Family Guy.  I'm not sure that's better.

It was late and there was no way I was going to finish anytime soon.  I decided to turn in and get a good night's sleep so I would be refreshed for battle in the morning.  It took me most of the next day and emptying the chamber about four or five times but after all that work I finally rid myself of the evil in my couch.  Exhausted, I wiped the sweat from my brow and declared in the soft southern tones of Ms. Zelda Rubinstein (aka. Tangina)

"This couch is clean."

Or is it?

(photo from

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