E is for Electrolux™

Electrolux™ is a company that makes excellent vacuum cleaners. My mom had one, my aunt had one, and based on family dynamics I’ll bet my grandmother had one too. They used to sell the cleaners by door-to-door sales. Anything you needed, a salesman would be happy to come to your house.

Once, my uncle made the mistake of trying to clean up spilled paint with Aunt Dotsie’s Electrolux™. This is a big mistake. Do not attempt this—get a Shop-Vac™! Her lovely vacuum was ruined, but a few days later a salesman showed up at the door. I answered.

“Aunt Dotsie, it’s the Electrolux™ man,” I called out to her.

“Good,” she answered and grabbed the unsuspecting salesman by the lapel and yanked him into the house. I’ve never seen anyone look so surprised, and I bet that was the easiest sale he made that day.

In keeping with this family tradition, I obtained an Electrolux™ myself—not the latest model like my aunt’s, but a thrift store special. It was missing a couple of parts. This did not deter me. One of the selling points of the Electrolux™ vacuum was the interchangeable parts. The new parts fit any model ever made. My acquisition was an early model; I could tell by the cloth dirt bag that needed to be emptied after every use. I thought that was a neat money saving feature.

My husband, Lee, decided to surprise me with the new hose and floor wand I needed and he called the local office. Soon a salesman arrived at our house and checked out our vacuum with the light of salesmanship in his eyes.

“This model is old, don’t you want a newer one?”

“Nope,” said my husband, “just the hose and floor wand.”

“Let me give you a demonstration,” he began.

“I’m sure my wife would be happy to have you vacuum the whole apartment, but all we need is the hose and floor wand.”

The salesman plugged the relic in and flipped the switch. Nothing happened. He rubbed his hands in glee and began his spiel again.

“Wait,” Lee interrupted. “Sometimes you have to flip the switch a few times before it kicks on.” He duly flipped the switch off then on, and the vacuum roared to life. The salesman wilted. At least he did sell the hose and floor wand.

Now, we have thought it would be fun to name dogs after vacuum cleaners, due to their proclivity to eat anything that falls on the floor. We could have Dyson, Hoover and Oreck.

Electrolux would be the cat.

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