Joco Opinion

Snarky in the Suburbs: Diary of a mad housewife: Shampooer, 1; me, 0

It was put on this earth to break me. To hurl me right over the edge of sanity, which, due to raising teenagers, I was holding onto with one finger and a very ragged cuticle. But no matter what I wasn’t giving up. Whatever this beast did, I would come out winning even if it took not one but two Phillips head screwdrivers, my best tweezers and maybe even a hammer.

Why does it hate me? What had I ever done to deserve this level of resistance and downright disrespect? I have been good to the beast. I don’t demand much of its time, and for the most part it leads a pretty leisurely existence that I would even call semi-retired. I’m not going to lie — it has to do some of my dirty work, but not enough to make it pull this tantrum.

I know it wants me to crumple to the dirty carpet and do the ugly cry. But that’s so not going to happen — yet. Nope, I’m not giving up. My barely 2-year old, “Merry Christmas, we got you a Bissell Pro Heat Premier deluxe rug shampooer” was not going to get the best of me.

It’s staring at me right now. I think it’s mocking me. Well, mock away carpet shampooer, because I’m about to take a screwdriver to you. Yeah, you heard right, screwdriver. I’m going to go all mad housewife on you. I Googled how to fix you and even watched a YouTube video so get ready for your innards to be disassembled and then maybe even tweezed. Are you scared? Did you see the hammer? Yeah, well that’s mama’s little stress reliever just in case I need to bang out my frustration on something the video called a trigger value.

It’s not too late, you know. Because I consider myself a merciful person I’m going to give you one more chance to do your job. Do you remember what your job is? I don’t think you do because right now you’re not sucking, and while that may seem like a good thing in the world of vacuum cleaners, sub-category: carpet shampooers, that’s not awesome.

You also are failing the part of your job description listed as dispersing carpet cleaning solution. Basically you’re doing the bare minimum. You turned on, and other than that you’re worthless. It’s like you showed up for your job, and then went to sleep in your cubicle.

If you don’t work this time you’ve given me no choice but to initiate Operation Humpty Dumpty — because who knows if once I take you apart if I’ll ever be able to put you back together again. OK, here goes, I’m turning you on. This is your last chance to suck and I’ve got n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

So that’s how you’re going to play it, huh? You’re going to test me. No worries. I’ve got the screwdriver. It’s game on, Bissell. Six screws out and two to go and I’ve got your brush plate off. A couple of screws after that and it’s oops you’re no longer a carpet shampooer. You’re a collection of plastic castoffs.

Well, that’s beyond disgusting. Good Lord, there’s enough dog hair trapped in these brushes to knit a “12 Days of Christmas” blanket collection. Did this thing suck up Sasquatch when I wasn’t looking? Well, now I’m having breathing issues due to the level of, let’s call it fur castoff. And I’m scared. Some of the fur trapped in here doesn’t match our dogs.

How’s that possible? I’m thinking of a lot of scenarios now and none of them are good. Is my husband pulling the ultimate betrayal — cheating on the family with another dog? You read about these kinds of things and I think there was even a “Lifetime” movie, so I know it could happen. Come to think of it, I have noticed some random chew toys in the house.

Well, based on the level of gunk stuck in the carpet shampooer I feel like I owe you an apology and need to concentrate my best efforts at putting you back together. Here we go — good as new, all cleaned up and ready for action. Carpet shampooer is turned on a-n-d it’s still not sucking. I give up. You win, Bissell Pro Heat Premium. You’ve officially bested me. I will now give in to the ugly cry.

Five minutes later, I’m all cried out and my husband comes home. He takes one look at me, the carpet shampooer, then leans down and switches the dial from upholstery to carpet. What do you know — that fixes the problem. I think I may cry again.

Sherry Kuehl of Leawood writes Snarky in the Suburbs in 913 each week. Reach her at You can follow her on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and read her blog at