Clean carpet, interesting vocabulary

Poor Otto had kind of A Day, yesterday, and so after dinner he settled into our comfy armchair with a magazine and I just gave him wide berth for a bit. After the kids were settled into bed I decided to do a little cleaning, because my dad and stepmom arrive tomorrow and my house is a pigsty.

(I know! So weird! I mean, there was just a team of maids here last month*, so you’d think the house would still be spotless! What? Oh, THAT was my blunder, clearly. Had I only remembered to lock the children out of the house in the intervening month, I suppose the place would still be clean.)

Anyway, I went ahead and pulled out the vacuum cleaner and set to work. Sometimes, you know, vacuuming doesn’t yield any immediately recognizable results. And I enjoy some feedback, so I like vacuuming when it looks like something imploded there on the floor before I arrived with my Kirby.

Lucky for me, we have a wool rug in the living room, now. A relatively new wool rug. A relatively new, red and orange wool rug.

You know where this is going, right? Wool rugs are AWESOME because they’re soft and thick and naturally moisture-repellent, but for the first six months or so in which you own one, it sheds more than a labrador retriever. Every time feet touch it or you look at it cross-eyed, fluffy lintballs of rust-colored fibers puff up into tiny tumbleweeds which then either sit atop the rug, glom on to the surrounding furniture, or make a break for it, retreating to the corners of the room.

This is SUPER AWESOME with any rug, of course, because I am here to tell you that a single match of Wii tennis (and the associated dancing around on the carpet) is enough to scatter three pounds of wool fibers around the area, but it’s EXTRA AWESOME SUPREME with a rug in red and orange, because those fibers? Make it look like someone has been butchering small animals on the coffee table. The lintballs clinging to the sofa look like blood splatters and the lintballs in the corners of the room look like puddles of blood. It’s fabulous. (And thematic, until the Halloween passes….)

So there I was with my big heavy vacuum cleaner, looking at the proliferation of fuzz from my beloved wool rug, and ready to get some instant gratification in the form of sucking all of that crap up. I began vacuuming and the lintballs began disappearing. But I noticed that some of the smaller ones seemed NOT to be disappearing, and also that it seemed like I had to go over spots more times than usual.

I turned off the vacuum and unzipped the pouch that holds the bag. And then I started to laugh so hard that Otto looked up from his magazine.

The Kirby takes a bag that’s maybe 18 inches long. HOWEVER, there are markings down at about the 5 or 6 inch mark to show that once the bag is full up to there, it’s time to change bags. I’ve been vacuuming this new rug for coming up on a couple of months, now, so I had a feeling that maybe the bag was full past the line.

Or that, you know, the bag was FULL TO BURSTING, all the way to the top. Whatever.

It was so full (how full was it?) that when I removed the input nozzle from the bag, a foot-long lintball snake then fell out of the hose—overage that hadn’t been able to stuff itself into the bag.

So, um, hey! I think I figured out the problem with the vacuum!

I finished giggling and then finished vacuuming (with much improved suction) and then invited Otto to a game of Mojitos Scrabble, because everyone knows that nothing soothes the grumpy geek more than wordplay with a stiff drink. (Ooooh, baby.)

Our game was the sort of raucous, cutthroat interchange for which we are known, made all the more interesting by the fact that for half the game he had nothing but vowels and I had nothing but consonants.

There was also that fun bit of time when Otto dropped a tile, and it fell through the couch, and he had to go underneath the footrest with a flashlight and feel around for it, and I should’ve been sympathetic, I suppose, but all I could think was that I wished he would MOVE LESS because he was probably pulling up lintballs on the rug.

Otto tried to play “YING” and I had to challenge him, despite his protestations about “YING and YANG!” and “BEER!” (sorry, still the wrong spelling), but it came back to bite me, later, when it turned out that “VINEY” isn’t a word, which is ridiculous. I mean, you go to the vineyard, and you look around, and it’s ALL VINEY. Obviously. But whatever.

We were tied, I think, when I’d finished my mojito and just began laying down tiles randomly, certain that I was being HILARIOUS, because QUSLOG is a very amusing word that OUGHT to be the dictionary. The dictionary of AMERICAN ENGLISH RUM.

I can see where people might think we’re boring, but we had a very entertaining evening. The fact that I can now periodically scream out “LOOK OUT FOR THE VINEY LINT SNAKE!” is just a bonus, really.

*In less nonsensical reportings, if you’re curious about that event for which I was treated to the luxury of a housecleaning, I’ve got a summary up over at Gather.


  1. Leandra

    Now THAT sounds like my kind of scrabble. Clearly I’ve been playing it wrong.

  2. Aimee

    Well, QUSLOG should totally be a word. I’m going to try it in my next Scrabble game and see if I can come up with a decent definition that will convince my husband.

  3. Lori

    To quote Paris (which I try not to do very often for fear of losing brain cells) “that’s hot.”

  4. Em

    Duh. QUSLOG is what Mueslix is chipped from. I thought everyone knew that.

  5. Tammy

    Hmmm. I think you should put that on your resume…Blood Sucker and Viney Lint Snake Defender.

  6. Jenny

    Mojitos Scrabble sounds like Margaritas Balderdash. Ah, good times.

    You can keep your viney lint snake. I’ll be sitting in the corner, stroking my preshus, my Dyson, yesssss.

  7. The Other Leanne

    In my house it has often been the viney pet-hair snake. It’s one of those amazing things that you never imagine until you see it.
    Wii tennis is hell on the rugs. :)

  8. jennielynn

    We call it Drunken Scrabble here, and it rocks. Sounds like the perfect cure to a bad day.

  9. Megan

    Glue you a couple of googley eyeballs on that there viney lint snake (which by the way, if you say a few too many times starts sounding a little… dirty…). You’ve got yourself the foundation of an Etsy EMPIRE because who wouldn’t want a googley eyed orange red viney lint snake?

  10. Bobbie

    I also have a Kirby vacuum. Which I just put my last bag into. Do you happen to know of a source to replace the bags? I’ve been buying them from the dealer and they’re very expensive (enough that I replace them well above the line, but not high enough that I’ve ever pulled out a lint snake…..).

  11. Kristi

    A Kirby? You own a Kirby? I have to know, oh Bargain Queen, were you able to work some sort of great deal? I want one of those beauties but I can’t justify the cost. How did you do it?

  12. Flea

    Hiney’s a word, though, right?

    I loved my Kirby all ten years we had it. Our dog slowly killed it, every time the phone or doorbell would ring and she’d attack it. Now I squishy heart my Dyson.

  13. Randi

    Isn’t viney a word? Like whiney? I have a serious vaccumm cleaner issue. So serious that I can’t even spell the word right. Whenever I get a new vaccumm I know that it will last less than a year and plan my budget accordingly. Due to 3 dogs, 2 kids, 2 cats and a hubby, my poor vaccumm is begging for death after a year is over.

  14. KD @ A Bit Squirrelly

    I have a dyson, but my mom had a Kirby and OMG it was awesome!

    Next time you play Mojito Scrabble can I come? I make up fun words all the time.

  15. Crisanne

    We bought 2 new rugs this summer when we moved and they both shed incredibly. (Though they are finally getting better.) I’m so thankful for my Dyson so I can SEE all that dirt I clean up. We nearly filled the whole canister in a single vacuuming when the rugs were brand new!

  16. nil zed

    huh, we live in a rental house, with carpet old enough to have fade spots around where the owners had their furniture sitting. They had no kids or pets, and must have been neat and clean enough that they didn’t vacuum much, cause I overfill the vaccuem bag and have a viney lint snake every week. Seriously.

  17. Brigitte

    So the vineyard is . . . vinacious?

  18. Half Assed Kitchen

    Was Otto in a bad mood from all Puppy pestering? >:-)

  19. Karen

    When my kids were in their teens, we played a version of Scrabble that we called Southern Scrabble. You could play any word you could pronounce, but you had to pronounce it AND give the definition of the word. Example: Okry— a southern word meaning a pod vegetable that is good fried or in gumbo. We always laughed and had a fabulous time when we played it.

  20. Zee

    Viney is TOTALLY a word. The dictionary is wrong. :-D

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