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Jackie Hope: OMG, we killed Kenny!

Ken More, beloved vacuum cleaner of the Hope family, powered down for the last time on the morning of June 29, 2014. Kenny was born in 2009, into the Sears family of appliances, and spent his early months on a shelf at The Second-Biggest Big Box Store in Dickinson. He began his working life as a household vacuum with the Hope family during the summer of 2009, and continued in their employ until the time of his final power failure.

Little is known about Kenny’s birth parents, but it is believed he inherited an eating disorder from one, or both, of them. He was able to pick up large objects with his vacuum wand, but had trouble swallowing them. Kenny suffered from VERD: vacuum-esophageal reflux disorder.

Many mornings the Hopes had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on his sucker hose. “Quick! Turn him off! He’s eating the throw rugs again,” would be followed by, “Too late. Get the scissors before he throws up the throw rug.” Once he unraveled half of a hooked rug before anyone could make him “give.” Instead of saying “Welcome to Our Lodge,” the rug’s graphic design looked like “…come to Our Loo …”

Ken was always biting off more than he could swallow. Like the day he ate most of a queen-sized bed ruffle, before finally powering down and waiting to be reset. Never knew that rayon would melt just from beater bar friction. Good to know. And, BTW, does anyone want to buy a slightly used, taupe-colored rayon queen-sized dust ruffle?

Kenny loved to eat shiny objects, and he was especially fond of earrings and Skittles. He would greedily gobble up Skittles from under tables and beds, and chew on them for days. He’d swallow them all the way down to his canister, then shoot them back up his hose, to be enjoyed over and over again. Like a cow and her cud. He also ate his fair share of earrings, but never coughed any of them up again. It is believed he died with at least five earring backs in his dust filter.

Always aggressive, poor Kenny carelessly swallowed sharp objects, which at times perforated his hypoallergenic paper dust bag and caused him to disgorge several days’ worth of meals. But never, not even once, did he give up an earring. And in older age, he wheezed when his dust bag became full, portending either congestive filter failure or appliance apoplexy.

Even though he aged, Kenny never lost his enthusiasm for dirt. He could latch onto a dust bunny faster than TMZ could latch onto a celebrity selfie, or Perez Hilton could diss a Kardashian. In fact, the day before Ken’s canister gave out, he ate a full breakfast of dog hair, rabbit hair, guinea pig hair and rockstar red writer’s hair. Followed by a generous helping of rug fringe and earring backs.

Admired for his modernist apple green hardbody and his adaptable add-ons, Kenny was a true plug-and-play professional. He formed easy attachments to any and all small brushes and upholstery tools, and when he engaged his main beater bar brushes, he was an appliance with prodigious powers of attraction.

Canister vacs are jacked and Kenny was no exception. He worked out every morning, and could lift large rocks, small animals and all manner of scatter rugs. In fact, he could deadlift the Sunday Press even after he was well past his warranty expiration date. Although he was somewhat bottom-heavy, Kenny tooled along at a top speed of one room’s length every five minutes. And Kenny was always willing to crawl under anything, or to adjust his height to accommodate all floor and rug surfaces. Not like his upright, stiff-backed relatives, the Hoovers.

Have you ever been to Hooverville? Out at the Biggest Big Box Store in Dickinson? There are beaucoup models on display, but the shelves are often Hoover-less. Do you suppose that is because Hoovers die premature deaths, and have to be replaced over and over? Or are they the must-have, second-tier appliance, and people have Hoover Envy unless they are sucking up with one of the biggest vacuum companies? Or maybe that is just a bunch of hooey.

It is believed Kenny died from a massive stroke, because he completely lost his motor capabilities early on the morning of June 29. All attempts to reset him were in vain.

Ken More is survived by his spouse of three years, Simpli-Stik. She is a Dirty little Devil, and stays thin by demanding that her collection tank be emptied after every meal. He also will be missed by his teenaged cousin, Biss L. Steam-Cleaner. Biss seldom visited Ken in the family broom closet, preferring to sleep in the basement until holiday events demanded his presence. Biss drinks a lot. Also surviving Mr. More is the patriarch of the vacuum family, 39-year-old Wet’n’Dri Shop-Vac. Although Wet is held together with duct tape and string these days, he is always up for a walkabout around the garage or across the patio.

Well done, good and faithful vacuum. You were always tidy, hardworking, and a sucker for a pretty earring. Rust in peace, Kenny.