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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Power (05/10/04)

TITLE: The Vacuum
By Glenn A. Hascall


The Vacuum
Glenn A. Hascall

Vacuuming my house is something I most often leave to the fine-tuned domestic prowess of my wife. She will actually use the hose to clean corners and reach cracks and crevices that I wouldn't even think of trying to get. My philosophy is that if you absolutely must vacuum, just get to the main part of the carpet and give it a quick once over - if you can't trip over it, it must be clean.

I have owned my share of mischievous vacuum cleaners over the years. There have been the ones that gargle with little pieces of metal or debris left behind by children who just happen to enjoy the sound of a vacuum cleaner beating itself up. Once it gets to the velocity of a jet engine, it spits the metal piece across the room causing "Fluffy" the cat to forfeit another life. I've also had the vacuum cleaner that found an almost imperceptible frayed bit of carpet. It latches onto that bit and unravels the carpet until the entire carpet is wrapped around the innards of the vacuum while it wheezes with indigestion.

Then there's the finicky vacuum - this one picks up an item, taste it and determines it is not fit for consumption and summarily spits it to the side. I have stooped to pick up that bit of something and attempt to refeed it to the vacuum, who has already tasted and found it to be nothing short of disgusting. You'd think I'd learn, if the vacuum doesn't like something on the floor, there is no amount of coaxing that I can do to convince it to take it (reminds me of my son).

Invariably the manufacturers of these demented machines make the electric cable one foot too short. Why, there was even a time when I spent valuable time trying to locate a new electric outlet that would allow me to vacuum that one square foot of space. Since then, I just forget about the electrical outlet, and simply pick up the big pieces while brushing my hands together declaring that "it is good".

One other thing I have learned about vacuums is that they only behave when the salesman is demonstrating them. As soon as you make a commitment to the little beast, it figures that it already won you over so what's the point in being on its best behavior?

I guess there have been times I've been a lot like a vacuum cleaner. I was on my best behavior before marriage. However, once I had a commitment from my wife, I suddenly acted as if it didn't matter how I behaved. I could stop short of my best because I had nothing more to prove. I mean, I already won my bride - so why bother?

There are other guys out there that have done the same thing, so you can quit looking at these words as if you've never heard such foolishness.

As the years go by, we all need to learn that we need to be honest about our failings and then work hard to be the best vacuum cleaners (men) we can be in our respective homes.

After all, when we got married we came with a lifetime guarantee oh, and don't forget those promises about loving, cherishing, honoring, being faithful and eating your mother-in-law's cooking.

Member Comments
Member Date
Dian Moore05/17/04
Glenn, as always, you've given us a fine tale. I love laughing and learning. Now, if I could get my husband to read this . . . .
Amanda Nagy05/17/04
Your description of vacuuming and the nightmares that go with it is not only funny but could have been written by me! I am famous for how much I hate to vacuum due to it's being on a finicky diet, too short cord, picking up things only to have them shoot across the room and on and on. I've had perfectly good vacuums quit for no apparent reason as soon as I walk into a room where one is being used. I was delighted by your description and convicted by your ending. Good piece! Sign me a woman who hates vacuums. LOL
Melanie Kerr 05/18/04
Very enjoyable to read and the application to oursleves at the end was very perceptive.
Leticia Caroccio05/18/04
Funny, Funny, Funny! Great story. On the vacuuming issue, my husband and I are on opposite sides. He will move furniture and drapery to get to dust bunnies I have adopted and named. I liked the way you wove yourself and your experiences into your story about a mundane household chore. Nicely done.
B Price05/18/04
cute story.. some men couldlearn from you, but so can a few women that I know.
Naomi Deutekom05/20/04
Very enjoyable.
Joanne Malley05/21/04
A very unique story and approach! I really liked it!