Friday, August 19, 2011

The time she sucked up her hair.

May 1997. Don't laugh!

When I was little, I was helpful around the house. I have this story to prove it.

I was probably 10, close to the age in that picture. It must have been summer vacation because I remember this fateful event happened during the day. At the time, I had long, luscious locks of blond hair all the way down my back. I was kind of famous for it. It was the hair every girl wanted.

Anyway, it all started when I was vacuuming the family room floor. See? There's the evidence right there. (As a side note, we never had assigned chores growing up; we were all expected to help out as needed. And we did. I liked that.) We owned a big, heavy vacuum and it sucked HARD. As in literally, it sucked stuff up really well as all vacuums should. Not tryin' to dis' the vacuum. However, why are today's vacuums so crappy? They just don't make 'em like they used to.

Back to the story. So, I was plugging along with this massive machine when suddenly, I saw out of the corner of my eye a miniature Tupperware container on the carpet. My idiotic 9-year-old self thought, "We should pick that up," while my smarter half said, "Don't bend down while this thing's on or your hair will get sucked right off your head!" Somehow, all logic was lost and in a matter of seconds, I concluded the vacuum could suck up a good-sized hunk of plastic but NOT my hair. (In other words, I listened to my stupider half.) I proceeded to bend down and reach for Mr. Tupperware when --


(That's the sound of my head being sucked up against the bottom of a vacuum cleaner at a high rate of speed.)

In a second flat, I was bent over with the side of my head against the floor: the machine had violently and ruthlessly consumed my hair and it was not going to let go. I could not move. I could only scream.

Let me tell you, the thoughts that go through your mind when something like this happens are quite ... colorful. I saw: myself entirely bald, myself with a shredded up bloody scalp, myself dying (of course), myself trying to explain this one to the cops, myself with half a head of hair, myself riding in an ambulance with a vacuum on my head. Meanwhile, as these images are flashing through my mind, I'm screaming bloody murder for help, but no one can hear me over the loudness of the massive, over-achieving vacuum. This is it. I'm going to die because I was a good kid who wanted to help her mom! They'll find me in a pile of my own hair! The vacuum will still be sucking away like there's no tomorrow! I'll be on the news!

Well, much to my good fortune, my twin brother soon happened upon the scene and unplugged the vicious Hoover before it could cause further damage. What a smarty, unlike his Tupperware-rescuing sister. I recall the obnoxious whir of the vacuum ceasing immediately as he yanked the cord from the wall (coincidentally, this is the same brother who rescued our baby sister from a bagel fire. Story forthcoming).

My mom then frantically ran over to me, yelling in an exasperated tone as if perhaps I had wanted this to happen. Isn't it funny how moms do this? They're 100 percent concerned until they see their child is still alive and not seriously injured, and then they get angry and lay into the poor kid as if she didn't just have a brush with death. It's like, "I know you're mad that I acted so dumbly, Mom, but I almost lost my scalp. Can I at least have a hug now?"

I nervously awaited my fate as my mom tugged at my hair. Certainly, I'd need a buzz cut if I was lucky. Worst-case scenario, I'd need a scalp transplant. Things weren't looking too good. This was the Suckiest of All Vacuums, remember? I was not getting off easy.

But oh, I did! I walked away from the wreckage missing only a few strands of hair. Relieved but completely freaked out of my mind. Post-traumatic stress. I swear, I did not vacuum for another year after that. My mom was sympathetic.

To this day, I do not pick things off the floor while vacuuming. Even with short hair. That's not a lesson you easily forget, friends. Although I must say, I'm not entirely sure that my current vacuum is even capable of doing that. It's a worthless piece of junk. Which leads to the ...

Question of the Day: What kind of vacuum do you have and DOES IT WORK WELL?


  1. LOVE this post!!! I never had this happen to me but i did have my sister chop off all my hair after my mom let her watch Edward Scissor Hands. I have a $70 bissell that my inlaws bought us when we got married. It wont stand up on its on, and the handle is taped to prevent it from falling off, but i LOVE IT!!! It works WAY better than my sisters hundred some odd dollar bagless vacuum. Its 6 years old and im not plannin on getting rid of it anytime soon.

  2. Dyson DC-14 All Floors. It's 5 years old and still pluggin' along. Go to the store and test drive a different brands.

  3. I have a panasonic sumthin or other.... MC-V5744 I believe (I googled it because I can't be troubled to walk to the vacuum closet.) And um, we love it. It does have bags (which totally isn't the "cool" thing these days) but the 4.5 years I've had it have been pure vacuum bliss. It's not special or amazing but it sure gets the job done.

  4. Trust me Jenna I will NEVER forget that day! All I could think of was, "There goes my daughter long beautiful blonde hair." And thank goodness for Josh as during that panicked time I could think of nothing but, "Oh my heck!" Your hair is still beautiful and if I could I would buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

  5. Jenna, I'm so sorry. Not just because of what happened to you, but I'm also sorry for laughing while reading your story. I must admit, though, I know I wouldn't have thought to pull the vacuum cord out of the outlet, either.

    Can you imagine if Granny had seen your predicament? She would've said, "Well, Jenna... you lived a good 9 years on this earth and it's just your time to go." :D

    I'm not sure what kind of vacuum we have. I'm too lazy to get up and see.

  6. Wow! What a story! :) We have a Dyson Ball (purple, I love purple). It works great. Especially since my Hubby does the vacuuming around the house :) No hair disasters here.

  7. This is the stuff! You poor thing. I know what you mean about those older vacuums... my mom still has her model from 1980somethin' and it works like a dream!

  8. I very much love my Shark Navigator. Adore that sucker. ha ha ha. Not super expensive either, so that makes it even better.
    This story made me laugh. I'm so sorry for ten year old Jenna though.

  9. Phew! So glad you survived that. And yes, I am totally hanging my head in shame as I would be that mom saying- what are you thinking!
    We have a Kirby- we didn't buy it from the pesty sales people but a used one on craigslist and love it

  10. I wish I could afford a Dyson!

    @Jessica, your sister cut all your hair??? That's horrible!

    @Kelly, I actually talked to the guy at Sew and Vac and he said in Arizona, bags are actually BETTER at containing dust! So no complaints about vacuum bags from me. :)

    @Serena, Granny totally would have declared me dead on the spot!

  11. That's awesome! But in the hilarious way, not the way where I would actually want you to lose your hair in a vicious Vacuum Incident.
    My daughter is my vacuum! She's excellent. Funny you should ask - I just wrote about it on my blog:)

  12. My vacuum is so bad, I had to go to my closet to see what kind it is...and I even used it today. It's a dirt devil and sometimes it makes my house smell like fish. Weird, huh?

  13. @Rachel that's terrible! Mine is a Dirt Devil as well. No wonder!

  14. I NEVER knew this story. It was HILARIOUS though! I'm so glad you didn't lose much hair, but the cops? Really? LOL

  15. @Lafingal, Yes, the cops! You know how much of a worrywart I was as a kid (and still am).


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