Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Look Back: The Vacuum Cleaner That Ended the Cold War

Oh yes.

You've probably never heard of the brand. It used to be called CMS, and it's now called Cleartrak. Yep, a vacuum cleaner.

We've had this vacuum cleaner for at least as long as my existence (24 years). As I am still living at home and both my parents have full-time jobs (something I'm also looking for...), I was called upon to vacuum the living room today. Not a problem. I don't mind, as long as everything's in good working order. It was; I vacuumed; our gray living room carpet is now in a clean condition.

See, this vacuum was purchased during the 1980s, the second best decade ever. (The 90s is first. Always.) Reagan was president, NASA was working again, and my parents purchased this beast of a cleaning machine through Amway.

The CMS Cleartrak Amway vacuum cleaner (complete with globe logo) is incredibly heavy. My dog weighs about 35 pounds, so I'm gonna estimate this bad boy at somewhere between 50 and 60 pounds. It has a clear cylinder and a gray/blue theme and lots of scuff marks from at least 24 years of life and 6 different houses. You turn it on, and it roars.

See, like everything else in the 1980s, this cleaning device is big and over the top. And it still works.* If Reagan had been in possession of one of these babies and flashed it around in Berlin, Mr. Gorbachev would probably have torn down the Wall himself. With his bare hands. Just the black hole-esque startup sound single-handedly inspired the movie Red Dawn. Yes, we still use this shining pinnacle of capitalism to suck all that dirty commie mess off the floor.

It's quite poetic.

I admit, I hated the thing when I was younger. As I grew and my responsibilities for keeping stuff clean added up, I've really started to love the old boy. Let's call him Chester. The loud noises that once bothered me (greatly) are now a welcome sound as Chester gets the living room, the hallway, my room, anything else clean. My dad says it's one of the best cleaners out there, and because it's lasted so long with only a few minor belt issues, I'm inclined to believe him.

Chester is something that's leftover from another time in my life, when I was naive and innocent, and that was okay.

And as much as I hate vacuuming anything, I know I'll have to get my own vacuum cleaner when I get an apartment. I know I'm gonna miss ol' Chester a lot, and not just because he's an awesome vacuum cleaner. What I do know is, I'll probably be borrowing him as an old friend to come and break the champagne bottle and inaugurate the new apartment and do what he does best: vacuum.

*Until a few years ago, my parents still had most of the same appliances that they received as wedding gifts in 1983. And it all still worked awesomely. I still use their hand-mixer, which is still mighty.

No comments:

Post a Comment