Thursday, January 27, 2005

Why I do not own a Roomba.

You may already be wondering why I do not own a Roomba, which "cleans and sweeps automatically — even when you're out of the house!" According to its own press, it "works like a spiraling pool cleaner to automatically clean up dirt, dust, spilled cereal and pet hair from carpets, rugs, hardwood floors and kitchen tile."

After all, you can see from the photo that even tough confetti is no challenge for the Roomba!

Well, reader, let me tell you.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday, who I have not seen in too long. It was great to catch up with her, her work, her life. She has not just one Roomba, but two, a result of poorly coordinated Christmas-gift-buying, but she loves the Roomba so much that she kept both of them. Now, she says, they are like family.

But be very afraid of a story that begins, "So you know, our puppy is about 85% housetrained." She set up the Roomba to clean the dining room, then went back to work in her study, leaving it to its merry devices of bouncing off pieces of furniture and cleaning up pet hair. Her dog had also left a fragrant gift in the dining room. The Roomba, it turns out, was no match for the pile of poo, and before she knew it there was beautiful poo spirograph all over the dining room.

Apparently this happened while her husband was out (isn't that the truth? why don't the dead squirrels and chipmunks arrive on the porch when there is someone else to take them to the morgue?), so he returned to find her in the kitchen desperately trying to clean out the delicate mechanics of the Roomba. Fortunately she had not yet tried to clean up the dining room, so he too got to witness the beauty of it all. I am only sad not to have a photo.

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