Reasons why Fran is now wary when opening the door to the pantry

So, this morning, our new vacuum cleaner arrived. My husband and I had decided that we'd been hauling a Henry up and down our precipitous Victorian wooden stairs for long enough and, until we've both made our wills, perhaps we should find another solution.

'Oh, I'm so sorry. How did she die?'

'She tripped over the hose of the vacuum cleaner and, what's more, she hadn't even done the downstairs rooms.'

I'm not going to lie, it doesn't have the romanticism of 'She died of heartbreak' or 'She died rescuing someone from drowning' or even 'She fell into a crevasse while climbing in the Alps.'

Anyway, we opened the box excitedly. 'I'll find the instructions,' I said.

This picture shows the front page of the instruction booklet.


It says, 'Please read carefully before using this product.' The only problem is, the rest of the booklet looks like this. (I think you know what's coming, don't you?)



However carefully I read it, even while thinking hard about China, it was of no help.

That left us with a collection of items (below) and no idea what to do with them all, a bit like the first time you arrange the pieces of your new 1000 piece jigsaw on the table and realise it's all blue sky.


And here is my husband, trying to think back to 1967 and Design Technology lessons at school.



We tried various permutations to make it look like a vacuum cleaner and were initially as successful as nuns at their first orgy. 'Does this bit go here?' 'How does that fit there?' 'This part looks as though it should fit, but doesn't!' 'Should I push a bit harder, or will that damage it?'

We ended up with some sense of order and something that seemed like a vacuum cleaner with all its bits attached. At this point, my husband put it on the dining table to admire it.


We've been married for 37 years and yet I have not managed to train him out of putting items on our pine dining table that are likely to scratch it. The table is therefore scratched to perdition. I won't even begin on the story of the broken paving slab he put on it 20 years ago, but if you come round, you can see the groove it left, still big enough to hold some peas, or a chipolata sausage.

Anyway, we thought we'd won our battle with our new vacuum cleaner, and plugged it in to charge it, but then looked behind us to realise that we were left with this solitary little bendy hose (below) and no idea of its function or where it slotted in. Do you remember Games lessons at school and being the last one picked for a team, the one no one wanted? This hose felt just like that. What made it worse for him was knowing that, somewhere, in the Chinese instructions, was the clue to his destiny: a destiny never to be revealed.




We heard Henry yell to the hose from his place in the pantry, 'I know how you feel, mate! I've been retired early and there's not a damn thing wrong with me!'

And when your cleaning utensils start ganging up, you know you're in trouble.

'Oh, I'm so sorry. How did she pass away?'

'She was sucked up by a mutinous vacuum cleaner along with two bits of Lego the grandchildren forgot to put away and some grated cheese from under the table.'

Comments

  1. Haha! Utterly hilarious. I can think of only one solution - Chinese evening classes...

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha - I would be doing these classes until I'm on my deathbed (speaking bad Chinese)

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  2. Dear oh dear, LOL! Your image of "nuns at their first orgy" is hilarious! Although of course you WILL burn in hell for it. On a more serious note, try going to the manufacturer's website to see if there are English instructions there. You never know?

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    Replies
    1. The manufacturer? I don't even know who it is. I will check and see if it's written anywhere in English.

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  3. Have you tried googling for a user manual, in English?

    We usually get a leaflet, and go to our website for more.

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    Replies
    1. You are not the first to suggest this! I would never have thought of it. Thank you! On the other hand, maybe I'll just plead ignorance and leave the house unhoovered .....

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  4. We bought a charcoal bbq once and the instruction sheet was in French. Must have been over a hundred tiny little pieces.

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    Replies
    1. And did you starve?! Or go and get fish and chips?!

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  5. Going by the picture on the instruction manual isn't that big bit supposed to be at the top end of the handle? My daughter puts stuff together by following the image when the instructions are gibberish and I do the same when I'm taking things apart to clean the innards. Usually there is a line or two in English somewhere in each list of instructions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's just the language we were using. 'The big bit' and 'the top end'. The images in the book were tiny sketch drawings done by someone with a shaky hand - that was another problem! And no, after that first page, no more English ...

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  6. Too funny! I have as much trouble with instructions that are picture-only as I have with instructions in a foreign language. Usually my husband is handed the pieces.

    Have you named the new one yet? Or would that give it too much confidence that you'd be keeping it?

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    1. Oh, we're definitely keeping it. It's so light and much less likely to murder us. As for naming it, maybe Vera the Vacuum? Viola? Veronica? Velda? You choose, Jenny!

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    2. lol - Maybe you should wait and see what its personality turns out to be :D

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  7. Yes yes yes - but does it WORK?

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    Replies
    1. It does! Despite our fumbling attempts at putting it together!

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  8. Isn't it the thing for doing corners? I seem to remember a thing for doing corners …..

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    Replies
    1. I will sit it in a corner and see if it looks lively.

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