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©June 1997

Carol Jane Remsburg



Who Designed This?






Last Saturday as I struggled to finish the weekly cleaning chores, I relented and attempted to clean out the myriad vents and condensing coils beneath my mammoth refrigerator.It isnít something I gladly look forward to since I usually end up frustrated.There is a vast area of space behind the metal grill that none of my vacuum cleaner attachments can reach.


Previously, I perused between the covers of my consumers manual that came with this hi-tech model for the best method to clean this area.It suggested a skinny, long wire brush to dislodge the dust bunnies every three months or so.What I discovered was that there isnít a slender enough or lengthy enough wire brush manufactured in America that will perform this feat.Over the last few years since Iíve owned this refrigerator, I have doggedly tried and tried to guide the dust bunnies that I could reach with a handicapped shorter brush guiding them to my waiting vacuum hose.This is a futile venture. It performs only as a stop-gap measure at best.


This trial began no different than the rest.I have no idea how the dust bunnies multiply and pack themselves so heavily, but they do.They carry the texture nearly what one will find in a dryer lint screen that hasnít been recently or repeated cleaned out.The space is densely filled mocking me with a universe of busy microbes.


After the first fruitless tries, I turn off my laboring vacuum to ponder my dilemma.I then have to endure the sound of my equally laboring fridge.Itís trying to suck air through that clogged and clotted mass.I think and know that there has to be a better way.As my mind hops and jumps over each likely resolution, I reject many.Then I light upon the idea.The vacuum works, but I simply cannot reach it.How to adapt a tool?


Hey, remember, where there lives a small child, there are also straws.So, I connect two together, forgetting that I really am manually impaired.I slide them inside the slimmest crevice attachment I have and begin to work and worry those dust bunnies.Many clog the small straw Jerry-rigged device, so it becomes laborious.The long awkward process has begun.


The flashlight shifts and shuttles constantly to provide me with the best light as I lean, turn, and twist about while maintaining a prone position upon the floor.Comfort isnít the issue.The bunnies are screaming as they make their exit.This is satisfying work.Itís taken me quite a long time to figure out how to eliminate this lurking evil from empress of purification.


Thirty minutes later, I turn off the vacuum dizzy with triumph, and soreness already setting in my muscles.While Iím off to finish the rest of my dayís chores, another thought comes to me.Just who in the hell designed this machine.It isnít much different than any other that is manufactured today.Was it made this way simply to hurry the self-destruction process in order to make us purchase another.While this is an appealing thought, I donít think so.The design was made by a man, a man who would never, ever have to clean it out.It would be payment enough, perhaps tortuous enough to see this simpleton have to perform this task upon his own design.Do you think heíd change it?You know he would.


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