MY daughter Sian phoned the other day.
“Henry has stopped picking up,” she complained to her mother.
Henry is the Hoover that my wife gave her two years ago.
Sian is now very keen on housework and keeping the place clean since the arrival of baby Jeannie the other month.
“Oh dear,” said my wife Maria, thinking we might have to take over one of our vacuum cleaners.
Believe it or not, Maria has three – one for upstairs, one for downstairs and a spare in the garage.
This is not because she is fanatical about cleaning – it’s a long time since we had a new baby – but because we inherited one from a friend who died and a second from a friend who has gone to America. Which just about sums up my luck. Other people get left fortunes and we get two Hoovers.
Anyway, back to Sian’s problem.
“Have you tried emptying the bag?” Maria said.
There was a pause. Then: “Bag?”
This is a graduate speaking, a young woman with a highly responsible job and a graduate husband, also with a highly responsible job.
And they have, for two years, not realised that a Hoover needs emptying.
What did they think? That it ate and digested the dirt it picked up and converted it to air spray?