Had a Cold?

For a few summer months when I was in college I sold Electrolux vacuums door-to-door. It was an education unlike any I would ever receive in class.

For those of you unfamiliar with Electrolux models of the early eighties, they were very expensive canister models with a long suction wand that could reach almost anywhere. The wand made them usual in cleaning world dominated by inferior upright Hoover’s.

The key to selling these vacuums was just to get in the door of a house. Once inside I could convince most any woman that she had to have this vacuum. Not to be sexist, but men cared less about the features I illuminated. The best way to sell this machine was to ask when the homeowner last vacuumed their mattress. If they owned an upright the answer was “never.” If they owned a canister is was never 99% of the time.

After asking that leading question I followed up with a second question I was absolutely certain to get a “yes” to. “Has anyone in your house had a cold in the last year?” In 1981 everyone, especially people with children, had at least one family member who had suffered a cold in the last twelve months. From there I went into a disgusting demonstration of vacuuming a small section of their mattress and dumping out the dust that came from it. I made the questionable connection of not vacuuming your mattress and getting a cold or some other worse illness.

They bought the vacuum on the spot and quite frankly loved them, as they told me when I would stop back to take their testimonial and ask for references for other potential future Electrolux owners.

Now think back to your house this year. Have you vacuumed your mattress? My bet is the answer is no. Now has anyone in your house had a cold in the last year? If not, have you been a family of loyal mask wearers and hand washers?

Most likely you can thank your mask for keeping you well from the common cold as well as the seasonal flu.

I am certain that vacuum companies do not use mattress vacuuming as their selling points these days. It is a good thing because rather than getting people to cough up thousands of dollars for a vacuum to keep them from getting a cold, as well as having a clean house, you could just sell them a ten dollar mask. Unfortunately, wearing a mask won’t do a thing for getting rid of dust under the dining room table.

For now I hope that people will keep up their mask wearing and hand washing if just to keep from getting a cold.

One Comment on “Had a Cold?”

  1. Barbara Fletcher says:

    This looks like my current vacuum cleaner- which I have had since the middle 1980’s. Wow.
    And yes, Dana, we are friends. We spent many years on Ways and Means and budgets, and my daughter’s wedding, and other church business. I live in Alabama now, but remember with fondness how helpful and knowledgeable you were(are). I enjoy this blog because you bring up memories and friends I don’t see anymore. Love the Fellowship Hall- will get my tour if I ever travel again. Haha. I remember Carter deciding to pledge when she was 5 years old. Your legacy to raising money for non-profits and encouraging folks to give money to worthy causes is legendary. Hope to see you in 2021.

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